Machine Nation

Irish Politics Forum - Politics Technology Economics in Ireland - A Look Under The Nation's Bonnet


Devilish machinations come to naught --Milton
 
PortalPortal  HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log in  GalleryGallery  MACHINENATION.org  

Share | 
 

 TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2  Next
AuthorMessage
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:32 pm

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

EXPENSES CLAIMED 2008

Constituency Travel Allowence €2,745.12

Miscellaneous Expense Allowence €5, 481.81 what does this mean?

Telephone Allowence € 6,348.68 500 per month, ish.

Constituency Office Grant € 9.036.30

Special Secretarial Allowence nil

Office Establishment nil

Mobile Phone Claims €331.00

Travel and Subsistence €10,728.81 on what, exactly?

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 says a lot, really...

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 what does this mean?

DONATIONS (Charitable) € 1.075 and this?

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 Holy shit!!!

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
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Esitmates forum - TD's expenses ..   Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:46 pm

Kate I'm putting your Leo Varadkar post from the Heroes thread in here ok ?
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:13 pm

Let it be done...
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:32 pm

oh FFS..................

Leo probably buys most of his books himself personally and is not billing the state for them - He is one of the best read individuals I know - the 110 is probably for reports and the like - that can be well justified given his position. The bitchiness displayed above in regard to this stinks of journos elitism.

7 grand for leaflet dropping - that isnt bad when you break it down over the year and the fact that TDs pay for their councillors and local party leaflets aswell - given that I know Leo keeps his consititutents well informed - he at least 6 general newsletters a year as well as specialist drops in various areas of what is a big constituency and growing population wise - volunteers cant possibly cover the whole area - break that down with councillors and the lisbon drops thrown in and it probably comes to about 600 euro a drop - which is fcuk all really.

Well this a perfect instance of damned if you - damned if you dont - people expect a perfect democracy in this country as long as it doesnt cost them anything.

NB - you will notice he has these 2 expenses down as "incurred" as opposed to "claimed"!
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:34 pm

I agree, Edo
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:39 pm

Kate P wrote:
Quote :
Anyway, here’s the bit your probably interested in.

EXPENSES CLAIMED 2008

Constituency Travel Allowence €2,745.12

Miscellaneous Expense Allowence €5, 481.81 what does this mean? (Tds are entitled to claim under this allowance - I grant you its not well defined)

Telephone Allowence € 6,348.68 500 per month, ish. (all office phones in the Dail buildings are metered - Tds have to pay for it themselves + mobile allowance)

Constituency Office Grant € 9.036.30

Special Secretarial Allowence nil

Office Establishment nil

Mobile Phone Claims €331.00

Travel and Subsistence €10,728.81 on what, exactly? - you mightned have noticed - but he is party spokesman on Enterprise and employment - fair bit of travel around the country involved in that and lots of business conferences to attend etc etc - that costs

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 says a lot, really...

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 what does this mean?

DONATIONS (Charitable) € 1.075 and this?

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 Holy shit!!!

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
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:53 pm

I wonder what the books were though? What books would serve the national interest for him to have.
Isabel Patterson: The God of the Machine?
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:26 pm

Edo wrote:
oh FFS..................

Leo probably buys most of his books himself personally and is not billing the state for them - He is one of the best read individuals I know - the 110 is probably for reports and the like - that can be well justified given his position. The bitchiness displayed above in regard to this stinks of journos elitism.

7 grand for leaflet dropping - that isnt bad when you break it down over the year and the fact that TDs pay for their councillors and local party leaflets aswell - given that I know Leo keeps his consititutents well informed - he at least 6 general newsletters a year as well as specialist drops in various areas of what is a big constituency and growing population wise - volunteers cant possibly cover the whole area - break that down with councillors and the lisbon drops thrown in and it probably comes to about 600 euro a drop - which is fcuk all really.

Well this a perfect instance of damned if you - damned if you dont - people expect a perfect democracy in this country as long as it doesnt cost them anything.

NB - you will notice he has these 2 expenses down as "incurred" as opposed to "claimed"!

Hold your horses, Edo!! Journos elitism my eye.

The details were posted on another thread and I responded to it, because far from anwswering questions, Mr Varadkar's blog comment actually raise more questions about what he spends his our money on. There's no presupposition that there's anything shady - in fact most of the comments ask questions. Nothing too bloody elite about that.


What are the miscellaneous expenses? Five grand on miscellaneous expenses with no explanation as to where they might be coming from is not much help. Multiply it by 166 and you'll see why. It may well be that some of the expenses incurred are covered under that heading.


Quote :
Travel and Subsistence €10,728.81 on what, exactly? - you mightned have noticed - but he is party spokesman on Enterprise and employment - fair bit of travel around the country involved in that and lots of business conferences to attend etc etc - that costs



That's as may be. But if he's spending the guts of a thousand Euro a month on it, he must be a far busier man than I have ever given him credit for. 250 ish per week (leaving out Christmas etc) is a lot of subsistence, wouldn't you think?
He states further down that his expenses incurred for travel outside of Dublin equate to just over 1,000.

