Parties with five TDs to be awarded speaking rights in Dáil

Move to lower threshold will benefit the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit

Shane Ross  with TDs from the Independent Alliance  and  Aisling Dunne, one of the party’s co-ordinators for talks with Fianna Fáil. Photograph: RollingNews.ie

Shane Ross with TDs from the Independent Alliance and Aisling Dunne, one of the party’s co-ordinators for talks with Fianna Fáil. Photograph: RollingNews.ie

 

Parties with five TDs or more are to be given full parliamentary status and speaking time in the Dáil for the first time, a committee established to examine political reform has agreed. The decision to lower the threshold for a recognised party from seven to five will primarily benefit the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit (AAA-PBP) group which has six TDs.

The change was agreed at a committee meeting in Leinster House yesterday. The proposal of the committee, chaired by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl, will be put to all 158 TDs today as part of an interim report which will be presented to the House.

The all-party committee was formed after the 32nd Dáil was convened with a view to reforming parliamentary proceedings in light of the more complicated configuration of TDs that emerged from the general election.

Another change agreed by the committee was the introduction of an electronic button allowing a TD to abstain in a vote. Until now when electronic votes were taken members were given two options Tá or Níl. Now a third “abstain” button will be added.

Agreement has not yet been reached on whether permission will be given for more than one technical group of Independent and non-aligned TDs. It is understood the Fianna Fáil delegation raised some concerns in relation to this.

Attendance

Thomas ByrneDarraghRegina DohertyMarcella Corcoran KennedyDavid StantonShane RossEamon RyanThomas PringlePaul MurphyBrendan Howlin

It was also agreed that a business committee should be set up to decide the business of the house, to be chaired by the Ceann Comhairle. However, it would be up to the committee members to decide the business of the day.