Thursday, October 22, 2009

Labour's Joan is no 'champagne' socialist!

Labour’s Joan Burton has become the latest TD to publish her own expenses on her website in the wake over the scandal over TDs expenses.

And it seems that Joan had little to worry about - her expenses for the past few years have actually being falling faster than John O’Donoghue can say ‘another champagne please’!

In 2005, Burton claimed a total of €26,114.31 on top of her salary of €88,763.21.

This €26,000 was made up of her constituency travel allowance, her miscellaneous expense allowance, travel and subsistence and her telephone allowance.

In the league table that year for politicians, Joan was at 133 out of 166 - towards the more frugal end of the class.

Her expenses rose slightly in 2006 to €29,343.78, placing her at number 126 in the league table of her peers.

But since 2006, her expenses have been falling - €27,966 in 2007; €22,697 in 2008 and €17,317 for the first six months of 2009.

Regarding her foreign travel - the cost of which was footed by the taxpayer - she took a relatively frugal approach to that as well.

A three-day trip to Edinburgh in 2007 for a Public Accounts Committee meeting with their Scottish counterparts cost us €736 for Joan’s fare and board and a three-day trip to Newcastle in 2008 for a plenary conference cost the taxpayer just €133.82.

The only lavish trip was to Washington in 2008 when Joan, along with members of the Joint Committee on Finance and Public Service went on a fact finding mission to examine financial issues including the volatility of financial markets and the sub-prime lending crisis.

Five TDs and one official went on this trip.

Joan stayed in Jury’s Hotel at a total cost of €866 for the six night stay. Her flight, however, came in at a hefty €3,279.

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