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The Dáil chamber Screengrab
Political Reform

TDs will sit earlier and for longer from this week

Under changes taking effect this week Leaders’ Questions move to midday on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

THE GOVERNMENT’S MUCH-vaunted Dáil reforms come into effect from this week with TDs to sit from 9.30am on Wednesday and Thursday as well as sitting this Friday.

Though the plans were announced back in September a change to standing orders has meant the reforms have taken until now to be implemented fully.

While the Dáil does not reconvene after its week-long recess until 2pm today the changes will be noticeable from tomorrow when business begins at 9.30am with questions to Minister for Defence Alan Shatter.

Discussion will also begin on the Finance Bill – which implements many of the taxation measures announced in the Budget – at 10.45am.

One of the most significant changes will see the showpiece event of the Dáil week, Leaders’ Questions, pushed to 12 noon on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The Taoiseach will take questions from opposition leaders at the usual 3.15pm time on Tuesdays as has been the case up to now.

The Dáil also sits this Friday and should do so again before the end of November with the government pledging to sit on a Friday every fortnight to deal with committee reports and private members’ legislation i.e. bills not proposed by the government.

The changes mean that the sitting time in the chamber will increase from 23 hours to 28 hours per week and there will be two extra hours to debate actual legislation.

Read: “One cannot have instability”: Taoiseach rules out loosening the party whip

Read: ‘Bogus’ and ‘populist’: The opposition’s take on Dáil reform plan

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