Today in Leinster House: March 14, 2012 [updated]

Tomorrow’s half-day means today is the last day of full business before the St Patrick’s Day break, so again the business is largely tied-up with getting bits of legislation packed up and sent off.

9:30am – Jobs, Social Protection and Education – Members meet in Room 3 to discuss Ireland’s spending of EU globalisation retraining funds, and a proposal for a pan-European programme to encourage SME competitiveness.

10:30am – Leaders’ Questions – Enda Kenny takes the last set of Leaders’ Questions before the break, from Messrs Martin, Adams and Higgins.

10:30am – Order of Business – The Seanad’s free-for-all means it’ll take 75 to agree the day’s agenda…

10:51am – Order of Business – …while the Dáil will get its own agenda sorted out in half an hour.

11:45am – Discussion on the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union – The Seanad sits down for a four-hour discussion on the Fiscal Compact treaty and the forthcoming referendum campaign.

11:21am – Clotting Factor Concentrates and Other Biological Products Bill 2012 (all stages); Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill 2011 [Seanad] (to conclude) – There are two pieces of legislation to handle today: the first formally legalises certain clotting agents (including recombinant protein preparations) for use in treating patients; the second makes a formal criminal offence of Female Genital Mutilation. Both should be wrapped up today, with business resuming after lunch.

2:00pm – Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform – NAMA chairman Frank Daly and chief executive Brendan McDonagh brief members in Room 4 on the agency’s work to fulfill its priorities, and what’s coming over NAMA’s horizons.

2:15pm – Environment, Community and Local Government (sub-committee) – Phil Hogan drops into room 2 to meet a subset of the environment committee and guide them through legislation which reforms the motor tax system as outlined in the Budget.

2:30pm – Questions (Minister for Defence) – Alan Shatter takes his second ministerial questions of the week, this time on matters defence, including potential peacekeeping duties in Syria, further consolidation of the defence forces, withdrawal of Irish troops from Afghanistan, and the impact of retirements from the defence forces.

3:45pm – Topical Issues – Four newsworthy topics are discussed for 12 minutes apiece.

4:00pm – Private Members’ Business [Fianna Fáil] – Motion on Government Promises – With the Dáil and Seanad schedules overlapping, FF follows up on last week’s government anniversary by tabling a straightforward motion condemning the ways in which FF thinks the government has failed in its election promises. A vote will be called at 6.

4:33pm – as 11:21am – Dáil debate resumes on the legislation on clotting agents and FGM.

6:00pm – Matters on the Adjournment – Once the Fianna Fáil motion has been dealt with, members get to raise a few topical issues before calling it quits.

7:30pm – Private Members’ Business [Fianna Fáil] – Motion re Lending Rates and Mortgages – At 7:30pm debate resumes on the Fianna Fáil motion which asks why the government took an active role in seeking the reduction of AIB mortgage interest rates when Permanent TSB, which is also State-owned, has a much higher and uncontested rate. The government’s amendment will be voted upon at 9pm, and the amended version thereafter.

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