Seanad Éireann - Volume 115 - 03 April, 1987

Social Welfare Bill, 1987: Motion for Earlier Signature.

Mr. Fallon: I move:

[2165] That, pursuant to subsection 2º of section 2 of Article 25 of the Constitution, Seanad Éireann concurs with the Government in a request to the President to sign the Social Welfare Bill, 1987, on a date which is earlier than the fifth day after the date on which the Bill shall have been presented to him.

Certain provisions contained in the Social Welfare Bill, 1987, are to come into effect on 6 April 1987 and it is necessary, therefore, that the Bill become law by that date.

Article 25.2.1º of the Constitution contains the general provision that a Bill presented to the President for his signature shall be signed by him not earlier than the fifth and not later than the seventh day after the date on which it is presented to him. Provision is also made, however, for requesting the President to sign the Bill in advance of the fifth day. The present Social Welfare Bill could not have been passed by the Seanad earlier than today and this does not allow the full interval of seven days, prescribed by Article 25.2.1º of the Constitution, to elapse before 6 April when certain of the provisions contained in the Bill are to come into operation.

The Government have decided, therefore, that the prior concurrence of Seanad Éireann should be sought pursuant to Article 25.2.2º of the Constitution in a request to the President to sign the Social Welfare Bill, 1987, on a date which is earlier than the fifth day after the date on which the Bill will be presented to him.

Mr. Ferris: It would be inappropriate for us to call for a division on this motion although this is fundamentally the problem we had. We could rightfully be considered obstructionist if we did that. I want to facilitate the Minister on that point, having gone through the process of discussing the Bill, debating the sections and calling the various votes at the appropriate time. At this juncture I do not [2166] want to be obstructionist and I want to facilitate the Minister in enacting the legislation.

Mr. Durcan: The Fine Gael Party agree to the earlier signature motion.

Question put and agreed to.