Fine Gael Cork South Central Deputy, Jerry Buttimer, has said the Government decision not to take a mid-term break next week is to be welcomed as it will give TDs and Senators an opportunity to come to the Dáil to debate issues of public importance.
“The decision taken this morning by the Government not to take a mid-term break next week as scheduled, but to come into the Dáil and Seanad, shows it is committed to increasing Dáil sitting days and to getting the country back on track.
“Year on year, proposals are put forward by the Opposition groups for shorter holidays which are routinely voted down by the Government. In this instance, however, the Fine Gael-led Government gave consideration to the Opposition proposal and agreed to forfeit the mid-term break, with both Houses sitting next week.
“This Government is serious about changing the way politics works. As part of our plans for Dáil reform, the Programme for Government commits to the introduction of a package of changes that will bring about a 50% increase in Dáil sitting days. Since coming to office the increase in the number of sitting days for this year is already in the region of 30%. This is due to a reduction of four weeks in the summer break, one week less at Easter, no break at St. Patrick’s Day, the resumption of the Dáil on Tuesday following bank holidays, as opposed to Wednesday as was the norm, and the introduction of Friday sittings. The Dáil Christmas break will also be one week shorter.
“I welcome the decision to come to the House next week and commend the Government on its serious consideration of Opposition proposals.”