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How to trim political expenses

Your readers Brendan Casserly (Letters, May 4) and Enid Dowd (Letters, May 9) continue the debate regarding expenses paid to politicians.

I must agree with Mr Dowd that the current system is unacceptable and a more transparent and accountable system needs to be put in place.

For instance, in Cork, TDs should have travel expenses from home to railway stations at Cork and Mallow and then receive fare for the train to Dublin. This criteria should be replicated throughout the country.

The utilisation of public services must become an option for TDs, and if they decide not to available of public services then they should bear this cost.

I agree also with Mr O’Dowd that continual paying of unvouched expenses is totally intolerable and the FG/Labour Government must deliver on their commitments to reforming politics.

It is not productive to have politicians reviewing their own pay and expenses and it’s time for a non-political body like a citizen’s jury to oversee ethics, pay, expenses and allowances in public life. The citizen’s juries (non-political entity) could be elected at regional level at the next local election with the power to ensure that the interests of citizen and taxpayer are protected and not abused.

TDs, senators, and councillors would be accountable to the elected citizen’s jury whose power would be guided by a new Charter of Ethics and Values in public life.

Let the citizen reform the political system because it is not in the interest of politicians to do it.

John Lyons



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