The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan TD is to commence the drafting of a Bill to implement the recommendations of the Constituency Commission Report 2012. This was agreed in the final cabinet meeting prior to summer recess, held yesterday.
The report recommended that the number of TDs be reduced to 158 from 166. Furthermore, the number of constituencies will be 40 of which 11 will be five-seat, 16 will be four-seat and 13 will be three-seat.
Minister Hogan, speaking following this agreement, mentioned additional political reform progress including the recent passage of the Electoral Amendment (Political Funding) Bill 2011 through the Houses of the Oireachtas. This Bill will “severely curtail” corporate donations and cut the amounts that can be donated to political parties. It also includes the provision that parties that do not select at least 30 percent women candidates at the next General Election will face loosing half of their State funding.