Tuesday 28 February 2017

Ceann Comhairle gets more power to make Taoiseach and Ministers answer questions properly

Barry Lennon

Seán Ó Fearghaíl
Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl will have more power to make the Taoiseach and Ministers answer questions properly, under new draft Dáil reforms.

His position will be able to correct Cabinet members on the floor if he feels the questions were not answered “adequately.”

“There is a further power – the Ceann Comhairle will report to the Houses of the Oireachtas any Minister who has repeatedly refused to answer questions,” Mr Ó Fearghaíl said.

However, he added: “I don't envisage that we'll ever have to use it but the provision is there.”

Mr Ó Fearghaíl chaired the Oireachtas sub-committee on Dáil Reform came up with new proposal and raft of other reforms.

This will include better oversight of budgets using a special Dáil committee, rearrangement of working days and more legal advice for bank bench TDs.

The Anti-Austerity Alliance will become a technical group allowing it speaking time under the new rules – as five will become the minimum number.

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