Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has again expressed his concerns over Government’s rushing through legislation in the lead-up to the summer recess.
Deputy Pringle says planning legislation that was before the Dáil this week was not given proper time for scrutiny.
The Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2022 would amend the Planning and Development Act 2000 to provide for applications to be made to An Bord Pleanála relating to substitute consent procedures.
Addressing the Dáil on Thursday, Deputy Pringle said: “I wanted to put on record my concern in relation to how this bill has been brought forward and the rushed nature in relation to it. And how the bill is actually changing completely between now and committee stage next week as well, which is a real problem and doesn’t lead to proper democratic oversight.”
He said treatment of the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2022 was symptomatic of how this Government treats the end of term, saying “there were something like 19 bills before the House in July, compared to about a dozen from January through to July.”
Deputy Pringle said: “In this bill, some of the provisions that are being rushed through next week because they’re absolutely necessary have been flagged up since before last summer. So it’s not that these have been suddenly foisted on the Government.”
He said: “They’ve been sitting around since last summer, so why couldn’t they have been dealt with before now, if that’s the case. And that really is a problem and that really is worrying.”
This happens every year, in the run-up to the summer recess and again in the run-up to the Christmas recess, the deputy said.
Deputy Pringle said: “And why is that? Because there will be no scrutiny, no democratic scrutiny, and that’s what the Government wants.”