High Court Challenge Tuesday March 28 to politicians' 'turning up' money

Florence

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An OAP John Wolfe is in the High Court on Tuesday challenging the legality of our politicians ‘turning up’ money. His case hinges on equality (article 40.1) in the Irish Constitution and the equality provisions of various EU laws.

He’s asking what is the rationale for paying politicians generous unvouched amounts for travel from home to work (Leinster House) tax free when all other citizens pay their own travel costs to work and if the employer pays in full or part there are tax implications.

The current regime permitted Katherine Zappone to take the ‘scenic route’ to work. As a senator she received an extra €15,000 pa for taking the scenic route, and the self certification form she signed claimed she needed all that extra dosh as she returned nothing at the end of the year. Must have been a scenic route via Donegal? The rules say you must take the ‘ shortest practical route.’

Mr Wolfe is representing himself in court against the state’s legal team. Not exactly a fair contest. I wish him well. Would go to watch if I could get the day off but I can’t.

His website is http://aretheyworthitblog.wordpress.com
 


ShinnerBot No.32564844524

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An OAP John Wolfe is in the High Court on Tuesday challenging the legality of our politicians ‘turning up’ money. His case hinges on equality (article 40.1) in the Irish Constitution and the equality provisions of various EU laws.

He’s asking what is the rationale for paying politicians generous unvouched amounts for travel from home to work (Leinster House) tax free when all other citizens pay their own travel costs to work and if the employer pays in full or part there are tax implications.

The current regime permitted Katherine Zappone to take the ‘scenic route’ to work. As a senator she received an extra €15,000 pa for taking the scenic route, and the self certification form she signed claimed she needed all that extra dosh as she returned nothing at the end of the year. Must have been a scenic route via Donegal? The rules say you must take the ‘ shortest practical route.’

Mr Wolfe is representing himself in court against the state’s legal team. Not exactly a fair contest. I wish him well. Would go to watch if I could get the day off but I can’t.

His website is http://aretheyworthitblog.wordpress.com
Conversely the EU just recently ruled that time spent travelling to work should be counted as working, meaning the dail is ahead of the curve and needs to roll out the legislation for the rest of us....good luck with that one :rolleyes:
 

gleeful

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Sounds like the judge will throw it out as he doesnt have standing.
 

SayItAintSo

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Sounds like the judge will throw it out as he doesnt have standing.
Who would have standing to take a case like this do you know? I would have thought a citizen would have a right but have no legal knowledge as to whether that's the case.

Hope the case gets heard, this turning up for work money really sticks in my craw!
 

Hans Von Horn

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The allowances amount to a separate taxation system for politicians from that the plebs are subject to.
 

Florence

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there's a number of cases where an individual has been granted standing where he/she did not have a direct interest in the case but where the case was in the public interest. Patricia McKenna got standing in her case re equal spending in referendums. this was the divorce referendum and she objected to the state spending more on the yes side even tho she was in favour of divorce and did not need one herself.

I agree the state lawyers will go for the standing issue but I am hopeful he will win the standing issue due to existing case law.

if he is not allowed to take it - who could? TDs are not going to take it - the very few who dont take the turning up money keep it quiet!
 

Stentor

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An OAP John Wolfe is in the High Court on Tuesday challenging the legality of our politicians ‘turning up’ money. His case hinges on equality (article 40.1) in the Irish Constitution and the equality provisions of various EU laws.

He’s asking what is the rationale for paying politicians generous unvouched amounts for travel from home to work (Leinster House) tax free when all other citizens pay their own travel costs to work and if the employer pays in full or part there are tax implications.

The current regime permitted Katherine Zappone to take the ‘scenic route’ to work. As a senator she received an extra €15,000 pa for taking the scenic route, and the self certification form she signed claimed she needed all that extra dosh as she returned nothing at the end of the year. Must have been a scenic route via Donegal? The rules say you must take the ‘ shortest practical route.’

Mr Wolfe is representing himself in court against the state’s legal team. Not exactly a fair contest. I wish him well. Would go to watch if I could get the day off but I can’t.

His website is http://aretheyworthitblog.wordpress.com
Great OP.

Chancery Court 5, Greek Street beside the Four Courts.
 
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sadcitizen

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Good luck to him. Did anything ever come from the revelation of Zappone's scenic route payments? Is she still taking them?
 

Watcher2

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An OAP John Wolfe is in the High Court on Tuesday challenging the legality of our politicians ‘turning up’ money. His case hinges on equality (article 40.1) in the Irish Constitution and the equality provisions of various EU laws.

He’s asking what is the rationale for paying politicians generous unvouched amounts for travel from home to work (Leinster House) tax free when all other citizens pay their own travel costs to work and if the employer pays in full or part there are tax implications.

