Cash-strapped Fine Gael lays off staff

Cash-strapped Fine Gael has laid staff off from its head office. Its state funding was reduced following its disastrous election.

Cash-strapped Fine Gael lays off staff

The downsizing comes alongside a legal bill, believed to be about €500,000, relating to the action taken by former TD, John Perry, against party bosses.

That High Court settlement wiped out the funds raised by the party in its pre-election national draw.

The party has had its state funding sharply reduced following the loss of 26 seats in the general election in February.

According to the Standards in Public Office (SIPO), Fine Gael received €2,394,394 in 2015, with €889,033 carried over from 2014, bringing the total available for last year to €3,283,427.

Of the overall expenditure in 2015, €251,425 went on policy formulation, €178,604 on consultants’ services and €205,611 on “polling or public-attitude sampling”.

But the party has been forced to cut its cloth significantly. Staff members have left or moved into government positions.

In addition, a major refurbishment of Fine Gael headquarters, on Mount Street, which cost up to €1.8m, has put further pressure on scarce resources.

Confirming the process of “rationalisation,” a party spokeswoman said: “There has been a reduction in funding to the Fine Gael party in the aftermath of the general election”.

“In response to this, Fine Gael initiated a process of rationalisation. A number of redundancies have been affected in Fine Gael headquarters. We will not be making any further comment”.

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