Government publishes new legislative programme following Dáil return 

20 January 2023

The Dáil returned from recess this Wednesday (18 January) for the first term of 2023. 

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan brought forward plans in relation to electric vehicle charging locations. The aim of his Cabinet memo is to make it more attractive for people to buy and drive electric cars. Under the Minister’s plans, high-powered electric vehicle chargers would be installed along the main road networks, with chargers being placed within every 60km stretch. All the details will be contained in the first ever electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategy, which will cover the next three years. Funding of €100 million will be set aside for the strategy, which will also address apartment charging, neighbourhood charging, destination charging as well as motorway or en-route options.

Other major items on the Government’s agenda include a plan for the media sector which will be brought forward by the Minister for Arts, Media and Culture Catherine Martin. She will present Ministers with an implementation strategy and an action plan which will give effect to the recommendations made by the Future of Media Commission report last year. The strategy will include a review of Irish language services across the entire media sector as well as the introduction of a new media fund.

Government Chief Whip Hildegarde Naughton also published a list of 21 Bills on Wednesday, which the Government hopes to publish before Easter. New restrictions on vaping and e-cigarettes, new measures on human trafficking and the criminalisation of adults who groom children into committing offences are among the new Bills which the Government proposes to publish during the spring session of the Dáil. 

Referring to the Bill regulating vaping and e-cigarette, Ms Naughton’ said: “This is an important piece of legislation which will introduce a ban on the sale of nicotine inhaling products, such as e-cigarettes, to and by minors.”

Among the other proposed legislation is the Registration of Short-Term Tourist Letting Bill 2022. It will require all those who do holiday lets and short-term lets of houses and apartments to register with Fáilte Ireland.