Today in Leinster House: November 7, 2012

WELL, IN THIS BRAVE new world in which we have woken up – in which Barack Obama has secured himself another four years as the leader of the free world – it’s back to the humdrum of everyday life in Leinster House, as the Seanad resumes its business and the committees get into full swing.

9:30am – Committee on Transport and Communications – The day begins in Room 4, where the Commission for Energy Regulation will discuss the impact that green, renewable and clean energies could have on the average electricity bill.

10:00am – Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence – In Room 1, meanwhile, Alan Shatter will be asking for an increase in the 2012 Budget to cover slightly higher-than-expected army pensions.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – The marquee event of the morning sees Enda Kenny take questions from the three opposite benches.

10:51am – Order of Business – TDs get a half-hour to agree to their day’s agenda…

11:21am – Personal Insolvency Bill 2012 (report and final stages, resumed) – …before resuming discussion on the personal insolvency bill which will allow indebted people to write of some of their obligations under some circumstances.

1:00pm – Committee on Education and Social Protection – Over in Room 3, the Social Needs Parents Association will discuss the need for further supply of SNAs, before Social Justice Ireland and TASC present their pre-Budget submissions.

2:00pm – Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform – In what could well be the most significant item of the day, John Moran pops into Room 4 to brief members on the Department of Finance’s updated strategy document for 2010-2014.

2:30pm – Questions (Minister for Defence) – Alan Shatter is in to take questions related to his defence brief; they’ll include questions on the security of the state, the future of the Reserve Defence Forces, finding alternative uses for the barracks in Clonmel, the downgrade of the Office of the Defence Ombudsman, and a possible amnesty for minor military offences awaiting trial.

2:30pm – Order of Business – The Seanad’s 12-day mid-term break ends as members spend 75 minutes discussing anything and everything.

3:30pm – Statements on Alcohol Consumption (resumed) – Having not had enough time to deal with all comments in his first visit, Alex White returns to the Seanad to offer more feedback on plans to curb alcohol abuse.

3:45pm – Topical Issues – Four topical issues are debated for 12 minutes apiece.

4:30pm – Public Service Oversight and Petitions – You may remember a while back that there was a furore over the emphasis put on the Irish language when dealing with internal promotions in the Department of Social Protection. Here, in Room 3, staff from that Department, the Dept of Public Expenditure and Reform, and the Public Appointments Service will give evidence on exactly what happened any why.

4:33pm – as 11:21am More discussion on the insolvency legislation.

5:00pm – Private Members’ Business [Taoiseach’s nominees] – Motion on Social Welfare appeals – The independent appointees table a motion which calls on the government to overhaul the social welfare appeals process, by giving people access to greater legal resources in order to process complex claims and to cut down on backlogs.

7:00pm – Matters on the Adjournment – Once that motion’s done, it’s three topical matters before the lights are turned out.

7:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Technical Group] – Motion re pensions and lump sums – Debate resumes in the Dáil on McGrath’s motion calling for the end of “grossly overgenerous pensions and massive lump sums on retirement to office holders such as Cabinet Ministers, Taoisigh, TDs, Senators, senior public servants, State regulators including the Financial Regulator, members of the judiciary and the CEOs of semi-State bodies and State funded banks”. The debate will wrap up at 9pm with a vote at that time.

9:00pm – as 11:21am – There’ll be another 45 minutes (or so) of debate on the insolvency legislation before the day is done.

All of the day’s business can be viewed on our streams: