Tuesday 18 December 2018

Leave local issues to councillors, not TDs

I have a vision. I have a vision where the people of Ireland will elect men and women to Dail Eireann who will serve all of the country and not just their own local areas and their own selfish interests.

We have created a political system where we depend far too much upon our TDs having a bit of 'pull' or the right 'contacts' to procure our various needs, such as a medical card, when, in reality, it is our rightful entitlement.

As a result, our TDs are more likely to be looking after their own local 'patch' rather than being concerned for the overall good of the country.

You have only to look at how TDs get roads, schools and hospitals built in their constituency, often at the expense of the rest of the country.

The TDs who will shortly be elected will be paid, on average, €2,400 per week plus expenses. Their remuneration is about 10 times more than the majority of us receive.

When one considers the dire economic situation this country is in today, where families are losing their homes, this seems absurd.

TDs have not endured anything like the cuts many of us have taken. We are expected to live and bring up our children on less than €200 per week, with prices still, by and large, at Celtic-Tiger levels.

We must have change.

After what we have witnessed over the past few years, and especially within the past week, the people of Ireland deserve better.

Firstly, all elected TDs should not be dependent upon how well they run their local clinics, ensuring they will obtain enough votes to get re-elected. Rather they should now be re-elected on how well they have performed as national politicians (TDs).

They should leave local issues to local politicians (councillors). To that end might I suggest an office be set aside in every county council in the country for a representative of the ombudsman where local councillors and individuals can take on the role TDs have been performing since the setting up of the State.

Our elected TDs and ministers are being paid far too much in the current economic climate.

In a few weeks' time we will go to the polls. Before we cast our vote, we should pause and think.

Leo Armstrong

Naas, Co Kildare

Irish Independent

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