I appreciate that you're not his accountant but since you feel the need to defend him so robustly you might be able to clarify this for me.

Re leaflet delivery.

He states that it costs 650 to get stuff printed. That doesn't seem like a lot to me, especially in a referendum year but perhaps the party stumped up for general leaflets (ie, ones that don't have the pol's face on the front cover, the ineffective leaflets that voters didn't like). But over 7,000 for delivery of those leaflets sounds bizarre. At 10 cent per leaflet or 100 Euro per thousand that's a hell of a lot of leaflets. I'm just curious.

I'd also like to know more about what those charitable donations refer to - especially charitable advertising??? Never heard of that before.

110 isn't a lot to spend on books, bearing in mind that if he has to buy copies of legislation at the same rate the rest of us pay for it, he'd leave the Gvt Publications office with one arm hanging not too much longer than the other. I don't think he'd get a smell of employment legislation for that amount.

If you can clarify for me how it costs ten grand to rent a constituency office, and the following to run it, why is the staff cost less than a thousand Euro. I'm happy to admit I don't understand these things and would benefit from any wisdom you could offer.

OFFICE OPENING COSTS € 288.70

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE € 291.50

OFFICE ELECTRIC BILL € 260

INTERNET € 835.92
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:34 pm

Kate P wrote:
Edo wrote:
oh FFS..................

Leo probably buys most of his books himself personally and is not billing the state for them - He is one of the best read individuals I know - the 110 is probably for reports and the like - that can be well justified given his position. The bitchiness displayed above in regard to this stinks of journos elitism.

7 grand for leaflet dropping - that isnt bad when you break it down over the year and the fact that TDs pay for their councillors and local party leaflets aswell - given that I know Leo keeps his consititutents well informed - he at least 6 general newsletters a year as well as specialist drops in various areas of what is a big constituency and growing population wise - volunteers cant possibly cover the whole area - break that down with councillors and the lisbon drops thrown in and it probably comes to about 600 euro a drop - which is fcuk all really.

Well this a perfect instance of damned if you - damned if you dont - people expect a perfect democracy in this country as long as it doesnt cost them anything.

NB - you will notice he has these 2 expenses down as "incurred" as opposed to "claimed"!

Hold your horses, Edo!! Journos elitism my eye.

The details were posted on another thread and I responded to it, because far from anwswering questions, Mr Varadkar's blog comment actually raise more questions about what he spends his our money on. There's no presupposition that there's anything shady - in fact most of the comments ask questions. Nothing too bloody elite about that.


What are the miscellaneous expenses? Five grand on miscellaneous expenses with no explanation as to where they might be coming from is not much help. Multiply it by 166 and you'll see why. It may well be that some of the expenses incurred are covered under that heading.


Quote :
Travel and Subsistence €10,728.81 on what, exactly? - you mightned have noticed - but he is party spokesman on Enterprise and employment - fair bit of travel around the country involved in that and lots of business conferences to attend etc etc - that costs



That's as may be. But if he's spending the guts of a thousand Euro a month on it, he must be a far busier man than I have ever given him credit for. 250 ish per week (leaving out Christmas etc) is a lot of subsistence, wouldn't you think?
He states further down that his expenses incurred for travel outside of Dublin equate to just over 1,000.

I appreciate that you're not his accountant but since you feel the need to defend him so robustly you might be able to clarify this for me.

Re leaflet delivery.

He states that it costs 650 to get stuff printed. That doesn't seem like a lot to me, especially in a referendum year but perhaps the party stumped up for general leaflets (ie, ones that don't have the pol's face on the front cover, the ineffective leaflets that voters didn't like). But over 7,000 for delivery of those leaflets sounds bizarre. At 10 cent per leaflet or 100 Euro per thousand that's a hell of a lot of leaflets. I'm just curious.

I'd also like to know more about what those charitable donations refer to - especially charitable advertising??? Never heard of that before.

110 isn't a lot to spend on books, bearing in mind that if he has to buy copies of legislation at the same rate the rest of us pay for it, he'd leave the Gvt Publications office with one arm hanging not too much longer than the other. I don't think he'd get a smell of employment legislation for that amount.

If you can clarify for me how it costs ten grand to rent a constituency office, and the following to run it, why is the staff cost less than a thousand Euro. I'm happy to admit I don't understand these things and would benefit from any wisdom you could offer.

OFFICE OPENING COSTS € 288.70

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE € 291.50

OFFICE ELECTRIC BILL € 260

INTERNET € 835.92

I think you don't understand the nature of the job, Kate.

