“Enough is enough”, says cllr Adrienne Wallace in response to the RTÉ probe on councillor’s expenses that exposed two local councillors. RTÉ Investigates revealed that local reps across the country were incorrectly claiming expenses. It revealed that two Carlow Fianna Fáil councillors had broken mileage rules. The pair attended two training events and conferences on the same day and did not claim the shortest overall route. Cllrs Arthur McDonald and John Pender were forced to repay Carlow council hundreds of Euros as a result.
Speaking in response, People Before Profit Cllr Wallace said “People are absolutely fed up with free-loading politicians. This pandemic really highlighted the discrepancies between the average worker and politicians. While essential workers, who usually don’t earn a living wage, were working in the height of the pandemic, local councils stopped meeting altogether. TDs also gave themselves pay rises while refusing to pay student nurses on the front-lines. And now to add insult to injury RTÉ Investigates proved that councillors all over the country were bending the rules or ignoring regulation in order to scam public money.”
Cllr Wallace added “People are not going to accept this type of behaviour anymore. It’s important to highlight that every councillor exposed in the programme was from the establishment parties; and yet there has been a deafening silence from Carlow and Kilkenny TDs on this issue. I am, in particular, calling on Fianna Fáil TD Jennifer Murnane O’Connor to use her platform to ensure the government introduces harsher sanctions and even fines for any councillor involved in cheating the system like this.”
Cllr Wallace concluded “We should also have the right to recall any sitting elected representative who breaks these rules. Post-pandemic I will continue to call for training and conference events for councillors to be held on-line to minimise the cost to the public. It truly is time to end the gravy train.”