Friday, September 27, 2013

Colm McCarthy joins Referendum Commission in endorsing €20million cost of running the Seanad

No side strangely silent after An Bord Snip Chairman endorses Seanad costs
Fine Gael Deputy Director of Elections for the Seanad Abolition referendum, Regina Doherty TD, has (today) welcomed a statement from economist Colm McCarthy who again endorsed the Oireachtas Commission figures stating that it costs €20 million to run the Seanad every year. Deputy Doherty was speaking after she took part in a debate on the Seanad referendum on Today FM’s The Last Word programme with Matt Cooper.

“From the start of the campaign the No side have been disputing the costs associated with running the Seanad. This is despite the fact that the independent Oireachtas Commission – who have responsibility for running the Seanad – have repeatedly stated that it costs €20 million every year to run the Seanad.

“Earlier this week we heard Judge Elizabeth Dunne, head of the Referendum Commission, state clearly that it costs €20million to run the Seanad every year. Now today we have heard Colm McCarthy, who examined this issue as head of the An Bord Snip process under the last Fianna Fáil Government, yet again confirm that this is the correct figure.

“Now that the €20 million running costs for the Seanad has been definitively nailed down by a string of independent experts, the No side have remained silent on the cost issue. The No side have been quick to dismiss the savings that would be generated by scrapping the Seanad, but the reality is €20million is enough to pay for 350 primary teachers, or 1,000 new Garda cars.

“This Government has a strong record of rationalising public sector bodies, and of delivering savings when we do so. As Colm McCarthy said today, it will be up to the Government to ensure that the full €20million is saved if the Seanad is abolished. And as we have said repeatedly, we are determined to ensure the full savings are delivered.

“Scrapping the Seanad will bring Ireland into line with international best practice, reduce the number of politicians in line with European norms and save €20million of badly needed taxpayers’ money.”

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