It has been revealed that some local county councillors are being paid mileage for attending virtual meetings.
The revelation was uncovered by the Irish Independent and TD’s are outraged that some have received mileage for attending the virtual meetings.
A source close to the Taoiseach has said “There is no such thing as virtual mileage.” Despite the anger, TD’s are reluctant to go public with their criticism.
Councillors from all parties are receiving mileage payments despite the Covid-19 restrictions.
Housing and Local Minister Darragh O’Brien received a letter of complaint from one councillor and has said “It’s actually a matter for the local councils themselves.”
He went on to add “I’m aware that the allowances that are paid are done on a monthly basis. They’re composite. And this is done on a short period of time.”
A source close to the Taoiseach stated “There is either mileage or there is not. And there is none if you attend a meeting by Zoom. There is no such thing as virtual mileage.” The source also added that the public would “find it hard to understand.” (Per The Irish Independent)
At a time when student nurses are not being paid for their work and at a time when businesses around the country have had to shut their doors, it is quite clear to see that the public would indeed find it hard to understand.
There has been resentment bubbling within the Irish public at decisions the Government has made this year. TD’s voted down a motion to implement a living wage in the summer while receiving an increase to their own wage earlier this year.
Voting down a motion to implement a living wage, refusing to pay student nurses while accepting a wage increase is a terrible look for a Government in normal times. In a pandemic, it becomes even worse.
Some councillors are being paid mileage for traveling to their local county or city hall to attend the virtual meetings as they do not have the facilities at home to carry out their work.
Independent Councillor Jimmy Guerin who serves the Fingal area waived the fee and said “You can’t justify paying mileage to go from the kitchen to the study for a virtual meeting.”(Per The Irish Independent)