Today in Leinster House: November 9, 2011

Continuing the theme from yesterday, the Dáil’s day is eaten up by rubberstamping some longstanding legislation, while the Seanad

Here’s what the day has in store:

9:30am – Jobs, Social Protection and Education – The weekly meeting sees the committee put on its Education hat, as officials from children’s charity Barnardos brief members on how children from disadvantaged backgrounds are faring in school, as well as proposals to improve their educational outcomes and to address wider societal disadvantage. Room 3.

10am – Agriculture, Food and Marine (Sub-Committee) – Minister Simon Coveney joins members in room 2 to walk them through the Veterinary Practice (Amendment) Bill 2011, which loosens the rules requiring certain procedures on pets to be carried out by licensed vets.

10am – Transport, Tourism and Sport (Sub-Committee) – In Room 4, meanwhile, there’s similar stuff afoot: Leo Varadkar joins members to guide them through the National Tourism Development Authority (Amendment) Bill 2011, which allows for the release of additional funds to tourism development and allowing Fáilte Ireland to try and promote Irish enterprise.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – The Dáil’s marquee event sees Enda Kenny respond to barbs from Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the rostered leader from the Technical Group.

10:30am – Order of Business – Upstairs in the Seanad, meanwhile, members will begin their daily chatter on whatever items they deem worthy of parliamentary attention.

10:51am – Order of Business – TDs get another chance to query the government’s legislative intentions in certain fields.

11:21am – Competition (Amendment) Bill 2011 (second stage); Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011 (second stage resumed) – The unallocated time of Dáil business is eaten up with legislation this week, as mentioned – of the two likely to feature today, the first increase fines for anti-competitive behaviour; the second is a housekeeping measure to ensure that staff moving between ESB and Eirgrid do not lose their pension entitlements. Discussion continues until 1:30pm, when TDs break for lunch.

11:45am – Statements and Questions and Answers on the Community and Voluntary Sector – Phil Hogan pops upstairs for two hours to hear statements, and answer questions, on the voluntary sectors – one of the areas which could be hit hard by the Budget.

12pm – Education and Skills (Sub-Committee) – Officials from the Department of Education and Skills brief a subcommittee on the draft heads of bill of the (evidently forthcoming) Education and Training Boards Bill, 2011.

2:30pm – Questions (Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport) – Leo Varadkar is the minister on rota for the day, likely to face more questions about the potential sale of CIE and Aer Lingus. The scheduled questions are on customs pre-clearance for US-bound luggage, grants for swimming pools, safeguarding rural transport services in light of the new lower blood-alcohol levels, the official status of Metro North and planned rerouting by Dublin Bus.

3pm – Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011 (to conclude) – A longrunning bill – which, as the name suggests, works to try and avoid cruelty to greyhounds – is given its final airing before being sent to the Aras; the timing of its referral will make it the first bill to be signed into law by President Michael D Higgins.

3:45pm – Topical Issues – Four issues, 12 minutes, and one minister for each, bring the Dáil up to 4:33pm.

4:33pm – as 11:21am – The Dáil gets back to its legislative business as outlined earlier.

5pm – Matters on the Adjournment – Three daily topical issues are discussed before the Seanad calls it a night.

7:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Sinn Féin] – Discussion resumes on Sinn Féin’s motion about the repayment of unsecured bonds in Ireland’s guaranteed banking institutions. The government will inevitably table an amendment which waters down the substantive – to stop Ireland from paying out on any more such bonds – and a vote will be called on that at 9pm.

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