Today in Leinster House: February 23, 2012

As with yesterday, much of the day is spent dealing with legislation which has been on the table for quite some time, but there’s again some interest committee meetings to help pad out the day.

10:00am – Public Accounts Committee – This week the members get back to Room 1 to hold a magnifying glass over the accounts of the Office of Public Works, whose chair Clare McGrath will be present to deal with any questions.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – The Thursday session will see Michael Kitt preside over exchanges between Eamon Gilmore, Eamon O Cuiv, Mary Lou McDonald and whichever Deputy (geddit?) is put forward by the Technical Group. A veritable deputy-fest.

10:30am – Order of Business – The Seanad takes 75 minutes to arrange its one-item agenda…

10:51am – Order of Business – …while the Dáil gets just 20 minutes to do likewise.

11:11am – Motor Vehicle (Duties and Licences) Bill 2012 (second stage resumed) – Having yesterday unwrapped a leftover gift from before Christmas – the bill which brings the Budget’s reform of motor tax into law. That’ll keep things going until 1:30pm.

11:30am – European Union Affairs – Time for another meeting, in Room 3, where members will hear about the ins and outs of the new Fiscal Compact treaty. This week’s input comes from Dr. Seamus Coffey, UCC; Dr. Karen Devine, DCU; and Mr. Paul Sweeney, ICTU.

11:30am – Health and Children – In Room 2, the three Health ministers – James Reilly and his juniors, Roisin Shortall and Kathleen Lynch – as well as HSE chief executive Cathal Magee will attend to discuss the impact of the public service retirement scheme on the health services.

11:45am – Bretton Woods Agreements (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2011 (to conclude) – Another long-standing piece of legislation is finally wrapped up: a Bill which increases Ireland’s contributions to the IMF, in exchange for a lower interest rate.

1:30pm – Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011 (second stage resumed) – Yet more pretty longstanding legislation is looked at – this time the Dáíl returns to Alan Shatter’s plans to overhaul the oversight of the legal services.

2:00pm – Matters on the Adjournment – Having dealt with their single item of business, Senators get to discuss four matters of their own choosing before they clock off for the weekend.

3:42pm – Topical Issues – Once they’ve dealt with the legal services overhaul, TDs get a chance to raise four issues of their own and hold ministers to account for 12 minutes apiece.

4:30pm – Questions (Minister for Education and Skills) – The week wraps up with Ruairí Quinn taking his regular batch of ministerial questions; among the topics he’ll discuss are the semi-U-turn on DEIS teaching jobs, the abandonment of the modern languages programme, and the prospect of a money-management course in primary and secondary schools.

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