Opposition parties are continuing to apply pressure on Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan for urgent reform of Oireachtas expenses.

Labour's Roisin Shortall claimed in the Dáil that opposition from Fianna Fáil backbenchers was delaying reform of Oireachtas expenses and allowances.

Earlier, Mr Lenihan said the issue of Oireachtas expenses must be put into perspective.

The Minister was speaking after the Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, Tom O'Higgins, said his proposals to reform the system governing expenses for TDs and Senators were ignored by the commission.

Mr O'Higgins explained why he resigned in a letter which was disclosed following a Freedom of Information request.

In the letter to the secretary general of the Commission, Mr O'Higgins says expenses should only be given when they are vouched, or backed up by receipts.

He says he had been warning since last May that if a vouched system was not introduced by September he would step down.

Yesterday, Mr Lenihan said he intends to bring forward a fully verifiable and fully vouched system of Oireachtas expenses.

This morning, the minister said abolishing Oireachtas expenses would not solve the country's economic problems.

He said that expenses for Dáil members have already been reduced and how they are vouched for is the issue at hand at the moment.

He said a verifiable system in which the public has confidence must be delivered. Mr Lenihan said such a system can be delivered in a number of weeks.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Senator Dominic Hannigan of the Labour Party and a member of the Audit Committee, which reports to the Oireachtas Commission, called on the Minister for Finance to take action on the issue of expenses.

Meanwhile, the new Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil is expected to be elected on Tuesday afternoon.

A draft timetable for Tuesday's business suggests that outgoing Ceann Comhairle John O'Donoghue should make a statement of resignation at 2.30pm.

The sitting will then be suspended for 15 minutes, after which a new Ceann Comhairle will be elected.