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Politicians Overpaid – Reform Key to Green Campaign

Six Tipperary TDs cost Tipperary taxpayers almost €6.5 million over the last 5 years. Tipperary Greens have produced a summary of the approximate salary and expenses costs of Tipperary TDs as part of the launch of their campaign for political reform, along with other issues including local energy production, broadband access and opportunities for young people.

According to the figures produced, publicly available on www.bit.ly/costoftipptds TDs each cost almost quarter of a million per year. On top of the TDs salary of €87,258 per year, the per year allowances for each TD include: Oireachtas Committee Allowance €9,000; Travel & Accommodation Allowance (on average €30,000 per year for Tipperary); Public Representative Allowance (PRA) for constituency offices (up to €20,000); Secretarial Allowance (up to €40,000), Office Equipment Allowance €8,000; and Mobile Phone Allowance €500. Independents all receive an extra “Leader's” Allowance of €41,092 - giving a financial benefit for candidates to “go independent.”

The figures produced exclude termination sums and pensions of TDs, as well as the additional salaries and pensions of Senior and Junior Ministers. This is despite the reductions of between 10-20% in some of the expenses and allowance made by the current government.

According to Fitzgibbon “TDs salaries and expenses are nearly 10 times the average wage in Ireland. Your average Irish dairy farmer will be lucky to take away €30,000 from milking 60 or 70 cows. That is simply unbelievable. Can our TD's really have any idea what it is like for working people, people living on the minimum wage, or getting by on Carer's allowance, or social welfare?”

Gearóid, speaking during a recent interview with Tipperary Midwest Community Radio stated that if elected, he would give 35% of the TD's €87,358 salary to the Citizens Information Service, largely underfunded, underpaid and lacking a presence in many areas of the county. “We should stop wasting taxpayers money paying for the local constituency offices. These are state-funded vote-getting machines for TDs - who should be focusing on national issues. I'd like to see a properly funded Citizen Information and Advocacy Service which would provide that same information, for free, without favours.”

According to Con Traas, Cahir-based member of the Tipperary Green Party, “Our team has done a great job in putting these figures before the public. We are delighted to have a candidate who is willing to make these issues part of the public debate. Gearóid is committed to a fairer, more equal society. This has to start with our politicians. Other elements supported by the Tipperary Greens are the Reinstate48.ie campaign, and a local recall mechanism by which a Green TD would be directly accountable to the Tipperary electorate. TDs should not be able to ignore the electorate after getting elected. Every other worker in state is directly accountable to a manager, why not our politicians?”

Further details of the Tipperary Green's Political Reform policies, both locally and nationally will available on our blog www.gfitzgibbon.wordpress.com Tipperary Greens are not funded from the public purse. For this reason, they have launched a crowd-funding campaign to be able to participate in this election. Supporters can go to www.gofundme.com/greeningtipp to make a contribution.