The recent controversy regarding Irish TD’s use of Dáil allowances to fund anti Government campaigning travel, has once again highlighted the need for a wholesale review and reform of the way in which Irish public representatives are reimbursed and more generally remunerated. (See @IrishTimes article TDs ‘broke Dáil allowances rule’).
In Britain, this subject was addressed and resolved comprehensively in 2010 following the MP’s Expenses Scandal when expense@work was implemented by IPSA (The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) as part of fundamental changes to the way in which public representatives are reimbursed for expenses they incur in the course of their parliamentary duties.
In the private sector, individuals are reimbursed on a “receipt and justification” basis which ensures that all claims made are compliant with organisational policy and appropriate taxation rules.
I see no reason, particularly in today’s economic climate, why Irish TD’s should not be bound by the same expense policies and procedures as the private citizens they represent.