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Mike Mahon (Letters Irish Examiner, May 4) argues the granting of free legal aid to Deputy Paul Murphy is legitimate and justifiable on the grounds that Deputy Murphy, is “a champion of civil rights” and one among a group of like-minded politicians who “expose numerous scams” in society.
In addition to his annual salary of €87,258, Mr Murphy is eligible to receive a travel and accommodation allowance of €9,000; a constituency office establishment allowance of €8,000; and a mobile phone equipment allowance of €750 every 18 months, tax-free. He also qualifies for the payment of an annual tax-free parliamentary allowance of €41,152. Non-party TDs are not compelled to account for the spending of their parliamentary allowance.
Against this background it is impossible to believe that Mr Murphy is not in the position to pay his own legal costs to the same extent as other abundantly resourced citizen.
Mr Mahon is therefore not seeing this matter from the perspectives of ordinary citizens’ or that of burdened taxpayers, or those whose dependence on the State’s beneficence is more compelling and justifiable than Mr Murphy’s claim for free legal aid.
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