Green Party leader John Gormley,
who before becoming a minister in 2007, cycled into his place of work, Leinster
House, on Thursday presented the lame excuse that his expenses are
among the lowest of all TDs in Dáil Eireann and are
substantially lower than those of other deputies in his
Gormley who lives in Ringsend, South Dublin, claimed
'pocket money' for expenses incurred during the normal workday, such as
lunch, coffee etc and travel on his bicycle. He said yesterday that there was nothing unusual
about him working on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve in Leinster
House. He is reported to have claimed “turning-up” expenses for both dates in 1997.
One can assume that the diligent deputy on Christmas Eve, had to take a break
from shopping at the nearby Grafton Street, to sign-on for his pocket money.
The Minister for the Environment
said on Thursday on RTÉ Radio’s Today with Pat Kenny ,
that if one looked at a “league table” his expenses were
among the lowest in the Dáil.
Everyone else is on the make is as
good an excuse as any from the man who in February 2007 slammed the world of '
Finfacts said in July
2007 that based on John Gormley's own words, he was possibly the greatest
hypocrite in Irish politics having orbited onto the den of iniquity, after he publicly ached to sign a Faustian Bargain: "On Planet
Bertie you can sign blank cheques because everyone does it, apparently. On
Planet Bertie you can spend the average industrial wage on make-up. On Planet
Bertie you can get loans from people that you don't have to pay back. On Planet
Bertie you can save €50,000, without a bank account. And on Planet Bertie,
climate change doesn't exist. All that stuff is made up by Trevor Sargent.
On Planet Bertie there's a strange cult called Fianna Fáil, a type of
religion without vision or values; and every year in August they go on their
annual pilgrimage to one of their sacred sites, the tent at the Galway races,
where they pay homage to their gods and the gods bestow them with gifts for
doing their bidding."
“Look at my expenses. Compare my expenses to those of my
constituency colleagues. It averages out at around €18,000 per
annum. That is substantially lower than anybody else,”
Gormley said on Thursday.
The Irish Times
reports that since he became a Government Minister in 2007, Gormley’s
expenses have been subject to a different system to
backbenchers, and therefore they cannot be directly compared to
the expenses of his constituency colleagues.
In 2009, total expenses paid to the other three Deputies in
Dublin South East were: Chris Andrews (Fianna Fail) €26,544;
Lucinda Creighton (Fine Gael) €26,371; and Ruairí Quinn (Labour)
The Dublin TDs who claimed the highest expenses in 2009 were
Tom Kitt (Fianna Fáil) €35,877; Michael Woods (Fianna Fáil);
32,025; Sean Ardagh (Fianna Fáil) €31,052; and Brian Hayes (Fine
The average expenses claimed by the 46 Dublin Deputies last
year was €18,500.
Beyond a radius of 15 miles from
Leinster House is the country and an overnight allowance is payable.
Earlier this week, the minister
withdrew a threat to drivers of commercial vehicles used for school runs and
other non-business journeys.
Gormley said the restrictions were aimed at drivers like those of
"high-end jeeps" who manipulated their vehicle’s tax status to reduce
annual levies from €2,000 down to €286.
He admitted in yesterday's radio
interview that in the past, he had been ferried in fellow Green
minister Eamon Ryan’s commercially registered van and that such
occasional trips should not bring people into conflict with the law
He did not define what 'occasional' meant and said it was up to gardaí to use their "discretion" - - another Irish solution for an Irish problem!
The Sunday Tribune reported in Oct
2009 that Minister Gormley took a ferry to Holyhead in an attempt to appear
environmentally friendly - - but had a Mercedes travel five hours and 300 miles
from London to collect him. The car cost the taxpayer £2,200. After a climate
change event, Gormley flew home.