IT COST OVER €100 million to run the Houses of the Oireachtas last year, according to newly-released figures.
In its annual report for 2013 published last night, the Oireachtas said that it cost €101 million to run the Leinster House complex last year – 10 per cent below budget.
This was €4.6 million less than it cost to run in 2012 with a reduction in the number of staff working for the Houses t0 379 resulting in payroll savings as well as officials managing to do ‘more with less’ according to the report.
The report details how the Dáil sat 123 times or a total of 1,023 sitting hours last year. There were 111 sittings of the Seanad – which avoided abolition in a referendum last year – totalling 722 sitting hours.
This included the late-night sittings to abolish to promissory note in February 2013 and the lengthy abortion debates last summer.
This means that the upper and lower houses sat for a combined total of 234 sitting days or 1,745 sitting hours during 2013.
Oireachtas Committees sat for 580 times or a total of 1,130 hours and published 20 reports.
There were 140 Bills published (up from 119 in 2012) with 58 being government and 82 being Private Members’ i.e. opposition and backbench TDs’.
Despite this increase the total number of pages in the Bills was 2,993 compared with 3,263 in 2012.
Legislators passed 52 Acts through both the Dáil and Seanad – two fewer than in 2012.
TDs and Senators tabled nearly 5,000 amendments to Bills resulting in 129 reprints as a result of amendments by both Houses.
There were 50,926 parliamentary questions processed by the Oireachtas.