Time to regulate lobbying to end revolving door between Fine Gael and lobbyists once and for all - Mairéad Farrell TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Mairéad Farrell TD, has called for the urgent enactment of her Regulation of Lobbying (Amendment) Bill 2020.
Her comments follow the publication of the Uber files, where leaked documents revealed that Uber claimed to have helped write a part of the 2016 Fine Gael election manifesto relating to the sharing economy, with an aim of helping the company break into the Irish taxi market.
Speaking today, Teachta Farrell said:
“The revolving door between Fine Gael and lobbyists is shameful and makes a mockery of transparency and accountability in public life. Their cosy relationship with lobbyists is deeply concerning and undermines public trust in politicians.
“The Uber file leaks are shocking and are just the latest in a series of concerning links between Leo Varadkar’s groups and lobbyists.
“The files include that Uber claimed to have helped write a part of the 2016 Fine Gael election manifesto relating to the sharing economy, with an aim of helping the company break into the Irish taxi market. They also include that the company lobbied Fine Gael, using the former Secretary General of the Department of Finance as a go-between who offered special access to his ex-boss, the then Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, and other senior Fine Gael ministers. The leak highlights the former Secretary General offered to drop a note from Uber to the Minister for Finance’s home, meaning it wouldn’t form part of the official departmental records.
“Such behaviour is totally unacceptable and lacking in transparency.
“Two years ago, I brought forward the Regulation of Lobbying (Amendment) Bill 2020 to end this toxic culture by ensuring better regulation of politicians’ interactions with lobbyists to ensure transparency for the public. Recent revelations expose how it is more important than ever. The government must back my legislation and enact it without delay.”