CCPC team removes chargers and adapters from Galway shops – Connacht Tribune
Bradley Bytes – A political column with Dara Bradley
Three Galway Independent TDs have built up a nice little war chest ahead of the next general election, which is expected within 12 months.
Independent Dáil Deputies are entitled to claim an annual allowance of €37,037 for expenses, “arising from parliamentary activities, including research”.
The allowance is not subject to income tax, and if it’s not used up in the year it is claimed, it can carry forward to the following year.
Obviously, the money isn’t supposed to be used on re-election campaigns per se.
But it can be used on policy formation, consultants’ services, technical or specialist advice, including PR, polling or public attitude sampling, and entertainment.
And all of these broad headings, for which the Parliament Activities Allowance is payable, would be capable of generating votes for Independents.
Sean Canney, the Galway East Junior Minister, hit the headlines last month for his Standards in Public Office (SIPO) returns, showing he spent quite a bit of his allowance on wining and dining in fancy restaurants. Canney got €37,037, but spent €43,164.95 – because he had some funding brought forward from the previous year.
Galway West TDs Catherine Connolly and Noel Grealish, and Roscommon Galway TD, Denis Naughten, were savvier with their spending, however.
Naughten spent just €20,000 last year, and carried forward €51,000 to this year.
Connolly spent €35,000 last year, and carried forward €50,000.
Grealish spent €27,000, and carried forward €47,000 to this year.
When their leftovers are added to their Parliament Activities Allowance allocation of €37,037 for this year, it means they’ve the guts of €85,000 each to spend on ‘parliamentary activities’ in 2019, with an election on the horizon. Not bad if you can get it!
Remember that when Independents play the poor mouth.
Déjà vu for Minister Canney
Galway East TD, Sean Canney, a junior minister, got two bites of the cherry when claiming credit for the State’s purchase of the Gate Lodge at Portumna Castle . . . for more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune.