At the start of each year I release details of my after tax earnings from local authority membership. I’ve done this since 2007 and will continue to do it in the public interest. I hope that it demystifies politics and what is often perceived to be a gravy train. After 10 years as a member of a local authority I can tell you there is no gravy train in Wexford, there’s no fortune to be made. I pay 42% tax on all allowances, USC and PRSI as does any councillor who is an ordinary worker and pays PAYE. Everything that is lodged to my account is net of all deductions so figures declared above are what are paid to me.
There are a number of bodies that I am a member of where I have never made any application for expenses in 2013. These are the Board of YouthReach which had 3 meetings and The Audit Committee of Co Wexford VEC which held 2 meetings in 2013. This is because there is a requirement to be away from home for 3 hours or more before a claim can be lodged. In the case of those meeting mentioned above that time limit wasn’t reached.
In total in 2013 I received €5,552.84. This comprised of 3853.26 in relation to attending WBC meetings, 2 conferences one on Tourism and another on Drugs that I received a total of €909 and also a phone allowance of €160. The total paid by the VEC/ETB was €630.58. The VEC/ETB payment is slightly up on the 2012 declaration and is due to meetings being held in Waterford as opposed to Wexford and the travel involved.There is a difference between gross payments which are released to the media and net tax payments which those on PAYE receive. The media makes no distinction and doesn’t clarify this when they set out payments. So that’s what I got. It is in net terms the difference between having a senior post of responsibility at work and a lower post which I hold. I’ve always believed no matter how much it is that as its public money there is a need to account. So it’s your right to know.