Working 9 to 5 (for your expenses)

Yes, it has been picked up elsewhere, but i thought it an interesting piece to bring up again.

The Belfast Telegraph picked up an interesting issue from the Irish Independent on the 'clock in, clock out' instituted in the Oireachtas.

From the beginning of March TDs and senators had to start clocking in for work.  This is part of the new expenses regime, requiring the representatives to clock in to claim allowances such as travel and overnight rates.

The Oireachtas politicians will now have a fob to tag themselves in at at Leinster House campus and they have to be on site 80% of the time in order to claim their allowances.

I love the tongue in cheek reporting from the Irish Independent.
It took a year to get this far on the issue, in the face of protests from some members.

The oireachtas chiefs have thought of everything, even closing the 'I don't know how to use the new system' loophole which may have cropped up. For those elected representatives who are technologically challenged, an old-fashioned way of signing in -- with a book and a pen -- will be available in the Leinster House 2000 extension.

Politicians should be advised that this is not a book of condolence for the recently buried political careers of Willie O'Dea, Trevor Sargent, Deirdre de Burca and George Lee. Neither is it a petition to get Taoiseach Brian Cowen to call an election or a recruiting post for the Tanaiste's newly founded Kildare Street branch of the Irish Feminist Movement.

Also unsubstantiated are rumours that Government Chief Whip Pat Carey asked for electronic ankle tags to be put on all TDs so he could pinpoint their precise locations. Mr Carey has had to put some manners on errant Fianna Fail TDs who have been missing for votes, such as Castlebar's finest, Beverly Flynn.
Great satire indeed.

I wonder if something similar is being looked at for our own Assembly? Would that help to increase the issue of public confidence in our political institutions?



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