The leaflet cost is perfectly normal. There are 52,000 voters in Dublin West. An active TD will have to do at least 5 leaflet drops in a year. That means 260,000 leaflets that have to be designed, printed and distributed. The days when political parties could use grassroots to do all the drops are long since gone. For a start as with most organisations, political and non-political alike, active participation rates are down and the main activists are older. They are in no way able to drop 260,000 leaflets, so a TD has to hire a professional company to drop them. In a place like Dublin West someone like Varadkar could easily have to do 7-8 leaflet drops a year. To get by on only €7K a year for leaflet drops frankly is a steal.

Travel and subsistence is exactly what it says, and perfectly logical. TDs travel a hell of a lot. If they want to hold onto their seat they have to travel constantly to every community, every street, every location in the constituency. Yes I know that isn't what a legislator should be doing, but the blame lies solely with the voters. They don't vote on whether you introduce good bills or come up with good amendments. They vote for you on whether you regularly went to their local community, turned up on their street when there was a problem, showed up in their local hall a couple of times a month, etc. Why do you think voters voted out top legislators like Alan Dukes, Alan Shatter, etc and elected people like Jackie Healy Rae? If you want to be a legislator, then to get the chance you have to hold your seat, and to hold your seat you have to traipse around every fucking nook and cranny of the constituency. It is crazy, but that is the public's decision. To give an example, Jim Mitchell won plaudits from the media for chairing the Public Accounts Committee. But it lost him his seat. He spent too much time on national stuff and the voters of Dublin central got angry, telling him in the election "we never see you any more around our communities. Therefore we won't vote for you." And they did that even though not only was he saving hundreds of millions of pounds through the PAC for taxpayers. He was also battling cancer! Believe me, Irish voters can be a shower of ruthless bastards who couldn't give a damn about national issues once you get their stop sign moved, their kids houses, and are at their beck and call day and night. TDs aren't legislators. They are legislators/social workers/fixits/contacts when something goes wrong, etc.

And is before you consider that as a party spokesperson Varadkar will be expected to be available 7 nights a week for (a) party meetings (branches, executives, national, etc) (b) media interviews, (c) anything else his party or the media can throw at him. Many TDs are lucky to get home before midnight more than twice a week.

As to charitable donations - I mentioned that voters are ruthless c*nts when dealing with TDs. when it comes to charities, they are the worst of them all. Years ago a then Lord Mayor was invited to a function for old people. He agreed. Then he was told he should bring his wife. After he said they said "oh, and her ticket will be £100!" By then he could not back out. When he got there the ruthless SOBs treated him as a cash machine. They had five raffles. At every one they announced before he could say no that he had agreed to buy 30 tickets each time, each ticket costing £1. (Total cost £150) They stitched him up with rounds of drink ("the Lord Mayor will pay for this round for 20 people") and then in one of the draws he won top prize, a car. Before he could even claim it they announced 'on his behalf' that he was 'donating' the car back! Whenever he protested, he was told in a pretty threatening matter "do you really want the word to be spread around your constituency that you won't help out old people at a charity? Do you?" They were deadly serious. It was blatant blackmail, and it happens to TDs all the time. ("Do you really want the people of this parish/community/housing estate etc to be told you won't help old people/young people/poor people/the missions etc?" (TDs who stood their ground found at the next election that they were no longer TDs, having had rumours go around that they were misers/hypocrites/not interested in young or old people or whoever.) That guy was effectively mugged that night for £700 by a shower of greedy cynical old people. But if he could not turn up he would have been smeared as getting 'too big for his boots'/'a swelled head' etc. Charities in five seaters can rake in thousands by mugging every TD, senator and councillor unfortunate enough to come into contact with them.

As for constituency rental, the days when a TD could hold clinics in the snug of the local pub are long gone. Most TDs have not one but a couple of professional offices, staffed with a mixture of professional staff and party members working for free. And they can't if possible go for upstairs offices (old people won't get up the stairs) or standard offices (which will not welcome lots of people traipsing in and out). So they have to hire unused shops, fully equip them, and insure them, and have them staffed, and pay for extra costs that may not be covered. Those offices have to be visible on main streets, so will be (very) expensive.

As to the books, he has access to the Dαil library and state publications are given to him for free as a TD because you need them to do your job. Varadkar may simply have bought extra books that either were not available in the Dαil Library or specialist books he particularly wanted to brief him up on a topic, a book he wanted to own rather than get from the library.

Yes TDs are well paid, overpaid in my view. But the costs of the job are phenomenal. Most people who work with TDs would never in a million years become a TD themselves because they see the unsocial hours, late nights, massive costs, endless travelling, and the dealing with some voters that frankly wreck their heads. It is by no means an easy or cheap job.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:41 pm

Used to be traditional for Frank Dunlop or his paymasters to pick up the tab for politicians' leaflet drops in Dublin West. Ah, memories...

Fair play to Varadkar for this great move, but why do I still feel the urge to smack him when I see him on telly? It's almost Pavlovian at this stage...
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:08 am

Quote :
I think you don't understand the nature of the job, Kate.

