Independent office will 'crunch the numbers' ahead of Budget
A new independent office will be established to "crunch the numbers" ahead of the annual budget.
The office, which will support the work of a new cross Budget and Finance Committee, is one of the key political reform proposals being considered by TDs today. Measures also agreed by the Oireachtas sub-committee on Dáil reform include handing an increased role to the Parliamentary Legal Advisors' Office which allows it to assist backbenchers in drafting legislation.
A new Business Committee comprising of both Government and Opposition TDs will also be set up to plan parliament business on a weekly basis.
Changes to the rules around technical groups, to allow more than one group to be formed, are also included in the draft proposals circulated to TDs.
"This will enable Independents and members in small parties to join forces to get a greater share of parliamentary set pieces," according to the documents, which have obtained by the Irish Independent.
Pre-legislative scrutiny will be extended to non-government bills, which will increase the possibility of those bills being enacted. And an Irish Language Committee will be established.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny will ask the Fine Gael parliamentary party to approve the proposals, pending the acceptance of amendments, at a meeting at Leinster House today.