Greatest political reform in history of State to be announced
on 12/09/2013 07:35:17
Giving the public a greater say in legislation and changes to the work of the Dáil and Committee are included in the plans.
While some of the reforms are dependent on the abolition of the Seanad, others will be implemented almost immediately.
Yesterday the Cabinet approved the planned changes as part of a bid to persuade people to scrap the Seanad next month.
But the changes will not be dependent on a yes vote. For example, a longer Dáil working week and making things like the Topical issues debates more relevant can be implemented immediately.
Others, though, like changing how legislation is passed will be different. Currently a bill goes through nine stages in the Dáil, Committee and Seanad - but if the latter is scrapped a new seven-stage system will be implemented.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he wants the public, or at least experts from outside the Oireachtas, involved.
"Giving the citizens far more engagement in the process of development of legislation that affects them - that's going to become the norm," he said.
Mr Kenny said the new system would provide "a very full and thorough analysis of what you want in [the legislation]."
The full details of the plan will be announced by the Taoiseach and Tánaiste later today.
Fianna Fáil have branded the plans "bogus" and "tokenistic".
"What has been published by the Government today, while in some respects welcome, is very inadequate, … and doesn't in fact, represent meaningful reform," the party's Whip, Sean O'Fearghail, said.