McGrath welcomes Metal Theft report but criticises Minister Shatter and Government on inaction
South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed the publication of the Department of Justice and Equality’s Report on the Cash for Gold trade but has criticised the slow progress being made by the Department on this matter.
Last November Deputy McGrath introduced a Private Members Bill entitled the Scrap and Precious Metal Dealers Bill 2011 in an effort to introduce simple legislation to regulate the “Cash for Gold” and “Cash for Scrap” industries. The bill was defeated by the Government in March on the grounds that a number of its provisions were inadequate and that the Government was anticipating the submission by the Department of a Cash for Gold Report.
“This report was due to be published by the end of March and it is now mid- June. The main proposal in the report was that the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence should consider the content of the report and report to the Houses of the Oireachtas and to Government on what should be done. So if have one report telling us that the Joint Oireachtas Committee should make another report before the Government decide to do anything” said Deputy McGrath
“We have houses being broken into every day of the week with Gold Jewellery being the main target. We have farms and businesses being robbed of metals and we have precious statues and artefacts’ being robbed from heritage sites across the Country and it has taken the Government almost 6 months to issue a report telling us the Joint Oireachtas Committee should examine the matter. This is crazy and it is a typical example of trying to deal with layers of bureaucracy in this Country. We need report after report before we move to do anything and in the meantime the citizens of the Country suffer.” Continued McGrath
Deputy McGrath is calling on the Minister and the Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence to ensure that this matter is given time at Committee as a matter of urgency so that it can be addressed without any further delay.
“I introduced the Private Members Bill last November and we are still no further along. If the Government had accepted the Bill in March the matter would have went to Committee at that point and the issues in the Bill could have been addressed there but instead the Minister Shatter and the Government decided to reject the bill and now 3 months later are deciding to send it to Committee. I hope that this matter can be addressed as a matter of urgency to try and put in place some deterrents to stop careless thieves from cashing in on stolen goods” concluded McGrath.