Opinion Editorial

Friday 23 March 2018

No dig-outs for book-man Bertie

BERTIE Ahern always prided himself on his modest lifestyle and his penury, alleviated by "dig-outs" from his friends. In retirement, he does not have to worry about money.

He could probably survive well enough on the combination of his annual Dail salary (€98,424) and his ministerial pension (€98,901). But the register of Oireachtas members' interests shows other sources of income. He is on the books of the Washington Speakers Bureau, available to make speeches for a minimum fee of €29,268. When Random House published his autobiography before Christmas, rumours in the literary world spoke of an advance payment of €400,000. His earnings from the sales of a work of literary merit are tax-free.

The former Taoiseach has another literary "nixer", a sports column in the 'News of the World'. Presumably one can take it that Mr Rupert Murdoch's employees have to pay tax on their earnings like anyone else.

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