The real facts on TDs' expenses
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Published 24/01/2010 | 05:00
Sir -- Daniel McConnell's article (Sunday Independent, January 17, 2010), entitled "TDs share in expenses jackpot as claim hit €8m" claimed that "despite talk of cutbacks, the gravy train showed no signs of slowing down". This isn't serious journalism.
Statements such as "jackpot" and "gravy train" suggest that Oireachtas members enjoy some kind of personal enrichment from the expenses they receive and that the payments made to them are used to fund lavish lifestyles or fill their bank accounts. Fiction.
Furthermore, presenting members expenses in the form of simplistic Premiership style league tables may entertain but it does not inform your readers. For example, it is a geographical inevitability that a TD from Donegal will incur greater travel costs than a TD from Louth -- both due to the respective distance from Leinster House and the size of the area they must traverse when on constituency business.