FIANNA Fail senator Mark Daly, who is fronting a Kerry campaign to save the Seanad, claims the upper house of the Oireachtas is essential to keep watch over a government that only allows TDs to debate two per cent of the laws that come into effect each year.
HIs claims came as he and Kerry County councillor John Joe Culloty kicked off their campaign against abolishing the Seanad, a vote on which will be held across the country on October 4.
The south Kerry senator, who made headlines when he forced a recall of the Seanad this summer to debate and vote on organ donor legislation, says it's time for what he termed the Government's 'power grab' to stop.
"The power that ministers have to make laws and even amend existing Irish law without having to even consult TDs is extraordinary," he said. "By a stroke of a ministerial pen they can make changes to laws passed by TDs. Ministers also have the power to make additions to any EU law and they don't even have to consult TDs before signing it into Irish law.
"Fine Gael promised to give power to TDS and take power from Ministers by having all EU laws scrutinised by TDs before they are signed into law, this has not happened. TD's are being bypassed on 98 per cent of the laws that come into effect in Ireland every year. The power grab must stop."