Thursday 18 January 2018

Shane Coleman: McGuinness isn't alone in failures of judgment

John McGuinness: hit by controversy
John McGuinness: hit by controversy
Shane Coleman

Shane Coleman

THEY still don't get it in Leinster House. It is five years since the economy fell off a cliff. Yet the public would be forgiven for thinking little has changed in the political bubble on Kildare Street.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is the body with the specific remit of keeping a beady eye on state spending. Yet yesterday, its chairman, John McGuinness, tried to argue there were times when the taxpayer should pay for ministerial spouses to go on trade missions.

It's just the latest hit to Mr McGuinness's credibility following a series of revelations in the Irish Independent. First came the controversy over the renovation of his ministerial office. Then it emerged that while he was junior minister, his son was paid €30,800 overtime – on top of his €42,000 salary – in one year for his role as personal secretary to Mr McGuinness.

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