281. Deputy Colm Brophy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the recommendations of the Constitutional Convention regarding Article 41.2 have been considered; the implications the Convention has identified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30148/18]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The Convention on the Constitution, in its Second Report which was published on 8 May 2013, recommended the amendment of Article 41.2 by making it gender-neutral to include carers in the home and carers beyond the home and that the State should be required to provide a “reasonable level of support” to ensure that carers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour.
These recommendations were considered by a Task Force of officials from my Department in 2014 in collaboration with representatives of other relevant Government Departments and the Office of the Attorney General.
On 5 July, the Government decided that the question to be put to the people in the forthcoming referendum on Article 41.2 will be simple deletion of the provision. Consideration was given to the Reports of the Convention on the Constitution and the Task Force and to other reports on the subject. The Government's conclusion was that inserting new language into the Constitution could have unpredictable legal consequences, dependent on interpretation by the courts.
However, there is a need for a wider consultation on the issue of care and the next Citizens’ Assembly will be asked to consider the matter.