The Pension Crisis / Building Regulations
Thursday, 01 October 2015

During the Order of Business in the Seanad, I said: I agree entirely with Senators Mary Ann O'Brien and Mark Daly with regard to pensions. We had a very good debate last night on Senator Crown's Bill which I am delighted the Government accepted on Second Stage, but that debate was a reminder that we are facing a crisis. It is a crisis about which we must do something. Too often in these Houses we pass laws which propose solutions but we do not pass on the resources to ensure we can deliver those solutions. Senator Daly is correct with regard to the horrific pensions figures...

I mention this because we have passed laws to ensure buildings are checked for fireproofing and so forth but we have not enforced them. What happened in Longboat Quay is an example of that. We have the legislation in place to ensure such inspections take place but we have not got around to doing anything about it. There was a very interesting interview with a senior member of the British police force this morning who spoke about the fact that reduced manpower means the force is not able to enforce new legislation.

New legislation regarding children in cars being exposed to cigarette smoke, which Senator Crown has pushed for here, came into force in Britain today but police have said they will not be able to enforce it. Indeed, they said they are not even going to attempt to enforce it because resources will not allow it. That is a reminder to us in this House that we can pass laws but if we do so while not providing the resources needed to enforce them, we are leaving ourselves open to the criticism that we are not taking into account the challenges that face us and the ability to solve them.

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