Poor attempt to justify expenses
The Oireachtas spokesman who tried to play down and justify the disgraceful figure of €7.83m for TDs' largely tax-free and unvouched expenses in 2009 made a very poor job of it (Irish Independent, January 11).
He stated that last year the commission produced a set of proposals to incorporate a 10pc overall reduction in members' expenses. This was to be in addition to an earlier reduction of 25pc in mileage rates paid to them. He maintains there was a significant reduction in costs incurred by TDs on travel. He makes much of a reduction in the travel budget for Oireachtas Committees in 2009, which itself should have meant an overall reduction in the full figures.
Despite all of these so-called economies, the overall figure not only did not decrease but actually increased by €132,500. How can this be justified in any circumstance? To really make us annoyed, you might now give us the bad news on the expenses of Senators.