Senators in €300k parliamentary allowance claims for home offices - report
on 25/08/2013 12:32:33
According to the article in today's Sunday Times, the request, which was submitted to Brendan Howlin, comes just six weeks before a referendum to determine the future of the Upper House.
The article reports that members of the Seanad have appealed to Brendan Howlin for the funding in the form of parliamentarty allowances - which it is claimed could reach €300,000.
Political Editor of the Sunday Times, Stephen O'Brien, said the request was not made on behalf of all Seanad members.
"It is distinctly possible that many of the senators don't even know that this claim has gone in," Mr O'Brien said.
"Certainly this is not something that would have been discussed by the Seanad as a whole… it's not something that the 60 senators would have sit down and voted on."
"I surmise (that) it stands very, very little chance of being granted."
Laois Labour Senator John Whelan is however refuting that an application for the money has been made.
Speaking to Midlands Radio, he said the claim is part of a "blackening campaign" ahead of the referendum on the abolition of the Seanad.
"Well I'm not surprised at the story because it seems to me to be part of the ongoing 'black propaganda' campaign being initiated by certain elements of the Government who want to get rid of the senate, and want to portray and represent it in a negative light.
"I think you're going to see a lot more of this throughout September, because the Government is obviously panicking that the general public isn't as enthusiastic about abolishing the senate as some of them are."