Progress of House of Commons Bill to permanently extend summertime being closely monitored – Harrington
Deputy Harrington questioned the Minister for Justice on the issue, by means of a Parliamentary Question, and is satisfied that the matter is being kept under review.
“The British are currently debating this issue at the highest levels, with the Daylight Saving Bill 2010/11 having just passed its second reading in the House of Commons. This has given rise to concerns that we have not undertaken any research on the implications for Ireland if such changes go ahead in Britain. The Minister for Justice has, however, assured me that the progress of the House of Commons Bill to is being closely monitored.
“The summertime issue has been on the table in the UK for years. Studies broadly suggest that the advantages of permanently moving the clocks forward, so that we would switch to CET, would be manifold.
“By allowing for an extra hour of sunlight at the end of each day, energy bills could be lowered by cutting back on consumption, with carbon emissions being reduced as a result. Road safety could be improved and, as over half of criminal offences occur during the hours of darkness in the late afternoon or evening, crime could be also be lessened.
“Harmonisation with CET would benefit industry since more of the working day would coincide with mainland Europe, allowing for improved trade and business activity. A stretch in the evenings would also see an increase in outdoor activity resulting in immeasurable health benefits and reduced levels of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
“Meetings have been taking place between British and Irish officials to discuss the House of Commons Bill and the implications that its passing may have for Ireland. There are no plans to change the time zone arrangement in Ireland at present. However, I am satisfied that the Ministers for Justice and Foreign Affairs are keeping an eye on the situation as it unfolds.”