The Dáil returned from its eight-week summer break this afternoon for what is expected to be a busy autumn session.

Arriving into Government Buildings this morning, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the upcoming legislative session will be a critical one for the Dáil.

The first legislation to be dealt with this week will allow for two referendums - on judicial pay and Oireachtas inquiries - to be held on the day of the Presidential election on 27 October.

The Dublin West by-election will also take place on the same day.

The Dáil and Seanad will have plenty of other legislation to process.

The Government is committed under the terms of the deal with the IMF and EU to introduce a number of substantial pieces of legislation.

The Budget will be introduced at the start of December and Mr Kenny said the exact scale of cuts will not be agreed until all tax figures are known.

Mr Kenny said the Cabinet will receive recommendations on the sale of State assets and decisions will be made in due course.

There are some new innovations in this Dáil term, with the rules changed to allow for new topical issues debates.

These are designed to give backbench and Opposition TDs a chance to raise matters they are interested in, while the Tánaiste will now answer Leaders' Questions in the Dáil on Thursdays.