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 Heroes: Leo Varadkar (History Forum)

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PostSubject: Heroes: Leo Varadkar (History Forum)   Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:26 pm

Tags : expenses Leo Varadkar

I'm creating a new series for people who should be awarded for doing something or producing something that might make a difference to more people than just themselves or their immediate surroundings. In this post I'm nominating Leo Varadkar for truth, transparency and effort in his move to publish his own expenses.

The set up in this country means that 'freedom' of information means that it's free only if you can pay for it. Hundreds of newspapers around the place publish this information each year and they pay for it and whether it's good or bad for the economy or a tax or whatever bull you want to spout up, information in itself of itself can be a powerful tool for advancement, change, system modification. It's necessary for optimal running of a system in relation to whatever components you have - if your oil or petrol or temperature gauge on your dashboard are broken then you'll be doing more work to make sure your vehicle doesn't explode. This is presuming your eyes and brain are working effectively.

For now, who cares how much he spent on what, at least he's publishing it. Leo Varadkar, we salute you.



well I do.


His blog:
TDs Expenses - how I spent mine !

Quote :
Every few months, the newspapers publish details of expense claims made by TDs and Senators. This information is made available by using the Freedom of Information Act, something that I found very useful in exposing mismanagement and misappropriation at FAS.

TDs and Senators expenses are paid by the House of Oireachtas Commission subject to the approval of the Minister for Finance. I really do not understand why the Commission doesn’t publish details of our expenses every six months as a matter of course. It would be a lot more transparent.

Politics is an expensive business and the cost of being a TD is considerable. It upsets me that alot of good people genuinely believe that TDs expenses are a tax-free bonus that go straight into our pockets. This is not case. To prove it, I have decided to become the first TD to publish details about how I spend my expenses. No doubt I will be criticised on some minor points but I think it is right thing to do in the main. It is public money and the public have a right to know how public money is spent.

As you will see, a lot of it was spent on my constituency operation. The intellectual elite critiscises TDs for spending so much of their time and resources on constituency work rather than parliamentary work. In reality, most TDs try to do both. The people who elect us, our constituents, expect us to keep them informed and to look after the interests of the local area.

The constituency system and the personal mandate of TDs is enshrined in the constitution. Political parties and the whip system are not. To break the link between TDs and their constituencies, the public will have to vote to change the constitution first. I doubt that such a referendum would pass.

Anyway, here’s the bit your probably interested in.

EXPENSES CLAIMED 2008

Constituency Travel Allowence €2,745.12

Miscellaneous Expense Allowence €5, 481.81

Telephone Allowence € 6,348.68

Constituency Office Grant € 9.036.30

Special Secretarial Allowence nil

Office Establishment nil

Mobile Phone Claims €331.00

Travel and Subsistence €10,728.81

ISDN Allowence nil

Non-committee travel nil

TOTAL 34,671.80



EXPENSES INCURRED 2008

CONSTITUENCY OFFICE RENTAL € 10,000

LEINSTER HOUSE GROUP VISITS € 1,465.55

STAFF EXPENSES € 999.34

PLANNING OBSERVATIONS € 290

PURCHASE OF BOOKS € 110

CONSTITUENCY TELEPHONE € 1,723.73

WORK MOBILE PHONE € 2,878.20

COURIER € 124.50

OIREACHTAS BROADCAST UNIT € 25

ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIPS €250

ADVERTISING (Local Media) €868

ADVERTISING (Local Charitable) € 1,835

DONATIONS (Charitable) € 1.075

BANKING FEES (Political Account) € 158.42

HIRE OF HALLS (Public Meetings) € 625

TRAVEL and ACCOM (outside Dublin) € 1,270

GRAPHIC DESIGN € 450

LEAFLET DELIVERY € 7,503.22

PURCHASE OF PHONES € 331.00

OFFICE OPENING COSTS € 288.70

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE € 291.50

OFFICE ELECTRIC BILL € 260

INTERNET € 835.92

SEMINAR ON LISBON TREATY € 510.95

PRINTING (Outsourced) € 650

TOTAL € 34,819.03



The Expenses Incurred do not include costs associated with travel to and from the Dail or work-related travel within the Dublin West constituency or the Greater Dublin Region. Also excluded are contributions to Fine Gael, entertainment other than for groups visiting Leinster House, the staff Christmas Party, clothing, taxis, laundry, dry-cleaning, grooming and hair dos ! Expenses incurred do include membership of business associations, academic istitutes and my local Arts Centre, advertisements in programmes for fundraisers for sports clubs and societies and charitable donations to my local hospice and some other charities operating in Dublin West. Committee Travel which is fully vouched is not included.

