Politics

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Fine Gael Ard Fheis: Kenny indicates FG strategist Frank Flannery should appear before PAC about pension payments

Published 01/03/2014|16:14

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny pictured with Katie Quirke at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in the RDS.  Picture;  GERRY MOONEY.  1/3/14
Taoiseach Enda Kenny pictured with Katie Quirke at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in the RDS. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 1/3/14
Minisetr Michael Noonan at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in the RDS.  Picture;  GERRY MOONEY.  1/3/14
Minisetr Michael Noonan at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in the RDS. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 1/3/14
Justice minister Alan Shatter pictured at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis with butcher Pat O'Connell.  Picture;  GERRY MOONEY.   1/3/14
Justice minister Alan Shatter pictured at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis with butcher Pat O'Connell. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 1/3/14

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has indicated that Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery should appear in front of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to answer questions about his pension payments relating to his role with the Rehab group.

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Mr Kenny said that board members of charitable organisations should be "forthcoming" about issues of remuneration when public money is involved.

Mr Flannery infuriated PAC members after he failed to turn up at the committee hearing on Thursday, despite being in Leinster House at the same time.

The committee wants to question Mr Flannery, who is a board member and former chief executive of Rehab, about the pension he was receiving the charitable and commercial group.

Speaking to the media at this afternoon's Fine Gael Ard Fheis in Dublin, Mr Kenny said all those involved in Section 38 and Section 39 organisations should be open about remuneration.

"I don't know the details of the reasons he has made the decisions. Let me cover it by saying we've been clear about this, where public monies is involved in any way, people should be forthcoming about what salaries are," he said.

"I've said very clearly that where section 38 and section 39 agencies are involved, where public money is involved, people should be forthcoming about issues like salaries and so on," he added.

Separately, Mr Kenny said that the government will examine how to relieve the tax burden on families, particularly those with "average incomes".

The Fine Gael leader said the government consistently left the rate of income tax untouched, "even in the midst of the very catastrophic economic circumstances".

"Obviously the budgetary figures will be monitored very closely and clearly if the public finances allow that to happen the government will be priority relieving some of the tax burden particualrly on families with average incomes, who pay the high rate of tax," he said.

Mr Kenny also ruled himself again as a potential candidate for the position of European Commission President.

The European Peoples Party, of which Fine Gael is a member, is due to select its candidate for the soon to be vacant position next week.

But the Taoiseach said his focus is firmly on domestic issues.

"My job and my mandate was given to be by the Irish people, we have a job here to do at home to fix our public finances and get our country working, that's my commitment," he said.

Irish Independent

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