The leaflet cost is perfectly normal. There are 52,000 voters in Dublin West. An active TD will have to do at least 5 leaflet drops in a year. That means 260,000 leaflets that have to be designed, printed and distributed. The days when political parties could use grassroots to do all the drops are long since gone. For a start as with most organisations, political and non-political alike, active participation rates are down and the main activists are older. They are in no way able to drop 260,000 leaflets, so a TD has to hire a professional company to drop them. In a place like Dublin West someone like Varadkar could easily have to do 7-8 leaflet drops a year. To get by on only €7K a year for leaflet drops frankly is a steal.

I'm not arguing the costs of the job, PK. Varadkar posted the expenses and I'm trying to make sense of them. That's perfectly legitimate. I don't particularly care about what Leo Varadkar does.

Read what he wrote. He spent 620 on printing and 7k on delivery.
Now look at this figure for printing 20,000 flyers. and An Post's circa 10 cent per leaflet drop, the figures clearly don't add up. It's not a case, though thank you for pointing it out, that I don't understand the job - it's the figures I don't get.

Where is Leo Varadkar going in Dublin that it costs him almost 250 per week in transport? He lives in Dublin and you point out that he'd wear out shoeleather in travelling his constituency. Bully for him. If he works five nights a week (and that's on top of being 'overpaid' - your words, not mine) what travel and subsistence, in Dublin where there is public transport, is worth almost 25% more than I'd get if I was made redundant in the morning? I drove almost a thousand miles working last week and it cost me less than a hundred Euro in diesel. If I'd had afternoon tea in the Four Seasons for five days I could have made it up to 250 for the week's expenses. The point is, it's a lot of money and your explanation doesn't make it any clearer.

I know what a charitable donation is (surprise, surprise) and part of me thinks TDs should pay it out of their own pockets because that is charity not a legitimate business expense. On the other hand, I'm not sure what charitable advertising is. I'm none the wiser after your considered post.

I think you might be the one out of touch with the dropping of leaflets because 7-8 drops in a year is utopian in my neck of the woods. Maybe it's different in the city, it always is. 52,000 voters is not 52,000 homes. I live in a five seat constituency and if I got 8 leaflets in total last year, it's as much as I got. If it's as expensive as you suggest and as my figures above would indicate, then he got another FG 'good deal' like they did at Carton House, apparently.

Re the office, the question I asked is how can he only need a thousand Euro to staff it when it costs ten grand to rent. If it's open 50 weeks of the year, then it's costing 20quid a week. It seems on the low side. Again, it's the figures that seem strange, not the fact of the expenditure which I haven't disputed.

110 on books - fine, who cares.

Maybe Leo could join us and explain himself how the sums add up, explain the mysteries of a TDs expense account. There may be perfectly logical explanations and no doubt there are, but I haven't heard any yet.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:20 am

Papal Knight wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Edo wrote:
oh FFS..................

Leo probably buys most of his books himself personally and is not billing the state for them - He is one of the best read individuals I know - the 110 is probably for reports and the like - that can be well justified given his position. The bitchiness displayed above in regard to this stinks of journos elitism.

7 grand for leaflet dropping - that isnt bad when you break it down over the year and the fact that TDs pay for their councillors and local party leaflets aswell - given that I know Leo keeps his consititutents well informed - he at least 6 general newsletters a year as well as specialist drops in various areas of what is a big constituency and growing population wise - volunteers cant possibly cover the whole area - break that down with councillors and the lisbon drops thrown in and it probably comes to about 600 euro a drop - which is fcuk all really.

Well this a perfect instance of damned if you - damned if you dont - people expect a perfect democracy in this country as long as it doesnt cost them anything.

NB - you will notice he has these 2 expenses down as "incurred" as opposed to "claimed"!

Hold your horses, Edo!! Journos elitism my eye.

The details were posted on another thread and I responded to it, because far from anwswering questions, Mr Varadkar's blog comment actually raise more questions about what he spends his our money on. There's no presupposition that there's anything shady - in fact most of the comments ask questions. Nothing too bloody elite about that.


What are the miscellaneous expenses? Five grand on miscellaneous expenses with no explanation as to where they might be coming from is not much help. Multiply it by 166 and you'll see why. It may well be that some of the expenses incurred are covered under that heading.


Quote :
Travel and Subsistence €10,728.81 on what, exactly? - you mightned have noticed - but he is party spokesman on Enterprise and employment - fair bit of travel around the country involved in that and lots of business conferences to attend etc etc - that costs



That's as may be. But if he's spending the guts of a thousand Euro a month on it, he must be a far busier man than I have ever given him credit for. 250 ish per week (leaving out Christmas etc) is a lot of subsistence, wouldn't you think?
He states further down that his expenses incurred for travel outside of Dublin equate to just over 1,000.

I appreciate that you're not his accountant but since you feel the need to defend him so robustly you might be able to clarify this for me.

Re leaflet delivery.

