Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Desperation hits as Fianna Fáil accuses its own An Bord Snip report of ‘lies’

Colm McCarthy group said in 2009 that abolition ‘would give rise to savings of around €25 million a year’

Fine Gael Deputy Director of Elections for the Seanad Abolition Referendum, Regina Doherty TD, today expressed shock as Fianna Fáil resorted to accusing the Oireachtas Commission, the
Referendum Commission and An Bord Snip Nua of “lies” as desperation hit their referendum campaign in the final days before polling.

She was responding after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin TD on last night’s Prime Time debate and Director of Elections Niall Collins repeatedly on Morning Ireland today called the €20 million
figure a lie.

“As we have said repeatedly during the campaign, €20 million is the only independently verified figure for how much it costs to run the Seanad. It is provided by the Oireachtas Commission, the
independent body that is responsible for running the Seanad. It was endorsed by independent Referendum Commission on Morning Ireland on 23rd September last.

“Furthermore, the An Bord Snip group which Micheál Martin’s Fianna Fáil Government established, reported in 2009 that abolishing the Seanad ‘would give rise to savings of around €25million a
year’.

“By stating repeatedly that this figure is a lie, Fianna Fáil is effectively calling these three authoritative independent bodies liars. It is shocking but, given their record, not surprising that they should resort to such desperate tactics in the final days of this campaign.

“Fianna Fáil have no credibility on the Seanad. They contested the 2011 election on a Seanad abolition platform but as soon as it suits their political and electoral goals they performed a spectacular u-turn. And they are claiming to be seeking reform of the Seanad even though they ignored several reports on reform during the 14 years they were in power.

“The people will decide whether they believe the Oireachtas Commission, the Referendum Commission, and Colm McCarthy’s An Bord Snip Nua – or Fianna Fáil.
“I believe that when people go out to vote this Friday they will vote Yes to be part of the biggest change in our political system in many years, a change that will save €20 million, reduce the number of politicians, and bring us in line with best practice in other successful countries of our size”.

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