on the case — due to the fact that many of their TDs and senators also employ family members in their offices.
John McGuinness’s son is on 43k per year after being appointed his personal secretary. He is also a councillor with Kilkenny Town Council so he gets a salary on top of the 43k too.
Also of note:
Earlier this year, it emerged that one in five TDs and senators is employing a relative at taxpayers’ expense. Some 31 TDs and 11 senators currently employ family relatives, including wives, husbands, sons and daughters, out of a total of 226 politicians in the Dail and Seanad.www
The posts are not publicly advertised and carry salaries of up to €45,000.
As I stated last week, they’re all the same when it comes to things like the above or when it comes to the yearly reporting of expenses they bled from taxpayers. None of the parties will complain or speak out.
Hardly surprising. Where’s the difference between FF and FG?
A few thousand votes… And a builders bailout and a medical card scheme…
>He is also a councillor with Kilkenny Town Council so he gets a salary on top of the 43k too.
An allowance, to be exact (so it’s not pensionable), and it amounts to about €18,000 per year. Of course, I’m sure he’s a perfectly good Town Councillor in his own right, and his election had *nothing* to do with who his father is. The people have spoken, in their wisdom, etc.
Why should Fine Gael or Labour comment on this?
Provided the people are working in their job, what’s the problem? A politician presumably wants a person to work for them whose loyalty will be undoubted and who will be prepared to work very unflexible hours. Hence they tend to employ people they trust and can rely upon.
@Blah Shame you didn’t have the balls to say you’re employed by one isn’t it? How’s life in Leinster House?
Play the ball and all that Mr. Mulley – but so you can rest easy, I ain’t related to my employer. Nonetheless, I don’t see what relevance all that has to my point, which you might like to address.
Play the ball? Happily. However if you want to defend your employer, wouldn’t it be nice for the sake of transparency to say who it is or to actually disclose who your financial backer is? Kind of like that ethics doc the politicians sign.
See, I make a point that I don’t see what the problem is in TDs and Senators employing family members if they actually do the job.
As I said above, I’m not related to my employer, no-one else is, so I don’t see why I would need to announce my employment status to the whole wide world in making this point.
So to reprise, provided there is no repeat of the HoC research assistant scandals, I don’t see what the difficulty is. You do, so would you mind setting it out?
Fight! Fight! Fight!
@Blah – in the internet world in which you are commenting it is best practice to be as open as required for others to understand the context of your commentary. It is rude not to. And when you are not sure it is better to err on the side of caution. You may be too close to politics to understand why your employers are relevant to give your contribution context – that says a lot in itself.
In the disclosure vein – I know John McG for years in various capacities and despite that agree with Damien – this is the sort of old fashioned crap that will ensure the cynicism about politics and politicians will never go away.
And there was me hoping that my comments would stand and fall by what they contain, the validity of their argument rather than where the IP address was from. Ah well.
I don’t see a problem with politicians hiring family members as their assistants. In many cases, these parliamentary assistants spend much of their time in the TDs constituency, and their personal knowledge of the candidate can be a hugely valuable asset in that work.
I would like to see full disclosure of such relationships however, in the interests of political transparency.
For the sake of full disclosure, I am an active member of the Labour Party, though I am not (nor have I ever been) in the employ of a politician or any political or state body.
@Neil it’s politicians taking taxpayers money and using it to keep their family members in a very good paying job and it’s done without any tendering process, despite the fact the money comes from the people.
If a family member is the best person for the job then it undermines the ability of every other parliamentary assistant too. We got rid of a monarchy in this country.
@Neil also full respect for signing your name and pointing out your affiliations, though you have never done otherwise, unlike that anonymous coward up there who has yet to say who they work for while defending what their employer does and spouting that “play the ball” shite, only affirming how immoral many in politics are.
For the record, following my comment above, I’m a former Parliamentary Assistant in Leinster House in the Labour Party, although my employer (Ruairi Quinn) was not related to me. And they’re not particularly well-paid jobs, compared to similar private sector roles.
But Keith, you link to your site where you make your affiliations crystal clear. A link is perfect transparency. That’s the issue. Our anon friend above is contributing to an argument in which he/she is directly involved but won’t point that out.
However, I do despise the private sector excuse when it comes to these jobs. Brendan Drumm and the HSE argument. I have yet to hear about people unwilling to take up a 43k a year job. Also as was pointed out, there is no tendering process for those jobs. People get appointed. That works a bit differently in the private sector.
“Our anon friend above is contributing to an argument in which he/she is directly involved but won’t point that out. ”
Our anon friend isn’t directly involved. He’s employed by a TD whom he is not related to. And doesn’t generally believe in announcing his employment status to the whole wide world.
“However, I do despise the private sector excuse when it comes to these jobs. Brendan Drumm and the HSE argument.”
You may despise the excuse, but considering that a TD’s staff have more or less private sector conditions in relation to job security, it probably holds up.
“I have yet to hear about people unwilling to take up a 43k a year job. ”
There are plenty of them, some would be someone earning more than that, or would value their free time.
“Also as was pointed out, there is no tendering process for those jobs. People get appointed. That works a bit differently in the private sector.”
And how would your tendering process work? That FF people get employed in a FG office and so on?
Is a personal assistant working for the general public or working for the TD and the people who elected that TD?
The TD would have a definite interest in selecting the best person for the job to support them in their duties and relations with the media and constituents. Relatives and friends are often those who have the best knowledge of the TD, the constituency, the issues, the views of the TD’s supporters and that person is probably working far more than 39 hours per week wherever he/she is needed.
Having good or bad PA for a TD would have no effect on the performance of the public service or it’s agencies imho and once the TD is gone, so is the PA!
I would support a ban on appointing close relatives to public bodies and agencies and they should be open to a fair and open tender/selection process
I’m quite baffled by the suggestions from Neil and Joe above that somehow the job requirement of a TDs assistant is “personal knowledge of the TD” and that therefore somehow relatives are more qualified – Firstly there are lots of TDs who employ non-relatives – Neil and Joe – are you suggesting that these people are less qualified to be an assistant? Secondly – why does an assistant have to have such knowledge of the TD? – Perhaps Neil you could expand a bit more on this as I don’t get it!
Damien – Are we talking about parliamentary assistants here? I have seen the job of parliamentary assistant publicly advertised once – not sure which party though!
What particularly annoys me is that the job of parliamentary assistant can be basically a constituency minder
Sorry – 2 things to add to comment above. When I said that “the job of parliamentary assistant can be basically a constituency minder” – This isn’t always the case
Like Neil and Keith above – I am an active Labour Party member