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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lies, damned lies and TD expenses

Just a quick post to point out the further contempt in which Irish politicians hold their electorate.

In a brief moment of lucidity, Justice Minister Brian Lenihan decided to deal with the issue of dodgy TD expense claims by asking them to swipe a card in and out of the building.

This of course has the additional value of letting security know instantly who's in Leinster House and who isn't at any given time, which would be sort of important in a crisis, like a fire.

The response of one (sadly unnamed) TD in the Irish Independent?

"Can you imagine a member of parliament with a constitutional role having to swipe in as if he were a factory worker?"

To which, the answer from the majority of the people is undoubtedly, 'Yes, we can imagine it. But we don't want to imagine it. We want to see it done. Sign in and out so we can find out how much work you actually do, and let's see how many of you have been fiddling your expenses up until now.'

"What if a fella comes up on a Monday night and decides to go straight to his or her hotel," continued our anonymous TD. "Is he meant to swipe his card first in the Dail?"

Yes. That's the system, gobshite.

You get a card, you swipe it when you go to work and when you leave. You want to go to Dublin late on Monday night and crash out in your hotel room? Fire away. No one is stopping you. But don't expect us to pay you for going to a hotel and lying down!

It's the tone that is objectionable, the self-entitlement that oozes from every word. Scratch the surface further, and you hear of how FF members of the committee that made this recommendation to Minister Lenihan have been continually lobbied by their own party on this issue.

Bottom line is that the Leinster House mob don't want to lose their lucrative expenses and daily allowances that they can currently claim for whether they're entitled or not, because no one checks TD claims.

Earlier this year, the Sunday Mirror did. They found that Beverly Cooper-Flynn had claimed enough mileage in one year to drive the circumference of Planet Earth twice! This clearly did not actually happen, so one can only conclude that Deputy Flynn has got away with yet another lucky and undeserved payday at the taxpayer's expense.

Which is ironic, given her previous job was helping Bank of Ireland customers avoid paying tax. In different ways, Flynn has been screwing us all for years.

Or how about Bertie Ahern claiming mileage (he doesn't drive, has no licence, and as former Taoiseach already has a state Merc and driver on call 24-7) and overnight allowances (he lives in the North inner city, ffs)? Ahern's expenses claims are now about as plausible as his tax status, which continues to make no sense to anyone, least of all the Revenue Commission.

Jackie Healy-Rae also claimed thousands upon thousands of euro in mileage - yet the paper photographed him getting the train! And as a pensioner, he is entitled to travel for free anyway!

The fact is that the honour system can not be used any longer, because it is demonstrable that our TDs don't have any honour.

We need to save money - lots of money - from the state expenditure. Parliamentary remuneration has to stay top of the list. They shouldn't get to take a penny of us without hurting themselves first, because it was them and not the rest of us that scrapped banking legislation, fuelled property speculation and that blew our economy apart.

And we have to start with their expenses, the massive pay cheques they effectively sign for themselves each year without scrutiny.

Let the fuckers sign into work every day or not be paid. Let them produce receipts for everything or receive no expenses.

It's the very least they could do, and Lenihan is utterly right to demand this of them.


Ella said...

Hi JC,

Makes me mad reading this. When I go to work I swipe my card in, I swipe out/in again at lunchtime and finally when I leave for the day. Your average public sector worker does this, it's the politicians who don't have to.

I know on the extreme rare occasion I've incurred work expenses they have had to be fully itemised with receipts and there is an upper limit on what is paid out. It's a system that's works well and means that all monies are accounted for. The rule is no receipt, no reimbursement.

The Irish politicians should adopt this, as it would appear they are not honourable, honest people, but what does that say about the Irish public who keep voting them in? Missed that about Lenihan demanding this, and it's not often I can agree with FF.

Twenty Major said...

To which, the answer from the majority of the people is undoubtedly, 'Yes, we can imagine it. But we don't want to imagine it. We want to see it done.

I really hate all these cunts. Can't we just shoot them all to show the ones elected to replace them we mean business?

Missing Neighbour said...

I think peoples eyes have been opened wide to the corrupt nature of the society we live in. Charlie Brooker has quite a humorous take on it:


JC Skinner said...

In a world of mediocrity, Brooker continues to shine.
Why the lazy bugger restricts himself generally to writing about whatever oul shite he saw on telly I do not know.