JOHN O'Donoghue says he will make a "detailed proposal" this week with a view to clearing up the controversy over the lavish expenses he has claimed as Ceann Comhairle of the Dail.
At the same time, the Green leader, John Gormley, says that this may become a matter for the negotiations on the government programme between his party and Fianna Fail.
Can we really be looking at a situation in which the affair of the Ceann Comhairle's expenses could split a weak and shaky coalition and force a general election?
Greens or no Greens, the true issue is far wider and far more serious than the taxpayers' money spent by Mr O'Donoghue on first-class travel and race meetings. It illustrates vividly the appalling way the country has been run for a decade and more. And it explains why the people are so angry and disillusioned.
They are sick of this controversy, precisely because they understand it better than those still luxuriating in the Leinster House cocoon.
They were quiet -- too quiet -- in good times. In the present economic crisis, the true facts have come home to them.
The hotel rooms and limousines are only a small part of the "culture of entitlement" promoted by Bertie Ahern, Charlie McCreevy and others.
They go along with the FAS scandals, the over-payment of deputies and senators, the remarkable pomposity and self-regard of so many in the Irish political and administrative world.
So comfortable is the cocoon that they must be paid for leaving it. The former Attorney General, Rory Brady SC, received a golden parachute worth more than €200,000 when he left his job. Junior Minister Tom Parlon got nearly €21,000, plus another €30,000 last year.
To call these payments compensation for loss of income is absurd. Mr Brady, a successful lawyer, can make much more at the Bar than in public office. Mr Parlon earns nearly €250,000 a year as head of the Construction Industry Federation.
And to return to Mr O'Donoghue, he costs taxpayers a lot more than his expenses. The Ceann Comhairle needs one secretary, and no more. The present incumbent has nine people in his office. In addition, he chairs an Oireachtas commission.
We should never have indulged in such frills, but at one time we thought we could afford them. As a small, exposed nation, we certainly cannot afford them now. The time has come to return to our democratic roots.