Direct Democracy Ireland have this week slammed the politicians who have claimed, at the expense of the taxpayer, cash to help run their Parties. The Standards in Public Office Commission report, confirmed that the tax-free windfall payments were paid out to what was deemed qualified political parties, and more outrageous is the fact these payments are not subject to income tax.
Last year alone €12.6 million was paid out, so if you take that that over a term of Government which is 5 years that’s equates to €63 million: a shocking insult to the people of this country who have bore the brunt of Austerity. How many houses would this money build, how many extra nurses, how many extra hospital beds, how many hungry families would this money help feed?
The list could go on stated Anthony Connor, General Secretary of Direct Democracy Ireland. Four parties (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and the Labour Party) received funding of €5.5 million. The sum received by Fine Gael was €2.2 Million The Labour Party €1.2 Million, Fianna Fail €1.1 Million, and Sinn Fein landed €720,000. Further lump sums were also given to 3 other qualifying bodies, Anti Austerity Alliance, People Before Profit and Stop The Water Tax (The Socialist Party). More cash was also dished out to the Independent TD’s - €563,866 -and Independent Senators - €249,130. And all this on top of their already over the top expenses.
These payments of an allowance for parliamentary activities has been provided for in a series of Acts since 1938 in or around the same time direct democracy was removed from our Constitution which is ironic given that under the direct democracy system politicians were fully accountable to the people and these over the top payments would never have met with their approval.
And what can we do about this? Nothing. Because the current regurgitated system allows this. We need to change the system. We need Direct Democracy.
Connor went on to say:
Direct Democracy Ireland struggle to compete with the major political parties, not in terms of offering realistic change but in terms of the ability to get our message out there, to educate the people of Ireland. Finance is an issue but we would rather go without than claim such large sums from the un-expecting taxpayer. Direct Democracy Ireland is about changing the whole system to stop these kinds of payments to already mega rich political Parties. The system is designed to keep them in and us out.
The SIPO Report