Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Fine Gael promises 'radical' reform

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny claims his party could overhaul the political system if handed power

Fine Gael has claimed it could overhaul the political system with a referendum on Oireachtas reform if handed power.

Enda Kenny, party leader, said he would put proposals to scrap the Seanad and remove 20 seats from the Dail to a public vote within a year of leading a new government.

The plan would also allow the reformed Oireachtas to cut judges' pay and lower the President's term of office from seven to five years.

Mr Kenny said his "radical" proposals would include the abolition of severance deals and pension changes for government ministers, a pay cut for the Taoiseach as well as a ban on corporate donations.

"Politicians must lead the way and the political system must be overhauled," he said.

Mr Kenny said constitutional changes were needed for some of the reform proposals and would necessitate a referendum.

"We are firm in our belief that these constitutional referenda can be held within one year of a new government being formed," he said.

"One year is enough time for a new government to consult with relevant stakeholders, draught the legislation and put the cases to the people."

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