Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle slams Government for delaying Opposition bills, motions

Pringle slams Government for delaying Opposition bills, motions

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has slammed Government for delaying opposition motions going through the Dáil.

Deputy Pringle pointed to a private members’ motion he brought to the Dáil a number of weeks ago that called for withdrawal of a European Council of Minister’s proposal in relation to carbon-rich lands in the Common Agricultural Policy. He said motion would have made CAP work for the small farmers right across rural Ireland, in Donegal, Mayo and across the west coast.

Deputy Pringle said: “And Government actually accepted it. But now we discover that they’re calling for an emergency motion here because the Minister for Agriculture is over in Europe negotiating a Common Agricultural Policy to actually undo what this House agreed to do and said should be done a few weeks ago.”

He said: “I think that shows up what Government is trying to do by kicking these further down the road and making sure that it doesn’t appear that Government is voting against these motions.”

Deputy Pringle addressed the Dáil on Tuesday evening to speak in support of Sinn Féin’s Judicial Council (Amendment) Bill 2021, which would require the insurance industry to provide the Central Bank with information on how the cost of claims have reduced as a result of the new Personal Injuries Guidelines, and how they have passed those savings on to customers.

Deputy Pringle said: “But what I really think is happening here is the Government has accepted this bill, which is welcome, but you’ve accepted it by kicking it down the road for nine months. And what are you actually hoping will happen in those nine months?

“Because we’ve seen over the last number of months here that the Government accepts most private members’ bills that are put forward, and most private members’ motions that are put forward. Is it that the Government is afraid of actually seeing the figures going up in a vote, and the vote taking place? And has the Government, rather than getting a kicking on social media or getting a kicking in the press for having voted down this legislation, decided we’ll kick it down the road for nine months and it will probably die in committee stage and we can finish it off there.”

The deputy said he would have more respect for the Government if they would stand up and say why they oppose these motions, “and come straight out with it and say that what you want to do is ensure that insurance companies in this case have an easy ride.”

He also referred to a private members’ bill he brought forward early this year that would call for a referendum to enshrine economic, cultural and social rights in the Constitution. The Government did not oppose the bill but rather decided it would be read two years from that time.

Deputy Pringle said: “So it makes it look like you’re supportive of it, but when this bill comes up in committee, I’ll be pushing it and we’ll see then whether you are actually in favour of it or not. Because I don’t think you will be. I think you’ll be hoping to kill it off completely.”

He concluded: “And that’s sad, really. But I think I’m right. And time will tell in relation to it.”

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