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Sinn Féin challenges money message for Tips Bill – Senator Paul Gavan

2 August, 2019 - by Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin are challenging plans by the Government to introduce a requirement for a money message for its Protection of Employee Tips Bill. 
The Bill, which would give hospitality workers a legal right to the tips that they earn, has already passed all stages in the Seanad and second stage in the Dáil. It  received support from all parties except Fine Gael and has been widely championed by trade unions and civil society groups.
Fine Gael, as indicated by Minister Regina Doherty, are seeking to put a “money message” on the bill to block its passage, as otherwise it is likely to pass all stages and become law.
Senator Gavan explained:
“This is not the first bill to face an illegitimate veto. More than 50 bills have been blocked by Leo Varadkar refusing to sign a money message, with only 7 opposition bills being approved by the government.
“Sinn Féin are challenging this abuse of power by the Taoiseach and we have submitted legal arguments to the Ceann Comhairle for rejecting the Governments’ call for a money message to be required.
“The government’s case against our bill is that the oversight by the Workplace Relations Commission would incur ‘significant additional expenditure,’ which is patent nonsense.”

“The WRC already inspects the hospitality sector in relation to the Employment Permits Act, the National Minimum Wage Act, the Workplace Relations Act, the Organisation of Working Time Act, and the Payment of Wages Act.”
“If this Bill was to be passed this aspect would simply be included within the remit of ongoing inspections. The charge that it would incur ‘significant additional expenditure’ is farcical, especially given that it is an amendment to the National Minimum Wage Act which is already enforced by the WRC.”
Senator Gavan concluded:
“The abuse of the money message is a matter of public interest. The government, deprived of a majority, can no longer guillotine anything it disagrees with.
“Instead, they have turned to the cynical abuse of obscure parliamentary procedure to veto bills the government is ideologically opposed to, à la Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party in the United States. 
“This has a significant and detrimental effect on the health and vibrancy of our democracy. Sinn Féin will not stand for this.”

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