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Ó Caoláin - Spending figures reveal a gross abuse of the political system

11 June, 2003


Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD has said the release of today's election expenditure figures provided further evidence that this current Government scammed their election victory through a combination of massive over spending and a manifesto built on lies and deceit. He said it was a gross abuse of the political system that needed radical reform.

"Today's figures confirm what most of us witnessed during the last election campaign. It was clear to every man, woman and child in this State that ministers of the last Government, many of whom are ministers in this Government, were spending outrageous amounts of money to buy their re-election.

"That Ministers could have unwittingly spent tens of thousands of euro in excess of the permitted amount is scarcely believable but unfortunately fits a pattern that has become all too common with this arrogant and selfish Government. We should remember that these figures only cover the actual three-week period of the election campaign itself. They do not take into account the massive advertisement campaign the Government engaged in before the campaign was called. It does not take in to account the massive and cynical 20% increase in public spending that occurred in the run up to the election ? only to be cut as soon as victory was secured.

"Today's report provides further evidence that this current Government scammed their election victory through a combination of massive over spending coupled with a manifesto built on lies and deceit. This is a gross abuse of the political system and immediate action must be taken to bring about radical reform that will allow for a level playing field for all those contesting elections in the future." ENDS

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