Government pledge to pass laws amid ‘hamstrung Dáil’ claims

The Government has promised to pass divisive bills on alcohol sale restrictions and judicial reforms before the end of this Dáil term amid ongoing claims parliament has become hamstrung by the minority government stalemate.

The commitment was outlined by Cabinet yesterday as part of plans to pass 28 priority bills and fast-track 24 bills currently under examination, 30 undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny and 73 others under review.

Among the most highly contentious bills are likely to be the Health (Alcohol) Bill which aims to restrict the sale of alcohol in shops and to impose a minimum pricing system.

Transport Minister Shane Ross’s long-sought judicial reform bill on the appointment process for judges is also among the bills being prioritised, as are:

  • The Insurance (Vehicle) Bill aiming to address motor insurance concerns;
  • The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill seeking increased jail terms for offenders;
  • And the Family Court Bill, which will create a new court for the sector.

While welcoming some measures, Social Democrats TD Roisin Shortall said the plans “set the bar disappointingly low”, with no action planned on corruption or white collar crime.

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