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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The right to know

I’ve always started out the new year by publishing my expenses as a councillor from the previous year. This year is no different. Below are the details of all money I received after tax arising from my membership of Wexford Borough Council. The amount I received is significantly less than other years despite serving as Mayor for 6 months of 2011 when compared with amounts declared by me in previous years.

This is explained by a cut in allowances to councillors from Central government. During the year as Mayor I made one trip outside the country to the London Wexford Association’s annual dinner dance in Camden for which I received approximately €331. I attended 2 conferences; The Local Authority Members Association annual conference in Dundalk last April and the Borders Midland West Conference on the role of the culture in the economy in November. I received almost €417 for the April conference and €514 for the November conference. The amount I received after tax for the representational allowance was almost €6,651. As I am employed the tax is paid on all the allowance at the higher rate as well as USC and PRSI. The amount received from Co Wexford VEC was almost €473. Unless the committee member attends the meeting there is no payment by the VEC for expenses. In 2011 I attended all meetings of Wexford Borough Council and 10 out of 11 meetings of Co Wexford VEC. I made no application for phone expenses in 2011 in relation to my Mayoral duties as the Mayor benefits from a mobile phone.

So the total I received because I was a public representative in 2011 was €8,546.44 after tax. I know that other councillors in other parts of the country get more and some get less. I’m happy to provide this information, it’s the public’s right to know.

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