He states that it costs 650 to get stuff printed. That doesn't seem like a lot to me, especially in a referendum year but perhaps the party stumped up for general leaflets (ie, ones that don't have the pol's face on the front cover, the ineffective leaflets that voters didn't like). But over 7,000 for delivery of those leaflets sounds bizarre. At 10 cent per leaflet or 100 Euro per thousand that's a hell of a lot of leaflets. I'm just curious.

I'd also like to know more about what those charitable donations refer to - especially charitable advertising??? Never heard of that before.

110 isn't a lot to spend on books, bearing in mind that if he has to buy copies of legislation at the same rate the rest of us pay for it, he'd leave the Gvt Publications office with one arm hanging not too much longer than the other. I don't think he'd get a smell of employment legislation for that amount.

If you can clarify for me how it costs ten grand to rent a constituency office, and the following to run it, why is the staff cost less than a thousand Euro. I'm happy to admit I don't understand these things and would benefit from any wisdom you could offer.

OFFICE OPENING COSTS € 288.70

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE € 291.50

OFFICE ELECTRIC BILL € 260

INTERNET € 835.92

I think you don't understand the nature of the job, Kate.

The leaflet cost is perfectly normal. There are 52,000 voters in Dublin West. An active TD will have to do at least 5 leaflet drops in a year. That means 260,000 leaflets that have to be designed, printed and distributed. The days when political parties could use grassroots to do all the drops are long since gone. For a start as with most organisations, political and non-political alike, active participation rates are down and the main activists are older. They are in no way able to drop 260,000 leaflets, so a TD has to hire a professional company to drop them. In a place like Dublin West someone like Varadkar could easily have to do 7-8 leaflet drops a year. To get by on only €7K a year for leaflet drops frankly is a steal.

Travel and subsistence is exactly what it says, and perfectly logical. TDs travel a hell of a lot. If they want to hold onto their seat they have to travel constantly to every community, every street, every location in the constituency. Yes I know that isn't what a legislator should be doing, but the blame lies solely with the voters. They don't vote on whether you introduce good bills or come up with good amendments. They vote for you on whether you regularly went to their local community, turned up on their street when there was a problem, showed up in their local hall a couple of times a month, etc. Why do you think voters voted out top legislators like Alan Dukes, Alan Shatter, etc and elected people like Jackie Healy Rae? If you want to be a legislator, then to get the chance you have to hold your seat, and to hold your seat you have to traipse around every fucking nook and cranny of the constituency. It is crazy, but that is the public's decision. To give an example, Jim Mitchell won plaudits from the media for chairing the Public Accounts Committee. But it lost him his seat. He spent too much time on national stuff and the voters of Dublin central got angry, telling him in the election "we never see you any more around our communities. Therefore we won't vote for you." And they did that even though not only was he saving hundreds of millions of pounds through the PAC for taxpayers. He was also battling cancer! Believe me, Irish voters can be a shower of ruthless bastards who couldn't give a damn about national issues once you get their stop sign moved, their kids houses, and are at their beck and call day and night. TDs aren't legislators. They are legislators/social workers/fixits/contacts when something goes wrong, etc.

And is before you consider that as a party spokesperson Varadkar will be expected to be available 7 nights a week for (a) party meetings (branches, executives, national, etc) (b) media interviews, (c) anything else his party or the media can throw at him. Many TDs are lucky to get home before midnight more than twice a week.

As to charitable donations - I mentioned that voters are ruthless c*nts when dealing with TDs. when it comes to charities, they are the worst of them all. Years ago a then Lord Mayor was invited to a function for old people. He agreed. Then he was told he should bring his wife. After he said they said "oh, and her ticket will be £100!" By then he could not back out. When he got there the ruthless SOBs treated him as a cash machine. They had five raffles. At every one they announced before he could say no that he had agreed to buy 30 tickets each time, each ticket costing £1. (Total cost £150) They stitched him up with rounds of drink ("the Lord Mayor will pay for this round for 20 people") and then in one of the draws he won top prize, a car. Before he could even claim it they announced 'on his behalf' that he was 'donating' the car back! Whenever he protested, he was told in a pretty threatening matter "do you really want the word to be spread around your constituency that you won't help out old people at a charity? Do you?" They were deadly serious. It was blatant blackmail, and it happens to TDs all the time. ("Do you really want the people of this parish/community/housing estate etc to be told you won't help old people/young people/poor people/the missions etc?" (TDs who stood their ground found at the next election that they were no longer TDs, having had rumours go around that they were misers/hypocrites/not interested in young or old people or whoever.) That guy was effectively mugged that night for £700 by a shower of greedy cynical old people. But if he could not turn up he would have been smeared as getting 'too big for his boots'/'a swelled head' etc. Charities in five seaters can rake in thousands by mugging every TD, senator and councillor unfortunate enough to come into contact with them.

