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Fewer TDs, quicker by-elections and less money for Presidential campaign

Plans to reduce the number of TD in the next Dail, were announced today.

All by-elections will be held within a six month period and a new Constituency Commission will decide how many TDs Dail Eireann needs, Minister for the Environment and Local Government Phil Hogan said.

The amount spent by candidates in the Presidential Election will be reduced from €1.3m to €750,000 and this will happen before October’s Presidential election, Mr Hogan added.

No decision had been made yet on how much of a reduction from the current quota of 166 TDs there would be, but the number would still be within the limits set by the Constitution.

Under existing law, a Constituency Commission is set up after each Census to decide the boundaries of each constituency and the number of TDs to be elected.

“Irish politics needs to start delivering for the Irish people and this Government is determined to make real, tangible reforms which will make the political system leaner and more efficient for its citizens, Mr Hogan said.

'The farcical situation where political parties are forced to take High Court challenges to ensure by-elections are held should never be repeated. To this end the Government will introduce legislation which will guarantee all by-elections are held within six months of a vacancy arising.

'This will ensure that all citizens are fully represented in the Dáil and prevent cynical political tactics which we saw last year.'

The announcement follows other reforms introduced by the Government, including the removal of the automatic entitlement of Ministerial cars and drivers and the reduction in pay for the Taoiseach and Ministers.