It’s one investigation the justice minister doesn’t want to undertake.
“People wear jewellery on strange anatomical parts nowadays and some of those I will not investigate in this House,” Alan Shatter told the Seanad yesterday.
The unusual exchange came after he was called upon to allow those applying for debt relief under a new Government scheme to retain one item of jewellery of “ceremonial” significance.
Mr Shatter had suggested individuals seeking writedowns under the Personal Insolvency Bill might have to sell expensive jewellery such as wedding rings.
This led to Fianna Fáil senator Thomas Byrne proposing an amendment to the bill to allow for the exemption of one item of ceremonial significance.
But Mr Shatter said legislation had to be definitive and the term “ceremonial” meant different things to different people.
“Somebody might think a large ring hanging out of their nose was of ceremonial significance,” he said, before referring to jewellery on other parts of the body.
However, Mr Shatter did say he had no desire to see people forced to sell “modest items” of jewellery.
He suggested while he would reflect on the value of what could be retained, “we are considering a value in the region of €500 for a single item of jewellery”.
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