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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Where your money goes

At the start of each year I report on how much I’ve received on allowances as a public representative in the previous 12 months.  This is the 5th year I've done this.  In summary I recevied significantly less money this year as I was did not serve as Mayor at any time in 2012. The Mayor receives an allowance above that paid to all other councillors to allow for additional expenses incurred.  I know it annoys some Mayors or Chairpersons in some local authorities when they are reported as being in receipt of payments.  I've always apid tax on all income so I've no issue with figures being reported provided they set out what actually ended up in my bank account.  2012 is no different although the sum's given below is what I actually receive once tax, PRSI, levies etc are all paid off.

In 2012 I received an after tax a total of €5,318.20 for all my work as a councillor.  This is broken down as follows €305 for telephone bill, €508 for 2 conferences and representing the Mayor at the Mayors Cup in Wales and €4,112 for representational payments in total. As a member of Co Wexford VEC I received €392.61 for attending monthly meetings.
In 2012 I made no expense claim for either attending any of the following committes that I am a member of nor business arising from my membership of ; Co Wexford VEC Audit committee, Youthreach Board of Managment or  Wexford area RAPID Committee, of which I was chair. No claims either for attending public meetings or recpetions arising from being a councillor although the myth persists that councillors get paid for getting out of bed! 

I attended 2 conferences, one in Limerick in June that was on planning law to which I travelled by train. The second one was in Greystones in September on the future of local authorities. Both topics are more than relevant to the work of a councillor. In the absence of the Mayor I presented the Mayors Cup in Milford Haven Golf Club

In addition 2012 sees the preparation for the new county plan.  It’s important that any councillor should declare any interest in advance of the plan being put to councillors.  I made a submission in relation to the plan as part of the campaign to restore the rail service on the South Wexford rail line.  I’ve requested the zoning and preservation of the rail line within the county and all infrastructure associated with it.

In the overall scheme of things €5,300 isn’t at the top or bottom of the list but it’s not the money it’s the accountability that matters.  

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