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John Gormley Limits Excessive Spending By Local Councillors

John Gormley

TD and leader of The Green Party John Gormley showed signs of real leadership today by announcing limits on spending by local councillors.

Under the new regime city and county councillors will be limited to €4,700 per year; borough councillors €3,000; councillors from larger towns €2,000; and councillors from smaller towns to €1,000.

The new limits will not apply to councils which spent less than these amounts last year. In those cases the actual amount spent in 2009 will apply as the limit.

The limits are aimed at achieving better value for money and tackling spending in excess of €13,000 per councillor per year in some cases. They follow on a 25% cut in travel and subsistence allowances applied to councillors earlier this year.

Some councillors were guilty of widespread abuse of the expenses system by signing into conferences and then quickly departing the event in pursuit of personal business.

Announcing the measure Mr. Gormley said the new limits were not spending targets for councillors. He stressed that most councillors behaved responsibly when spending taxpayers’ money but there were concerns about a minority.

“I expect all councillors to uphold the highest standards of behaviour when it comes to paying taxpayers’ money.”

The new limits will be made by ministerial regulation and follow consultation with councillors’ representatives. Mr Gormley met local representatives last September and received a written submission in November.

Good one John, we now wait with bated breath to see if you have the necessary leadership qualities to implement this necessary change.

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