One of the hot topics in Irish politics at the moment centres around remuneration of our elected representatives. It was sparked off by revelations that Beverley Flynn, a Mayo TD (like an MP in England), is still receiving money that, morally, she probably shouldn’t be receiving.
If a person is elected to our national parliament as an independent candidate, i.e. not affiliated to any particular political party, it seems that they can claim and extra €41k a year on top of the €100k+ salary and expenses (which can, for TDs in more remote constituencies – like Mayo I assume, amount to a further €100k or so). This extra money is supposed to compensate for the fact that they are not backed by a ‘party machine’ and hence incur extra expenses.
national politics, politics
Many of you will have heard about the difficulties our glorious leader, Bertie Ahern, is having at the moment. For those of you who haven’t, or don’t know who he is, Bertie Ahern is the head honcho of the Irish Government and leader of the governing party. Prime Minister you might say, though it has a different name here in the Emerald Isle. Anyway, he’s in a spot of bother over alleged (?) financial irregularities. Nothing to rival a previous incumbent, Charles Haughey, or Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, but the amounts appear to run into several hundred thousand at least.
The irregularities have come to light as part of the ongoing Tribunal of Inquiry into (primarily) planning corruption in Dublin. This Tribunal was, ironically, set up by ‘The Bert’ himself in 1997 when either he must have believed his unofficial nickname, ‘The Teflon Taoiseach’ or he never thought it would get as far as investigating him. Basically a lot of money has been discovered in Bertie’s pockets, safes, bank accounts and so on and our man is unable to give satisfactory explanations of where the money came from.