As for constituency rental, the days when a TD could hold clinics in the snug of the local pub are long gone. Most TDs have not one but a couple of professional offices, staffed with a mixture of professional staff and party members working for free. And they can't if possible go for upstairs offices (old people won't get up the stairs) or standard offices (which will not welcome lots of people traipsing in and out). So they have to hire unused shops, fully equip them, and insure them, and have them staffed, and pay for extra costs that may not be covered. Those offices have to be visible on main streets, so will be (very) expensive.

As to the books, he has access to the Dαil library and state publications are given to him for free as a TD because you need them to do your job. Varadkar may simply have bought extra books that either were not available in the Dαil Library or specialist books he particularly wanted to brief him up on a topic, a book he wanted to own rather than get from the library.

Yes TDs are well paid, overpaid in my view. But the costs of the job are phenomenal. Most people who work with TDs would never in a million years become a TD themselves because they see the unsocial hours, late nights, massive costs, endless travelling, and the dealing with some voters that frankly wreck their heads. It is by no means an easy or cheap job.

thanks Papal - good post

After being involved for the last few years - I would have to think long and very hard as regards running for any kind of public office in this land.

Politics and publicising of politics is not cheap and I can understand why certain politicians would run into the arms of big donors - it saves a lot of hassle and abuse - trying to sell tickets for a draw and fund raise on a small scale is the greatest pain in the ass there is - you'd find it easier selling Kamikaze flights for Al-Queda in down-town Tel-Aviv - I will always buy a ticket or give a donation to any political party or candidate if solicited cos I know how hard it is to raise funds in an ethical way - we do politics on the cheap big time in this country - and then give out about the results.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:25 am

All of the above I agree with, but national politicians in Ireland are grossly over-remunerated compared to other countries.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:27 am

Cheap Edo ??

it takes 42 billion per year to run this country out of an income of ~160
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:35 am

Quote :
thanks Papal - good post

After being involved for the last few years - I would have to think long and very hard as regards running for any kind of public office in this land.

Politics and publicising of politics is not cheap and I can understand why certain politicians would run into the arms of big donors - it saves a lot of hassle and abuse - trying to sell tickets for a draw and fund raise on a small scale is the greatest pain in the ass there is - you'd find it easier selling Kamikaze flights for Al-Queda in down-town Tel-Aviv - I will always buy a ticket or give a donation to any political party or candidate if solicited cos I know how hard it is to raise funds in an ethical way - we do politics on the cheap big time in this country - and then give out about the results.


I'd argue it's not a good post, it's patronising in the extreme. We all vote, you know. We all know what TDs go through and that it's tough. Tell us something we don't know?

But hey... why deal with the facts and figures when you can patronise the poster?
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:37 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Cheap Edo ??

it takes 42 billion per year to run this country out of an income of ~160

Politics - not running the country

Having big money makes a serious difference - witness Libertas.

And as Papal put it - Political Activists are getting older and are not as physically able to do as much as they were in the past - as regards a lot of the young people coming into politics - they have no problems turning up at meetings and when the big brass are around on tour - different story getting the little fuckers out on wet and windy evenings to go canvassing in the off season, dropping and delivering leaflets and putting up posters for campaigns or public meetings - that all way beneath them - I would meet all the same old characters from all the political parties out doing the legwork that has to be done over the last few years - they aren't getting any younger. Yet citizens expect to you to be personally informing them about everything - newsletter are too heavy to be sent by an-post - and the voters will turn their nose up at them - if it is delivered personally (by activists or paid droppers - it means something different - dont ask me why but it does)
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:40 am

Presidential salary USA

Below is a chart of the President's salary over time. It should be noted that only two presidents have declined the executive salary: George Washington and John F. Kennedy.

1789 $ 25000
1873 $ 50000
1909 $ 75000
1949* $100000
1969 $200000
2001 $400000
* A $50000 expense account was implemented in 1949.

Doesn't seem to have changed. They get the White House though.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:40 am

My point about the cost of running the country is that established parties like FG get a fair share to keep on chugging along.

So your biggest complaint is what ? finding people to put leaflets out twice every five years, three times if there's a Referendum ?
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:41 am

Kate P wrote:
Quote :
thanks Papal - good post

After being involved for the last few years - I would have to think long and very hard as regards running for any kind of public office in this land.

Politics and publicising of politics is not cheap and I can understand why certain politicians would run into the arms of big donors - it saves a lot of hassle and abuse - trying to sell tickets for a draw and fund raise on a small scale is the greatest pain in the ass there is - you'd find it easier selling Kamikaze flights for Al-Queda in down-town Tel-Aviv - I will always buy a ticket or give a donation to any political party or candidate if solicited cos I know how hard it is to raise funds in an ethical way - we do politics on the cheap big time in this country - and then give out about the results.


I'd argue it's not a good post, it's patronising in the extreme. We all vote, you know. We all know what TDs go through and that it's tough. Tell us something we don't know?

But hey... why deal with the facts and figures when you can patronise the poster?

Kate - do you want to know or dont you want to know why it costs what it does?

