Constituency Review Submission from Alan Richardson
Submission ID: S125
I believe it is timely to consider whether it is appropriate, reasonable and financially viable to consider increasing the number of TDs from 160 to 171.
The numbers quoted in S16.2.2 may have been required in 1937 but are hardly necessary for the 21st century with modern communications systems. An assessment of the cost of generating a TD in terms of salary, pension costs, office space and costs, advisors and support staff should be an urgent review matter. The likely cost of each new TD will run into several million Euro which may not represent best value for the citizenry.
Secondly, to avoid crossing over constituency boundaries, consideration should be given to making each county the constituency, irrespective of population. Presently, Limerick County has the lowest population with 89,749 persons and part of Dublin – Fingal – has the highest with 170,690 people. I suggest that the lowest number of TDs in any county be 3 and the maximum be 5, no matter how great the size of the population of the county. This would make a bias to the smaller populated counties, particularly in rural areas.
Thirdly, TDs who are members of a particular party, and wish to change to another party or become independent, must resign their seats and allow for a byelection on the grounds that they are changing their status from the time of election. This applies to independents who wish to join a registered political party.