Press Statement issued by Socialist Party TDs Joe Higgins and Clare Daly, People Before Profit Alliance TDs Joan Collins and Richard Boyd Barrett
Scurrilous attempt to smear Socialist Party and People Before Profit Alliance TDs calculated to undermine principled opposition to Bank bailout/Austerity agenda
Mountain of public funding to establishment political parties dwarfs funds to left parties
The smear campaign orchestrated by Independent Newspapers against the Socialist Party and People Before Profit Alliance TDs is cynically calculated to try and undermine effective and principled opposition to the disastrous austerity agenda implemented to bail out the speculators and bankers who gambled and lost in the property bubble which they created.
It is scurrilous and underhanded to suggest some kind of impropriety in using a Dail travel allowance to travel around the country addressing mass meetings and rallies against the Household Tax or indeed any other issue.
Statutory Instrument 84/2010 refers clearly to a travel allowance that is to be used for ‘travel expenses which the member is obliged to incur in the performance of his or her duties as a member of Dáil Eireann.’ It is our duty to campaign for ordinary working class people against the baleful hardship imposed by the destructive austerity agenda. But there is a blatant attempt to try and smear those TDs who are to the fore in the fight against this.
Massive public funding of Establishment parties ignored in smear campaign against the Left
In creating an artificial and manufactured controversy about using part of a travel allowance to fight the austerity agenda, Independent Newspapers conveniently overlooks the massive public funding of the pro-austerity political parties. Under two headings: Party Leaders Allowance and Exchequer funding of Parties based on their first preference vote in the General Election over a 2% threshold: In 2011 Fine Gael received €4.57 million; Fianna Fail received €3.38 million; The Labour Party received €2.67 million; The Socialist Party and PBPA received €120,903 each which was audited and accounted for.
Among the uses for which the major parties can use their public funding for is ‘co-ordination of the activities and members of the party’. In essence their officers and organisers can travel the country to build their parties on public funding.
CHECK OUT OTHER RELATED ARTICLES:
- Press Statement: Response to Houses of the Oireachtas Statement on Travel Allowance
- Socialist Party opposition to the scandal of bank bailouts recorded by mass media
- Press Statement: Manufactured Dail travel expenses controversy will not divert from fight against unjust home taxes
- Statement of support from Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins for the striking EBS workers
- Press Statement: Socialist Party TD Clare Daly calls for support for La Senza workers in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and Cork
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