Fianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson Niall Collins TD has rejected criticism from Minister Phil Hogan on the decision of opposition parties to vote against a Bill tinkering with the numbers of TDs in Dáil Éireann.
He commented, “What has been clear from the moment this Bill was introduced is that the entire point of the process was not meaningful political reform, but rather headlines for Phil Hogan. Dramatic election promises were abandoned, then a new figure for the total number of TDs was brought in before Government had even received the information from this year’s census. When the increase in population was pointed out to Government, another figure was pulled out of the air without explanation or justification. From day one, Phil Hogan has had the air of a man who had to introduce something, anything that he could describe as political reform. His spin that he is alone in seeking reform will convince no one.
“Genuine political reform is not about tinkering with numbers. It should be about really tackling the disconnect between politicians and the people, not driving them further apart. It should be about bringing Government closer to the communities it serves, rather than making it more remote. It should be about increasing accountability of representatives, rather than further insulating them. There is a demand for real political reform in this country. We voted against Phil Hogan’s window dressing because it was a wasted opportunity.”