I dont think you want to know - you have this idea in your head and it doesn't matter what we say will dissuade you from this - fair enough

What I will tell you is that Papal and I have been involved in political organisation,canvassing and fundraising and we do see that other side of the politicians lives and it is not what most people imagine it to be.

As I said - Damned if you do - Damned if you don't.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:48 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
My point about the cost of running the country is that established parties like FG get a fair share to keep on chugging along.

So your biggest complaint is what ? finding people to put leaflets out twice every five years, three times if there's a Referendum ?

- I could take that very personally "putting out leaflets twice very 5 years" - but I will suck it up and say nothing cos I'd be wasting my time trying to explain.

All I will say you and Kate and all the rest of ye "We know it fuckin all " bitchers from the Ditch -

you go and try it - you go and try and get elected ,to get your message across - go on and see what it takes - what you really have to do.

As Far Im concerned you all know fuck all about what on ground political activism actually involves in the real world - safe in your ivory internet tower.

Good night.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:53 am

Edo wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
My point about the cost of running the country is that established parties like FG get a fair share to keep on chugging along.

So your biggest complaint is what ? finding people to put leaflets out twice every five years, three times if there's a Referendum ?

- I could take that very personally "putting out leaflets twice very 5 years" - but I will suck it up and say nothing cos I'd be wasting my time trying to explain.

All I will say you and Kate and all the rest of ye "We know it fuckin all " bitchers from the Ditch -

you go and try it - you go and try and get elected ,to get your message across - go on and see what it takes - what you really have to do.

As Far Im concerned you all know fuck all about what on ground political activism actually involves in the real world - safe in your ivory internet tower.

Good night.

Do Edo - head away in a storm. I haven't done it but i've had close family members who've done this


jesus do you have to abuse people for asking difficult questions man ? No one is scorning your efforts here - most of us know very well how much trouble there is in the whole thing let me tell you.

What Varadkar did merits a lot of compliment and I hope it opens up debate but it seems to have only opened a sore bloody wound.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:55 am

I do know what canvassing is like Edo, its hard work and sometimes dogs bite, and old ladies spit in your eye, but it is not martyrdom on the cross, and people who are in politics usually have a real liking for the whole process.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:11 am

Quote :
Kate - do you want to know or dont you want to know why it costs what it does?

I dont think you want to know - you have this idea in your head and it doesn't matter what we say will dissuade you from this - fair enough

What I will tell you is that Papal and I have been involved in political organisation,canvassing and fundraising and we do see that other side of the politicians lives and it is not what most people imagine it to be.

As I said - Damned if you do - Damned if you don't.

I know why it costs money Edo, I'm not stupid and I have not been living in a bubble assuming that the work of TDs is done by fairies while they enjoy their beauty sleep.

I don't care about Leo Varadkar personally or politically. I didn't ask him to post the breakdown of his expense account but it's interesting that he did and I'm asking that someone break them down even further, explain what appear to me to be anomalies or tell me - because I want to know and I've asked this a number of times - what is charitable advertising?

I don't have an idea in my head, but I'm certainly not going to be convinced by generalisations about politicians in general which I'm fully au fait with anyway. I was a member of a political party, I work with politicians most days of the week and I don't appreciate being told I don't understand how it works; I do. I don't understand Leo Varadkar's figures. That's not the same thing, though you and PK are doing the Lord's best work at pretending it is.

I presented figures regarding the average cost of getting 20,000 leaflets printed and the average cost of a leaflet drop by An Post. If LV is doing 8 drops a year, the figures he posted should be much, much higher by that reckoning. FG newsletters arrive by post at my house, not by activist, by the way.

I also expressed surprise that the cost of office staff isn't higher than 20 quid a week which wouldn't pay someone to answer the phones for two hours.

In fact, from the beginning on this thread (which I didn't start by the way), I've been asking for answers and explanations or even suggestions for possible explanations. I've said specifically that I'm not suggesting there's anything shady. I've made no allegations, drawn no conclusions, just asked questions and tried to put the information from the OP in some kind of context.

Far from having an idea in my head that I won't be dissuaded from, I've actively asked for clarification and got patronising responses telling me what I already know.

In fact the only criticism I've made is that he spent a hundred quid on books, which doesn't seem like a lot either. But fine, leave that out, as I said already and I'll withdraw the Carton House comment while I'm at it.

Lest there be any uncertainty, I know it costs money, a lot of money to work as a TD, what I'd like to know is how the particular sums mentioned in the OP were arrived at.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:31 am

cactus flower wrote:
I do know what canvassing is like Edo, its hard work and sometimes dogs bite, and old ladies spit in your eye, but it is not martyrdom on the cross, and people who are in politics usually have a real liking for the whole process.

That would be the voice of experience then?

