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Reform of expenses and of Oireachtas Commission itself should be brought forward – Ó Snodaigh

8 October, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Commenting on the newly revealed resignation letter of Tom O’Higgins as Chairperson of the Audit Committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, Sinn Féin Whip Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said:

“This latest revelation again highlights the urgent need to reform the expenses system for all Oireachtas members. It is an indictment of the members of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission that the concerns raised by the chairperson of the Audit Committee were treated in such a way that he felt compelled to resign his position.

“Sinn Féin is in favour of a fully vouched system of claims for expenses, open and transparent, reported and published regularly so that the public can see where their money is being spent.

“When the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission was established we called for full representation of all parties but both Sinn Féin and the Green Party were excluded. We also called for worker representation for the many non-elected officials who work in the Houses of the Oireachtas. There is a clear need to amend the legislation that established the Commission and to make it more accountable.

“The refusal of Government to bring forward reform has led to a major loss of public confidence in the Oireachtas which is distracting from the very urgent work of addressing the economic crisis, above all, the massive level of unemployment.” ENDS

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