Some time ago, the Independent Senators tabled a motion which was agreed by the House and which resulted in a commission on auctioneering being established. Today in the Seanad, I asked why nothing has yet happened. I also explained to a roudy house why it was I became an auctioneer.
Mr. Ross: The commission reported approximately two years ago, following which legislation was supposed to be introduced. Can the Leader of the House say is the status of that legislation? What programme is proposed and will it be forthcoming before the Dáil is dissolved? Two current issues make that legislation urgent. One is yesterday’s press report of a group of auctioneers announcing they intended to raise fees because house prices had plateaued. I never noticed them reducing fees when house prices rose.
Mr. U. Burke: Now that the Senator is a member of that profession, they probably will.
Mr. Ross: Now that I am a member of the auctioneering profession, I offer my services to the nation at a reduced fee.
Mr. Norris: That is shameless advertising.
Mr. Ross: No other Member of this House will do so.
An Cathaoirleach: That is not in order.
Mr. Ross: I am not opening for business for a month or two.
An Cathaoirleach: That is not relevant to the Order of Business.
Mr. Ross: The second point is important and also concerns auctioneers. The week before last a court found an auctioneering firm at fault for misdeclaring in its brochure the size of a commercial property, resulting in an award against the firm of €350,000. Its defence illustrates what a scourge auctioneers can be in this society. The company said it had included a get-out clause in the brochure stating that it was not responsible for anything incorrect shown therein.
That is a ridiculous situation, meaning a firm of auctioneers can tell as many untruths as it likes as long as it puts a disclaimer at the bottom of its brochure. It is time for legislation to be introduced in this House to regulate this group of cowboys who have done such destruction to the housing market.
Ms O’Rourke: Why did Senator Ross join?
Mr. Ross: To expose them!