Saturday, January 24, 2009

Reform of Oireachtas allowance/expense regime.

The news from the Green Party conference today is typical Green populist posturing – they’ve heard public reaction on talk radio and they’re leading from the rear. Anything to try to grab back a bit of the high moral ground, having already compromised all their core principles to death.

Now here’s what the new expense regime should really look like.

1. Rev. Comm rules should apply to politicians in exactly the same way as they apply to ordinary Joe Citizen – e.g. BIK, receipts, limits etc etc..
2. State transport should only be supplied for state business – not for personal or party business. No garda drivers – if security deemed necessary for any minister, provide it in an appropriate manner. That should only apply to 2-3 key personnel. State cars subject to the same laws as ordinary motorists – e.g. speed limits, red lights, bus lanes etc etc.
3. No daily allowance, currently €60 per day, for attending at Dail Eireann – what other worker gets paid extra simply for turning up? It’s a bloody disgrace.
4. No overnight allowances – the Board of Works to supply hostel accommodation at a convenient location. Take it or leave it. Much of this hostel accommodation (might be split over several locations) can be let to tourists during the overlong summer recess, to offset some of the costs.
5. Travel Allowance – whatever the appropriate bus or train fare might be. Mileage allowance is only to the nearest train station or bus stop, whichever is appropriate. This should help familiarise our public representatives with the quality of our public transport systems.
6. No additional salary/allowances for work on Dail Committees, other than any genuine, vouched out-of-pocket expenses.
7. Constitutional limit on number of junior ministers (currently 20) e.g. maximum 15, as currently applies for full ministers. Others may be appointed if deemed essential, but with title only – no additional pay, perks or pension rights.
8. Dail to sit during normal office hours e.g. 9-5. This will be a more family friendly regime and might encourage more women to participate in politics. It will also allow our TDs to personally experience rush-hour traffic and might incentivise them to do something about it.

What would you like to add?

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