Saturday, August 28, 2010

Political Funding and more expenses

It is all very well and good to talk about limiting registered contributions by companies and individuals to political parties but there is a reason the old parties agreed to this system.

Now the Irish tax payer is to fund political parties on the basis of how well they did in the last election, that makes it a lot harder for new, small parties and to a lesser extent sitting independents.

Bear in mind that Beverley Flynn had to be forced to give up her independents allowance despite rejoining the FF party.

I have seen Amhran Nua ideas being lifted by FF, FG and Labour, so not only do they have a lack of new ideas, they also have an unfair advantage in funding - and it is money and media exposure that win most elections.

Why should the tax payer fund a political party, particularly when one would have profound disagreement with what they stand for, e.g. FF's NAMA support, as well as problems with FG and SF policies

That is creating a further democratic deficit, copper fastening the bottom planks of the established caste and crew on the ship of state from the people whom they are meant to serve.

They really do not want change on this Island, and unless people vote for alternative, protest, parties - there is the probability that the caste will ride out this squall

Political parties received a total of €13,603,264 in state funding for 2009, according to figures released today by the Standards Commission.

The money was paid to the parties under the Electoral Acts and under the Party Leaders Allowance legislation.

Five parties (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, Sinn Féin and the Green Party) received funding of €5,438,385 under the Electoral Acts and those five parties along with the Progressive Democrats received €8,164,879 under the Party Leaders Allowance legislation.
The funding is not subject to income tax and may not be used for electoral or referendum purposes.
The level of funding is linked to pay increases in the civil service; however, the legislation which governs the funding is silent on pay decreases.
Qualified political parties must furnish to the Standards Commission Statements of Expenditure of the funding received.

Non-party members of Dáil and Seanad Éireann also receive funding under the Party Leaders Allowance legislation.
The amount payable to each non-party member of Dáil Éireann during 2009 was €41,152 and the amount payable to each non-party member of Seanad Éireann during the same period was €23,383.

The total paid to non-party members was €306,000. Non-party members are not required, however, to provide a Statement of Expenditure of the allowance to the Standards Commission, or to any other authority.

The Healy Rae Clan have done quite well out of expenses. The Healy Rae brothers are defending one hundred thousand euro in expenses they claimed from Kerry County council.
An Irish Independent investigation reveals Danny and Michael Healy-Rae, were paid a total of €196,000 for 2008/2009.
In the meantime TD Dad Jackie Healy Rae claims he does not have a travel pass.
This is despite the fact that Deputy Healy Rae is entitled to apply for a free pass for public transport as he is over the age of 66.
Everyone aged 66 and over living permanently in Ireland, is entitled to the free travel scheme.
Deputy Healy Rae travels to Dublin on average once a week while the Dáil sits, incurring a fee of up to 72 euro per return train journey.
Deputy Healy Rae is then claim's expenses for these journeys.

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