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Sinn Féin’s Bill to repeal Article 17.2 of the Constitution to be debated in the Dáil today – Pearse Doherty TD

27 May, 2021 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD will bring a Bill to Second Stage in the Dáil this evening that would provide for a referendum to repeal Article 17.2 of the Constitution.

Article 17.2 of Constitution, a hangover from British colonialism, prohibits non-Government members from introducing legislation that contains financial implications for the State.

The Bill responds to the Constitutional Convention on Dáil Reform, which in 2014 voted in favour of amending Article 17.2.

Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:

“Under Article 17.2 of Bunreacht na hÉireann, members of the opposition are prohibited from introducing bills, financial amendments or other motions that have financial implications for the Exchequer.

“Article 17.2 and its related Dáil Standing Orders provide for what is in effect an executive fiscal monopoly.

“Article 17.2 is itself a copy of Article 37 of the Constitution of the Irish Free State, a hangover from the British colonial system.

“Article 17.2 stifles Dáíl participation and the contributions representatives can make on behalf of those who elect them.

“In 2014 the Constitutional Convention voted in favour of amending Article 17.2, with he 7th Progress Report of the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution describing the prohibition as ‘unjustifiable’.

“The extent to which the Dáil is muzzled by Article 17.2 is a hangover from British colonialism, with far more liberal regimes in place in parliaments throughout the world.

“Article 17.2 provides for what is an executive monopoly that stifles the role of the Dáil.

“The Thirty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Inclusive Budget Reform) Bill 2014 would pave the way for a referendum to repeal Article 17.2 and bring real reform the Dáil and how it operates.”

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