We must have full disclosure
Published 17/02/2012 | 05:00
At a time when public sector numbers are being reduced and frontline services are being cut to the bone, the revelation that our political parties have received almost €90m from the Exchequer over the past seven years without having to provide any supporting receipts or invoices in return is deeply shocking.
The response to the various tribunals, which showed a political system dangerously dependent on large donations from companies and wealthy individuals, was to partially replace private funding with public funding.
Unfortunately the execution of this change has been botched. As we reveal in today's newspaper, the previous privately-donated political slush funds have given way to what in many cases look suspiciously like taxpayer-provided slush funds.