The Government Chief Whip, Minister Paul Kehoe T.D., today announced the Government’s Legislative Programme for the Spring 2013 Parliamentary session.

Speaking following the Cabinet’s approval of the Legislative Programme Minister Kehoe said:

“Our legislative focus reinforces our commitment to reducing unemployment. The first months of 2013 will see Ministers from a number of Departments publish legislation to meet Programme for Government commitments. Ministers Bruton, Shatter and Howlin will each publish a number of major reform focused Bills before Easter.”

“Job Creation is the Government’s top priority and this is reflected in the Legislative Programme approved by Cabinet today. The Industrial Development (Micro-Enterprise & Small Business) Bill and Workplace Relations Bill together with Bills on Consumer & Competition, Employment Permits and Co-operative Societies will help improve job creation conditions. Minister Bruton and his Department have already introduced a vast amount of legislation designed to set the conditions for job creation and the Bills announced today are the next phase of this progress.”

“The reform agenda is not limited to Job Creation. Bills on Assisted Decision Making, Forensic & DNA Evidence, Money Laundering and Human Trafficking will be the focus of the Department of Justice in this Dáil term. Freedom of Information Legislation together with procedures to protect whistleblowers and put Oireachtas Inquiries on a statutory footing will be published by the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform.”

“Legislation will also be published establishing SOLAS and abolishing FÁS, creating a Child and Family Support Agency and modernised legislation on the development of our mineral resources and the job creation potential that exists here.”

“A number of Bills will be introduced to underpin in legislation decisions made in the Budget including the Finance Bill. The Department of Finance is also working towards the legislation to establish an investment division of the NTMA to unlock strategic investment potential and this Bill is due for publication in the next Dáil term.”

“The Department of the Taoiseach and the Attorney General’s Office are also working towards publishing, later this year, the legislation necessary to hold a referendum on the Seanad.”

“The Oireachtas Committee on Health & Children chaired by Jerry Buttimer TD will now provide the Department of Health with a Report on the last week’s Hearings on the Expert Group Report on ABC v Ireland. The submissions and answers to questions provided to the Committee by medical and legal experts, faith groups and campaigning organisations along with written submissions the Committee received will be the basis of the Committee’s Report. Upon receiving this Report the Department and the Attorney General’s Office will give this matter priority. The Government has committed to legislation and regulation in this area in the coming months.”