Thursday, April 05, 2007

Declaration of Oireachtas members interests

Get them while they are hot.

Dail members Seanad Members

I would say that Willie O'Dea has a question over his form.

There is a remarkable (hence my remarking on it) lack of consistency about this, some reps list their Dail income as occupational income many others don’t are they supposed to or not? I’m kind of surprised that so few own shares in anything. Maybe it is a generational thing. Though it may be that they are only required to do so if it exceeds a certain amount.

Some like Joe Costello list their SSIA while the majority appear not to list them. (I can’t imagine that the vast majority of TDs didn’t take out an SSIA)

Tony Dempsey has an apartment in Cypress (sic)! CyriUsLee! Does anyone check this record properly? I mean I recall reading the local elections expenditure reports filed with Dublin City Council and we had barefaced falsehoods such as Maurice Ahern brother of the Taoiseach saying his total spending was €750, that is on his entire election campaign. That is non-binding as I understand it meanwhile the register of Dail interests in a meant to be proper track of what people have and there is no consistency to the thing at all.

John Ellis, says he has no shares in excess of 13,000 (that is individually I take it) but his colleague Martin Brady lists the €8,400 in shares he has in the credit union. If these guys can’t fill in a form on their own interests properly then what use might they be to the average punter in helping them navigate the bureaucracy of the state.

Michael McDowell who lists below interests in 4 properties doesn’t seem to list his holiday home down the country in Roscommon that had the planning issues a while back - could be he sold it. Or is it an oversight?

"(1) Half interest as tenant in common of land adjoining home in Ranelagh. (2) 9 Manders Terrace, Dublin 6. (3) 10% interest in block in Eastpoint Office Park, Dublin 1. (4) 33 Old Bond Street, London (part ownership).

Other Information Provided: All owned jointly with spouse. "

Willie O’Dea lists nothing under either Occupational Income or Gifts or Property and Service or Remunerated Position or Contracts. So is his column in the Sindo for free and it isn’t advertising? Surely that has to be counted as a gift in either a free national mouthpiece or something he is paid for?


Harry McGee said...

Very interesting observations Dan. There seem to be glaring inconsistencies - that should not be allowed happen under the legislation. It's worth checking out in detail. H.

Dan Sullivan said...

I've got someone from the Leader who is apparently trying to reach Willie for a comment. Could get interesting in the next few days.

Also one thing that occurred to me over the weekend is that under community property rights surely everyone has an automatic interest in their spouses properties and shouldn't that be covered too? After all whether they die or divorce you, you're going to have a right to some of what they have.

mgb said...

from the Irish Times today

"The Government has also decided to increase the disclosure thresholds applying to TDs and Ministers in the annual Register of Members' Interests, first set down in 1995. Under the changes, politicians would not have to declare outside work unless they earn more than €5,000 in any one year, rather than the €2,600 threshold in the current legislation. Shares would only have to be disclosed if their value exceeded €20,000, rather than €13,000, and the same threshold would apply to land. Politicians would also be able to keep gifts received in the course of their duties as long as these did not exceed €2,000 in value, rather than €650 as of now."

It is discussing changing the figures, but states the current limits are €2,600 for outside work and €13,000 for shares and land and €650 for gifts

so presumably willie is only getting €50 per column, assuming he writes 52 a year.