Local development bosses target Hogan on final day
THE bosses of some of the country's local development companies will march on the Dail today in protest at Phil Hogan's plans to align their organisations with local authorities.
Organisers are forging ahead with the protest – despite it being the minister's final day in the Department of the Environment. It was claimed last night over 2,000 people will be in attendance.
For months, bosses of these LEADER companies have expressed opposition to Mr Hogan's plans to give councils greater oversight of how they dispense public funds.
Over €50m of taxpayers' money is pumped into these companies every year, a substantial amount of which is in turn spent on administration and salaries.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday rejected claims that the Government is looking to slash funding or even close LEADER companies. However, the €11m spent on salaries and administration at the companies last year has been described as "excessive" by government sources.
"While we expect Phil Hogan to be moved out of the department, those attending the march will send out the message to the Government to take their hands off our LEADER companies," said Jack Roche of the Duhallow LEADER company in Cork.