With the future of the House in doubt, one Senator today suggested a modest way in which the Seanad can save money - cutting down on the use of envelopes.

Independent Senator Feargal Quinn said he did not understand why members receive a sealed envelope containing each day's running order of the House.

He said the use of such stationery did not make sense and was an area where a lot of savings can be made.

Leader of the House Maurice Cummins noted that the subject has been raised on several occasions. He said he saw no reason for the use of the envelopes, which he said are probably thrown straight into the bin.

Senator Cummins agreed that it was an area where savings could be made.

The Taoiseach has indicated that a referendum on the abolition of the Seanad would be held next year.