Sinn Féin to Call for Moratorium on Conferences
Speaking after last night’s City Council meeting, Sinn Féin councillor Chris O’Leary said the party will put forward a motion to the next meeting calling on the council to approve no further payments of conference expenses until an investigation of over-payments has taken place and the entire system is overhauled.
Cllr O’Leary said:
“There are serious questions to be asked about the regime of conference expenses in City Hall. A number of councillors have claimed substantially more for attending conferences in the past year than the already generous amounts allowed them by council. The council has also introduced a practice of retrospectively approving conference expenses for councillors who neglect to apply for funds before attending.”
“Last night I repeatedly requested clarification from the Manager as to whether some of the conference payments we as a council were being asked to approve were retrospective. I was overruled by the Lord Mayor, who insisted on railroading through approval of conference payments with the support of the pact parties.”
“Outside the council chamber, people are being faced with real hardship as a result of government cutbacks. December’s budget is likely to see further reductions in social welfare payments, increased taxes on lower income workers, and further cuts in services. In this climate it is simply scandalous that councillors from the very parties which are preaching austerity to ordinary people should be drawing down thousands of Euros to go around the country on junkets. And it beggars belief that they should seek to abuse this system to claim even more.”
“The Sinn Féin group on the council is now calling for a complete halt to conference payments until a full investigation of overpayments has taken place and an overhaul of the system has been carried out.”
For further information contact Cllr Chris O’Leary 087-2794307