A local council candidate has condemned the acceptance of what he terms ‘a €320,000 insurance policy’ written into the 2014 County Council budget. Gorey teacher Fionntán O’ Súilleabháin said that the retirement gratuities for retiring Councillors and for those who lose their seats is unjustly high at a time when the council is struggling and ordinary people are living under extreme austerity.
“The County Councils report on their budget for this year clearly states that there have been operational constraints mainly due to continuous reductions in central funding since 2008,” Mr O’ Súilleabháin said. “Obviously local government and the services they provide are struggling after five years of bitter recession.”
“It therefore beggars belief that the council readily passed the ring-fencing of €320,000 for the retirement gratuities. While I accept that some sitting councillors intend to retire, the majority are planning to run again. This fund is nothing less than a glorified insurance policy for reps who might lose their seats.”
“Squeezing something like this into a budget which is strained to say the least cannot be justified. I would have voted against this measure and it clearly shows the importance of change come the local elections in late May.”