Opposition parties criticise arrangements for property tax debate

 

Opposition parties have criticised arrangements for a debate tomorrow on property tax.

However, despite their concerns about the matter, they have declined an offer of an extra two hours’ debate.

The offer was made by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore after complaints that there was not enough time for the debate.

Opposition TDs also complained that no vote would be taken on the legislation until next week.

Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary said they either had proper Friday sittings or they did not, and delaying the vote until Tuesday meant tomorrow’s sitting was a “charade”.

Sinn Féin’s Mary-Lou McDonald said more time should be given, as the Government might hear something that would show them “the error of your ways, though I wouldn’t hold my breath”.

Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance accused the Government of “subverting the democratic process”.

In response, the Tánaiste said that the original intention was to have all stages of the legislation amending the property tax passed tomorrow, but after complaints the Government agreed to only complete second stage and have the remaining stages next week.

He said the end of tomorrow’s sitting could be extended from 3.30pm to 5.30pm if the Opposition wished.

However, he said the vote would be on Tuesday and the Opposition declined the offer.

The Government won the vote on procedure for tomorrow’s sitting by 82 to 38.