PRESS RELEASE 22/10/2011
For immediate release.
Kate Bopp calls for Independent candidates to forego €205,000 leaders’ allowance
Independent candidate for North Tipperary and South Offaly Kate Bopp calls for all independent candidates to agree to forego the €205,000 leaders’ allowance when elected. I only really became aware of this issue yesterday after reading about it in the Independent Newspaper. I know that current wages & allowances for TD’s are an issue that is overdue a review but I was not aware of the specific “Leaders allowance” of €205,000 over 5 years. This is absolutely unacceptable for several reasons. Firstly TD’s already are paid €92,000 per year plus expenses and other allowances. To also pay them in excess of €40,000 per year is absurd especially as this is a “party leader’s allowance” and independents do not have a party.
This allowance was originally introduced in 1938 and the only revision it has since then dates to 2001 when the PD’s extended it to also cover Independent TD’s as they needed the support of a number of independents to prop up their government. Bord Snip Nua has called for it to be scrapped, this was ignored by the Government. While there are a few loose comments about reducing it I would like it to go on record that I will refuse this allowance if elected and I am calling on all other Independents to also pledge to forego the allowance if they get elected.
Facts are that all of the major parties are campaigning on cut backs to be made left right and center while at the same time not pushing for any substantial cuts in their own wages, expenses and allowances. There is a need for politicians to be made aware again that they are public servants and that the Irish people pay their wages. It’s time that the Irish people got value for money!