Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton has said he is absolutely convinced that Ireland could manage its affairs with fewer politicians.

Speaking on RTÉ's This Week, Mr Bruton said the Seanad should be abolished.

He said people do not believe that politics has been reformed enough in the face of the current economic crisis, or that the Government was also reforming the Dáil.

However, former Fianna Fáil minister Mary O'Rourke said the Seanad has a useful role in the scrutiny of European Union legislation and statutory instruments.

Speaking on the same programme, she that when she campaigned in the last general election, no one on the doorsteps was fired up by the idea of the abolition of the Seanad.

Ms O'Rourke also said Fine Gael's promise to reduce by 20 the number of Dáil TDs has “gone out the window” and there were now only nine fewer deputies.