Its power to do this comes from Article 17 of the Irish Constitution which says that no Bill “for the appropriation of revenue or other public moneys” may be enacted unless the Government has first recommended that purpose to the Dáil by a Money Message signed by the Taoiseach.
The Government is currently using this tactic to block a large number of opposition Bills which have majority support in the Dáil.
The rules of the Dáil provide that a determination as to whether the Bill actually requires a Money Message is made by the “Bills Office” after the Bill undergoes “detailed scrutiny” before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade. If the Bills Office decides that a Bill requires a Money Message, then it is a political decision for the Government as to whether or not to provide it.
It is important that you use any opportunity at your disposal to let the Government know that the abuse of the Money Message will not be tolerated by the Irish electorate. We encourage all supporters of democracy and the Bill to write or meet their elected representatives and relay their displeasure at the misuse of the so called ‘Money Message’ in thwarting the democratic process.
The same exception applies under Article 36 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in relation to goods in free circulation within the EU. A prohibition on the importation of settlement goods is arguably justifiable on each of these grounds.