Politics is an obsession. It has to be, because the vast majority of us poor goms get the square root of feck all out of it, other than cameraderie and pints. Everyone who knows your colour expects you to know intimately what Cllr. Johnny Kate O'Brien in Tooreendohenybeg Town Council had for breakfast and to justify every jot and tittle of what your organisation had stood for or more often what the questioner *thinks* they stand for. In addition, you would be amazed at the level of backstabbing, gladhandling and the sheer level of honesty in every political organisation in this country. The reality behind all the family dynasties in Irish politics is that mostly your own will not backstab you. Admittedly I have no knowledge of Republican Sinn Fein, 32CSM or any of the micro Socialist groups but what I have said applies to every single other political organisation that I have encountered in this country.

Canvassing is hard bloody work. Getting any of your supporters out at all is 75% of the effort, with 20% avoiding being trapped by spoilers - hardcore supporters of usually FF who will try and trap the unwitting canvasser at the door and talk shite to them for half an hour. We've all encountered as well the armchair political follower who knows more than anyone else about what you do and is not afraid to tell you, but wouldn't prise themselves away from the lounge and actually do something in a fit. We get the psychotic ones, who blame us personally for Ballyseedy and Conor Cruise O'Brien or Gaza or whatever is biting their chain and can't wait to run off to tell their mates that they told those "f****** Blueshirt B*******" what they thought of them. Truth to tell, the angry brigade give me a good laugh, and at them, not with them.

In reality, posting here is an indulgence. There's real work to do over the next few months with the Local elections, the European elections and Lisbon II a very distant third. In the meantime enjoy analysing the machinery and I'll go back to being one of the oily rags who actually make the machine work.. Wink
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:47 am

Kate P wrote:
Quote :
Kate - do you want to know or dont you want to know why it costs what it does?

I dont think you want to know - you have this idea in your head and it doesn't matter what we say will dissuade you from this - fair enough

What I will tell you is that Papal and I have been involved in political organisation,canvassing and fundraising and we do see that other side of the politicians lives and it is not what most people imagine it to be.

As I said - Damned if you do - Damned if you don't.

I know why it costs money Edo, I'm not stupid and I have not been living in a bubble assuming that the work of TDs is done by fairies while they enjoy their beauty sleep.

I don't care about Leo Varadkar personally or politically. I didn't ask him to post the breakdown of his expense account but it's interesting that he did and I'm asking that someone break them down even further, explain what appear to me to be anomalies or tell me - because I want to know and I've asked this a number of times - what is charitable advertising?

I don't have an idea in my head, but I'm certainly not going to be convinced by generalisations about politicians in general which I'm fully au fait with anyway. I was a member of a political party, I work with politicians most days of the week and I don't appreciate being told I don't understand how it works; I do. I don't understand Leo Varadkar's figures. That's not the same thing, though you and PK are doing the Lord's best work at pretending it is.

I presented figures regarding the average cost of getting 20,000 leaflets printed and the average cost of a leaflet drop by An Post. If LV is doing 8 drops a year, the figures he posted should be much, much higher by that reckoning. FG newsletters arrive by post at my house, not by activist, by the way.

I also expressed surprise that the cost of office staff isn't higher than 20 quid a week which wouldn't pay someone to answer the phones for two hours.

In fact, from the beginning on this thread (which I didn't start by the way), I've been asking for answers and explanations or even suggestions for possible explanations. I've said specifically that I'm not suggesting there's anything shady. I've made no allegations, drawn no conclusions, just asked questions and tried to put the information from the OP in some kind of context.

Far from having an idea in my head that I won't be dissuaded from, I've actively asked for clarification and got patronising responses telling me what I already know.

You show no evidence of having any grasp of it.
Quote :
In fact the only criticism I've made is that he spent a hundred quid on books, which doesn't seem like a lot either.

Because he doesn't have to, as the Oireachtas, like all parliaments, has a library. In the Oireachtas's case it can get books for TDs from its own library, the Trinity library, the UCD library, and the National Library. He like all parliamentarians gets all state publications for free for use in parliamentary business. The only books he would need to buy are very specialist books, often ones that are not available in Ireland and only published in the US and so would have to be imported through ingrams.
Quote :
Lest there be any uncertainty, I know it costs money, a lot of money to work as a TD, what I'd like to know is how the particular sums mentioned in the OP were arrived at.

That has already been explained to you.


Last edited by Papal Knight on Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:53 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(   

Back to top Go down
 
TD's expenses / Varadkar spends 7k on delivering leaflets and only €110 on books :-(
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 2Go to page : 1, 2  Next
 Similar topics
-
» Out of pocket expenses for complications/additional surgery, anaesthesia/tests?
» Engineering Supervision, Administrative, and Other Expenses (for INFRA)
» DPWH told to explain P70.4-million irregular expenses
» Gave birth to a baby boy and I'm not pregnant (Starting to worry) Need Help interpreting this dream
» foreign travel as post-qualification activity

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Machine Nation  :: Business and Finance :: Estimates of Receipts and Expenditure - Government of Ireland - 2009-
Jump to: