Paying our councillors
RECESSION has focused public attention on payments to politicians to an extent that might have seemed unnecessary in the days of the boom. Over the past two years, ministerial pensions and TDs' and senators' entitlements have been examined and, in some cases challenged, as never before.
In the case of local councillors, trips to conferences, seminars, summer schools and training seminars, and their cost, have naturally come under scrutiny.
As a consequence, Environment Minister John Gormley has introduced new limits on the tax-free allowances available to councillors and the president of the Association of County and City Councils (ACCC) can say with some certainty that, if there was abuse of the conference system, it is now a thing of the past.