Government will miss deadline to publish climate bill in first 100 days

Government will miss deadline to publish climate bill in first 100 days

Climate Minister Eamon Ryan has previously pointed to the bill as a potential watershed moment in Irish politics, likening it to TK Whitaker's 1958 First Programme for Economic Expansion. Picture:Gareth Chaney/Collins

The draft Climate Action Bill is expected to be brought to Cabinet on Tuesday, narrowly missing the Government's pledge to publish it in the first 100 days of its lifetime.

The bill is viewed as a key plank in Ireland's climate response and will define how five-year carbon budgets will be set. The Government anticipates that every sector will contribute to achieving reductions of up to 7% per annum in Ireland's carbon output. It will establish a Climate Action Council, which will advise on Ireland's climate change response. Green Party sources, however, say they are focused on whether a just climate transition is enshrined in the law, after the party voted against enshrining it as a party principle over the weekend.

Climate Minister Eamon Ryan has previously pointed to the bill as a potential watershed moment in Irish politics, likening it to TK Whitaker's 1958 First Programme for Economic Expansion.

The heads of the bill have been previously approved by Cabinet.

It is also expected that the recommendations of the Tourism Recovery Taskforce will be presented to Cabinet by Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht Catherine Martin.

It is understood that the taskforce will make a number of recommendations including a €50m fund in 2021 to be combined with a €100m credit facility from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to create a €150m Tourism specific loan scheme to allow long term viable but short term vulnerable tourism businesses to survive until demand returns.

The taskforce will also call for an immediate reduction in the tourism Vat rate from 13.5% to 9%, as well as the adjustment of the Employee Wage Support Scheme which would allow businesses struggling to retain employees can avail of the subsidy rates which applied for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme based on a scale of income reduction.

The taskforce will also call for the Government to deliver business continuity grants of €120m to enable key tourism businesses to survive the crisis with a focus on those with the greatest reduction in turnover in 2020.

Also up for discussion at Cabinet will be a draft bill on the database established by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission. The digital database has been put together by the commission through old paper files, but there was no legal standing to allow for its transfer to the State due to GDPR concerns. To avoid the database, which is based on many older and, in some cases, poorly maintained documents being destroyed, the Government will pass the bill. The database will then be passed to child protection agency Tusla.

Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman will present the draft document.

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