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Son - Not like father

category national | irish social forum | opinion/analysis author Thursday July 17, 2008 16:19author by Anthony Sheridan - http://www.publicinquiry.eu/ Report this post to the editors

Irish politicians are among the best paid in the world but clearly not everybody is aware of this fact.

TDs are on a basic salary of about €100,000. This sum can be almost doubled when expenses and allowances are taken into account. Most expenses are unvouched, in other words, it’s assumed that politicians will not rob the taxpayer. And, of course, all expenses are tax free.

In addition, most Fianna Fail TDs and many from other parties are all on nice little earners chairing committees, sub committees and whatever you’re having yourself. Committee chairpersons get €19,535, vice chairpersons €9,700 and sub committee’s chairpersons €6,200.

Only a misinformed fool would claim that our politicians are badly paid but on the Marian Finucane Show last Sunday Billy Keane made just such a claim. Here’s what he had to say.

“The decision that they wouldn’t take the pay rises was a crazy one, they should have taken the pay rises because if you look at the head of the bank of Ireland he’s going to get about 20 times a year what the Taoiseach is getting who’s running the biggest company in Ireland – Ireland Inc.

You (addressing Fianna Fail TD Peter Power who was on the panel) should have taken your pay rises and be men and woman enough to stand up and say we’re worth it that in the future if the politicians are properly paid they won’t be in the kind of financial trouble that Bertie found himself in when he was separated.

I have a lot of sympathy for him but he got himself into a mess, he was short of money because he was being paid peanuts and you know the old saying if you pay peanuts you’ll get monkeys and I think they should have had the courage of their convictions and say we’re worth it, we work very long hours, they have to work around the clock.”

Even Peter Power laughed at Keane’s obvious ignorance regarding pay rates for TDs.

To my knowledge Keane is son of the late lamented John B; a man of genius who, I’m sure, would be deeply embarrassed to hear such misinformed nonsense.

Related Link: http://www.publicinquiry.eu/
author by 221bpublication date Fri Jul 18, 2008 22:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sinn Féin TD's are paid the normal wage, but take home only the average industrial wage.

author by margaretpublication date Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

TDs also get free parking in Leinster house - a great perk. Which means they are much less likely to use public transport and understand how deficient it is in many areas.

Its interesting to compare the treatment of TDs considerable tax free unvouched expenses with the treatment of the business expenses of the self employed. A self employed person must keep records for 7 years and if requested by the Revenue produce receipts/invoices etc to prove that the expenses claimed against income were in fact made and were necessary to carry out the business. The Revenue can disallow expenditure that was clearly made if they consider it did not wholly and exclusively relate to the running of the business - and it is right that they can do this.

TDs effectively get turning up money allowances on top of their excellent salaries. Pity we ordinary workers dont get turning up money.

A 21 year old who has never worked in the real world elected essentially because mum/dad had the seat and died gets the same pay as a 50 year old with wide working experience and qualifications gained before election to the Dail. Does this make sense?

We have a Minister for Health who has never worked in the real world. She got a Senate nomination at age 22 and she's been in the Dail ever since. She knows that the private sector is always more efficient and she's intent on privatising our public health service.

From where does she get this knowledge?

We are paying her a lot of money for her complete lack of real life experience and blinkered approach to just about any issue you could raise.

author by the shadowpublication date Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On the question of expenses for TD's I understand that Independent TD's get a leaders allowance, tax free, of approx 38,000 Euro per year. This stems from the time of the 1997 election.
As they are now backbench Government TDS in all but name rather than leaders should they get that allowance? Its one perk they keep very quiet about!
Running with the hare and hunting with the hounds is very lucrative indeed.

author by whatmeworry?publication date Sat Jul 26, 2008 09:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Link below to a handy list if you need to know who really is who. Getting a nomination is the big thing, and it has a lot in common with the old-style hereditary house of lords.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Families_in_the_Oireachtas
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