Tribune:
Varadkar puts it up to fellow TDs by publishing expenses

Quote :
'Blogger' Fine Gael deputy almost balances the books by claiming his allowances – but ends up €147 out of pocket

IT is the eternal thorn in the side of politicians – the dreaded expenses accounts and, more to the point, the public perception of how they pocket taxpayers' cash.

But one politician may just have come up with the answer – a clear-cut table on expenses claimed and those incurred; a 100% transparent breakdown of every penny that comes in and out of a TD's pocket during a year of official business.

This year Dublin West TD Leo Varadkar decided to blog a comprehensive list of his annual costs contrasted with the expense allowances he claimed from the state coffers.

Last year Varadkar claimed a total of €34,671.80 but spent a total of €34,819.03 on official business, a difference of €147.23.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes: Leo Varadkar (History Forum)   Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:08 pm

Yes but the utter arrogance, spite and political oppertunism that seep out of every pore of his body ensure we'll always have dodgy FF running place. I mean it, he's a very big part of the reason I don't vote FG. So he's helping corruption really.

You fail to see the bogger picture Audi.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes: Leo Varadkar (History Forum)   Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:17 pm

I think Varadkar is a guy of undeniable talent and he will have a successful career in politics so long as he retains his seat, which you would imagine he will. He does also have the ability to make a difference and I think there is a moral backbone to the guy. However, I agree with 905 in that he is arrogant and a political oppertunist, which is off putting. He is a young man, hopefully he will mature - I certainly don't think he is near leadership quality yet, he has alot to learn.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes: Leo Varadkar (History Forum)   Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:30 pm

905 wrote:
Yes but the utter arrogance, spite and political oppertunism that seep out of every pore of his body ensure we'll always have dodgy FF running place. I mean it, he's a very big part of the reason I don't vote FG. So he's helping corruption really.

You fail to see the bigger picture Audi.
One of the things that people talk about with regard to FF is how much is spent on what. They are notorious for not publishing indeed hiding any information they are asked for with regards to money from local councils to county to Dαil. They are aided by ourselves in this country who tend to recoil bashfully from any talk of money, fumbling in tills, prices, costs, etc. etc. etc. We use expressions like 'penny pincher', 'scrooge', 'miser' liberally or used to and we tend to enjoy when we can label someone as such. WE NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH IS SPENT ON WHAT. Sorry for shouting but it's an important point.

We Need to Grow Up About Money and I hope that this meltdown will usher in some maturity about prices, costs etc. Opportunism is one thing but the likes of FF -- watch them in Opposition when they finally crash land there --- have the secret motto I'd imagine : "If opportunity doesn't come knocking, build a door" but I don't think Varadkar can be accused of this can he ?

What's so inappropriate about opportunism, 905 ? I'd agree with you on arrogance in general and I'll take both your points that Varadkar is an arrogant sob but I'll reserve judgement myself for the moment as it's a quality that for me isn't as evil as some others. Would you prefer your villains smiling as they knife you between the fourth and fifth rib ?


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:32 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : added shouting)
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes: Leo Varadkar (History Forum)   Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:36 pm

Thieves are opportunistic.

No you're right far he's the lesser of two evils. But I can't stand the bastard, it's a very personal thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes: Leo Varadkar (History Forum)   Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:40 pm

905 wrote:
Thieves are opportunistic.

No you're right far he's the lesser of two evils. But I can't stand the bastard, it's a very personal thing.
Jaysus 905 - so are brilliant businessmen, inventors, cats, dogs, YOUR WIFE.
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PostSubject: Re: Heroes: Leo Varadkar (History Forum)   Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:53 pm

905 wrote:
Yes but the utter arrogance, spite and political oppertunism that seep out of every pore of his body ensure we'll always have dodgy FF running place. I mean it, he's a very big part of the reason I don't vote FG. So he's helping corruption really.

You fail to see the bogger picture Audi.

Just as I thought - its a flaw in our national character that we often prefer the greater of two evils. We prefer the knife in the back to the slap in the face.
If there is something I cant stand its two-facedness.
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