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A new era of wasting taxpayers' money is now being ushered in

All the talk about an upturn in the economy has obviously not gone unnoticed in Dail Eireann.

Because if anything marked the Celtic Tiger years, it was our politicians' ability to spend money on themselves while times were good, with salary increases, huge expenses, and private chariots - in the form of chauffeur-driven Mercedes - at the fingertips of every Government minister.

And while relative austerity has been the order of the day in recent times, our great public representatives have decided that rising property prices and increasing tax takes can mean only one thing - it's time to start wasting money again on ludicrous luxuries.

It was announced this week that the Government has advertised for a company to supply brand new uniforms to the 50 or so ushers who walk the corridors of Leinster House, providing security for our elected representatives, guiding visitors to the coffee shop, and reminding certain TDs where the Oireachtas actually sits.


These bespoke uniforms will be individually made to measure for each person, and include not just a suit, shirt and tie, but also socks, belts, overcoats and - wait for it - epaulettes.

In case you think that already sounds like an expensive project, each usher is going to be given a meet and greet with the tailor half way through the process, so they can try on the work in progress and make sure it's to their satisfaction.

In previous years, the Government managed to spend €30k-a-year on maintaining the existing outfits, and presumably replacing one or two when staff retired or new staff joined.

So imagine how much this project is going to cost for all 50 ushers? Or, put another way, how much taxpayers' money is the Government wasting on this shameless indulgence?