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!
Posts tagged: lowry
Today was an exceptionally hectic day which started with 7am wake up call and the usual pandemonium that is the Bopp household on a school/work day. Kids woken, small ones dressed by me while dutiful dad makes 5 packed lunches. First on the agenda, after respective school drop offs in Terryglass and Portumna, was a 2 hour drive to Clonmel where I had an appointment with the returning officer for the North Tipperary consituency (who odly enough is based in South Tipperary). Despite arriving a few minutes late for my appointment at the court house, I got a warm and friendly reception. Both the deputy returning officer and the returning officer were most gracious and accommodating. Staff members even assisted me with a last minute replacement photograph as in the lunacy that is our normal Bopp morning I somehow managed to forget to bring one. I found myself dotting the last “i” and crossing the last “t” on my documents at 11.58am. Note to self: next time make decision to run a sensible period in advance of deadline.
It was first approached to I run in the general election last November. I had watched our country being slowly but steadily being brought to it’s knees by the Fianna Fail / Greens coalition and had voiced my opinion loudly and clearly in a variety of public forums. Discussions with numbers of progressive thinkers had led to the formulation of a set of strong policies. It was clear to me what was needed to bring this country back to the proud Ireland that is should be. However as time passed I hoped that someone would emerge in my constituency that I would be glad to give my vote to. To my utter frustration, this was not to be the case.
So last week I found myself in a position where I should either shut up or step up. From an ethical standpoint I could no longer continue to critisize the current government while not making any contribution to a solution to the current problems. I have sought counsel from a number of people before making a decisionand have been given gems of advice by many. Some of the most interesting discussions so far have been with local veteran politicians. Kudos to them. I feel even stronger about running today than I did 24 hours ago, and 24 hours before that. If there was any doubt in my mind they most certainly have been dispelled by the level feedback I have received from the everyone I have spoken to over the past few days. To hell with “making a small dent” in anyone’s quota, I am in this game to kick some rear ends.
I am hearing on every doorstep that people are tired of cronyism and seeing the same old faces time and time again. Current policies are as jaded as those proposing them. The anger and frustration with the status quo is almost palatable. The electorate is informing themselves and looking for alternatives. The Irish public has watched the actions of the Fianna Fail / Greens closely and they do not like what they see. I spoke to a secondary school teacher in Nenagh yesterday who could barely contain his fury at the fact that we pay double the interest rate on the IMF/ECB “bailout” than for instance Greece. If other European states have been able to negotiate 3% why do we have a special gombeen rate that is double?
Why did Cowen and Lenihan go cap-in-hand, tugging their forelock to the EU, begging for what is nothing more than a high interest loan to bail out foreign banks & bondholders? It is exasperating to listen to our current leading politicians stressing the need for us to comply with these riduculous terms, and to watch them puff up with righteous indignation at the suggestion that we may do well to take a leaf from Iceland’s book.
I intend to fight for change and for the creation of a new government which has Ireland and the people of Ireland in mind while setting out policies and making decisions. We need a government that isn’t estranged from it’s electorate and an electorate that can believe in it’s leaders.If you give me your first preference vote I promise to do my upmost to achieve this!