The current regime permitted Katherine Zappone to take the ‘scenic route’ to work. As a senator she received an extra €15,000 pa for taking the scenic route, and the self certification form she signed claimed she needed all that extra dosh as she returned nothing at the end of the year. Must have been a scenic route via Donegal? The rules say you must take the ‘ shortest practical route.’

Mr Wolfe is representing himself in court against the state’s legal team. Not exactly a fair contest. I wish him well. Would go to watch if I could get the day off but I can’t.

His website is http://aretheyworthitblog.wordpress.com
I think their argument is that tis the constituency offices that are the politicians paces of work, not necessarily the Dail.
 

Florence

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Good luck to him. Did anything ever come from the revelation of Zappone's scenic route payments? Is she still taking them?
Ms Zappone can't take the'scenic route' now that she is a Minister. her Ministerial driver keeps a note of her mileage and a claim goes in for mileage at public service rates. So she's unlikely to instruct the driver to go via Kerry or Donegal because then petrol will be used that she paid for. She was getting over 20K pa as a senator to take the scenic route (officially she did an extra 6 km each way as this was more practical it put her into a much more lucrative travel Band!
 

Dedogs

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An OAP John Wolfe is in the High Court on Tuesday challenging the legality of our politicians ‘turning up’ money. His case hinges on equality (article 40.1) in the Irish Constitution and the equality provisions of various EU laws.

He’s asking what is the rationale for paying politicians generous unvouched amounts for travel from home to work (Leinster House) tax free when all other citizens pay their own travel costs to work and if the employer pays in full or part there are tax implications.

The current regime permitted Katherine Zappone to take the ‘scenic route’ to work. As a senator she received an extra €15,000 pa for taking the scenic route, and the self certification form she signed claimed she needed all that extra dosh as she returned nothing at the end of the year. Must have been a scenic route via Donegal? The rules say you must take the ‘ shortest practical route.’

Mr Wolfe is representing himself in court against the state’s legal team. Not exactly a fair contest. I wish him well. Would go to watch if I could get the day off but I can’t.

His website is http://aretheyworthitblog.wordpress.com
well done mr wolfie i hope you nail the ************************s!!!!
 

Florence

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Great OP.

Chancery Court 5, Greek Street beside the Four Courts.
How do you know that? Only todays cases were up when I looked on the Four Courts website. Do you know what Judge is taking the case?
 

cricket

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Morally, he's bang on, legally, I haven't a notion.
 

mangaire2

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I think their argument is that tis the constituency offices that are the politicians paces of work, not necessarily the Dail.
I think that you may be correct there.
in any event, if you're a TD for Donegal or Cork or Clare & required to travel to Dublin & spend some days there, it's entirely reasonable that you claim expenses for that.

of course it's not only TDs & Senators that get 'away from home' expenses - all public servants do.
they get generous travel, meal & a whole range of expenses/allowances.
& while there are a couple of hundred TDs & Senators, there are tens of thousands public servants, who get similar allowances.
 

publicrealm

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I think that you may be correct there.
in any event, if you're a TD for Donegal or Cork or Clare & required to travel to Dublin & spend some days there, it's entirely reasonable that you claim expenses for that.

of course it's not only TDs & Senators that get 'away from home' expenses - all public servants do.
they get generous travel, meal & a whole range of expenses/allowances.
& while there are a couple of hundred TDs & Senators, there are tens of thousands public servants, who get similar allowances.
The civil servants don't get an allowance for going TO their place of employment - only if they travel AWAY from it in the course of their duties. It's entirely reasonable that they claim expenses for that.
 

Florence

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I think that you may be correct there.
in any event, if you're a TD for Donegal or Cork or Clare & required to travel to Dublin & spend some days there, it's entirely reasonable that you claim expenses for that.

of course it's not only TDs & Senators that get 'away from home' expenses - all public servants do.
they get generous travel, meal & a whole range of expenses/allowances.
& while there are a couple of hundred TDs & Senators, there are tens of thousands public servants, who get similar allowances.
You're not comparing like with like. Public servants who travel on behalf of the dept they work for put in claims after the travel and get public service mileage and subsistence rates which is fine. Public servants do not get any payments for home to work; if they did there would be a BIK implications. Politicians get a generous tax free annual travel allowance paid monthly. See Mr Wolfe's website http://aretheyworthitblog.wordpress.com - the politicians system is explained there.

It is entirely reasonable that politicians who live beyond a normal commute get travel expenses by putting in a claim after the event at agreed rates. That is not the system!
 
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mangaire2

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The civil servants don't get an allowance for going TO their place of employment - only if they travel AWAY from it in the course of their duties. It's entirely reasonable that they claim expenses for that.
I reckon that you're correct there.
now, maybe you might tell me - where is the "place of employment" of a Donegal TD, for instance ?
 


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