He looked at my ESB bill which was lying on the dashboard as he got into the taxi.
I thought I recognised him, though I couldn't’t put a name on him
“Hello Johnny, I hope you’re well”
From then on he was like a long playing record, no stopping him.
He just talked on and on.
At some point I recalled that he was one of our “Elected representatives”
When I got a break in his rant I asked him how he could put with all the abuse he gets from the members of the public when he went out canvassing for election.
Well his mouth took off as if it was in overdrive, he was in great form.
Why do I do it all you ask for the measly sum of £34,000 a year?
(£34,000 in 1981 was a lot of money more than 3 times the national average wage)
The £34,000 is not the issue for me.
You see I am also on the transport committee for which I get £16,000 a year.
The housing committee for which I get £14,000 a year.
I’m on the education committee for which I get £14, 000 a year.
Plus the lighting committee for which I get £12,000 .
I don’t even know what the lighting committee does, but they pay me anyhow.
This is in Irish Punts, the Euro has not arrived…
Now that brings my income up to £90,000 a year.
Now you might think that is a lot of money..
But it gets better.
Did you ever hear of appearance money, they call it attendance money, but I prefer to call it Appearance money because I consider myself somewhat of an artiste !
I get £116 per day for appearing in the Dail , plus travel expenses and subsistence allowance.
Plus a subsidy in the Dail bar and restaraunt.
Now you remember the committiees?
The transport and we must not forget the lighting committee,
They sit on the same day as the DAIL.
I get appearance money for all the committies as well.
It all adds up to £51,750 and this on top of the £90,000 and you know what its all tax free!
£116 for the Dail
£116 for transport committee
£116 for the housing committee
£116 for the lighting committee
£116 for the education committee
There may have even a few more committees as well !
Now we only sit for 90 days, so my yearly income I earn in 3 months.
But it gets even better….
£82 a day !
Over 90 days that’s another £7380
Now add the 4 committees £36,900
Now that tops my income up to roughly to £152,100 per year.
Nearly 10 times the national average!
Where would you be without the expenses ?
You need the expenses.
Sure I have to take taxis from the Dail to the transport committee then to the lighting committee .
Yous lads are not cheap either.
Then there’s my constituents calling to my house,
I converted the garage into a small office, the clinic its called. I put the electricity and gas meters on to the wall of the garage. So now I can claim for my heating water rates and electricity , even helping out with the old mortgage,
All legitimate expenses.
And sure if you need to extend the house you can say that it is to compensate for the space you lost by converting the garage…Of course you know who foots the bill?
Then I have to take out public liability insurance in case one of my constituents fall.
Who pays for that ?
The tax paying voting public that’s who pays.
Do you see the security cameras and the top notch alarm system ?
Who paid for that ?
Then there’s the phone in the house, in the office, the 3 mobile phones and the secretarial wages even though its my wife who looks after most things here in my house.
Did you ever wonder how we dress so well?
WE GET A CLOTHING ALLOWANCE !
Yes its very important that the people you elect dress well and look well groomed.
Well when you get your clothing allowance you can still claim for tax on the money you spent buying the clothes. Add to that the laundry, dry cleaning.
Now if I could only get the clothing allowance for the wife!
No she doesn’t get that .
But she does get tax deductions on the dresses and shoes she buys.
Its an expense you see.
And then there’s the jewellery allowance as well..
Well she has to dress the part.
Then there’s the charity functions, there good too.
Did you see me in the paper giving the personal cheque to the Simon community the other day ?
Refundable from party funds !
Then there’s the charity auctions, you get your picture in the paper, you get your money back and you get to keep the item, Not bad at all.
So I do 3 months work for which I get £152,100
If you could do a years work it would be worth more that £608,000
Now remember he was only a back bencher, not a minister.
He might only "Work" for 4 years and then he gets a pension for life, not when he stops working or becomes elderly.
But that was in the dim distant past, or perhaps it was all in a dream. I mean it couldn't’t be true, or could it ?
nd that is why our taxes go up and hospitals close, the elderly are asked to survive on less, just so they live like the fat cats.