New Priority Legislation Programme

Author:Mr Edward Gleeson, Catherine Allen and Laura Rattigan
Profession:Mason Hayes & Curran

The Irish Government's spring/summer legislation Programme is ambitious. 49 priority pieces of legislation (Bills) were announced in January 2018, as part of the new legislative session. The Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, in unveiling this programme stated that the aim of the Government is to prioritise legislation "which makes a positive impact on people's lives".  

But the real ambition lies in the difficult issues to be addressed. These include tackling the housing crisis, healthcare, national broadband access, amending the Constitution and gender pay regulation, all of which go to the heart of current public debate in Ireland.

The full programme can be accessed here.

Tackling the housing crisis  

Reforming residential tenants' rights, providing a home building financial lender and keeping people in their homes are among the key housing reforms proposed in the Programme.

Four Bills aim to tackle the housing shortage crisis. A new lending institution, the "Home Building Finance Ireland", is to be established under the Home Building Finance Ireland Bill.  This new institution will provide loans to residential property developers on favourable terms to enable new homes to be built quickly.

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill aims to provide further protections for tenants particularly in relation to the issue of a valid notice in the termination of a lease. The Courts & Land Conveyancing (Amendment) Bill will assist people who are in mortgage arrears to remain in their homes. Finally, the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Bill aims to improve the regulation of over 500 existing Approved Housing Bodies across the country through the establishment of an independent regulator. Healthcare

Of note is the centralisation of paediatric acute hospital services within the new Children's Hospital at St James' Hospital under the Children's Health Bill. The extension of free GP care to persons in receipt of carer's allowance under...

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