Splashing the cash: Oireachtas committees costing €265,000

Panel chiefs told 23 people hired to facilitate establishment of five further committees

There are now 77 staff across 22 committees including 15 policy advisers. Photographs: The Irish Times/Getty Images

There are now 77 staff across 22 committees including 15 policy advisers. Photographs: The Irish Times/Getty Images

 

The new Oireachtas committees are costing €265,000 this year, new figures have confirmed.

The chairpersons of the committees met on Wednesday afternoon to discuss difficulties in scheduling meetings.

They were told 23 new people have been hired to accommodate the establishment of five new committees.

There are now 77 staff across 22 committees including 15 policy advisers.

The budget includes €50,000 for consultancy, €130,000 has been allocated for members travel, €25,000 for chairpersons entertainment purposes and €60,000 has been allocated for legal advice to the committee members.

Committee changes

The new reform measures mean committees can only meet on a Wednesday and a Thursday morning to allow members be present for Dáil business.

It also means additional settings must be sanctioned by the business committee.

However, chairpersons who attended the meeting on Wednesday evening claimed they are unable to hold regular meetings.

There are now only four committees that meet regularly with others struggling to hold fortnightly meetings.

Members raised concerns that they are unable to properly scrutinise legislation due to constraints.