Senator Ivana Bacik: I welcome the imminent publication of the personal insolvency Bill on which it would be a good idea to receive a briefing. If a briefing is provided for Senators, I ask that we are circulated a copy of the report of the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality on the personal insolvency legislation. The report made a number of recommendations and includes a full transcript of our hearings with stakeholders and interested parties. It would inform our debate on the Bill.
Senator Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister to the House and am glad of the opportunity to renew this debate. We had a full debate on this issue six months ago. I commend Senators Zappone, Mac Conghail and van Turnhout, as well as the other Independent Senators, for bringing the debate to the floor of the House again. They have kept everyone on their toes as regards timing and have also kept this issue at the forefront of our minds.
Senator Ivana Bacik: I thank Senator O'Brien for his very constructive comments on a number of issues. I agree with him that it is people's duty to pay the household charge. I disagree with him on the numbers paying. Over the coming days before the deadline of 31 March we will see an exponential rise in those paying. People always leave any payment until they absolutely have to pay it.
Senator Ivana Bacik: Cosúil le Seanadóir Ó Bríain, ba mhaith liom cúpla focail a rá as Gaeilge i seachtain na Gaeilge. Níl go leor Gaeilge agam anois ach bhí fáinne airgead agamsa nuair a bhí mé ar scoil cúpla bliain ó shin.
Electoral (Amendment)(Political Funding) Bill 2011: Second Stage
Thursday, 2 February 2012
Senator Ivana Bacik: I am delighted to be here to speak on Second Stage of the Electoral (Amendment)(Political Funding) Bill 2011. I am particularly pleased and grateful to the Minister that the Bill is being introduced in the Seanad. It is most appropriate that it is introduced here.
The Bill will make important reforms to political donations, increase transparency in our system of political donations and place important and significant new restrictions on corporate donations. We all very much welcome those changes.
Senator Ivana Bacik: Like other colleagues, I will begin by expressing my condolences to the families and communities in counties Limerick and Cork for the terrible tragedies that have happened there. I echo the words of other Members who have spoken of the need to ensure the maintenance of funding for mental health services. This is without making any specific connection but all Members are conscious that this is an important priority.