Fine Gael Cork South Central Senator, Jerry Buttimer, today (Thursday) said, in light of our current economic situation, it is time the practice of furnishing former Taoisigh with State cars for the duration of their retirement is brought to an end.
“It is high time that an end to the automatic entitlement of former Taoisigh having State cars on their retirement is brought about.
“While I recognise that all of our former leaders have dedicated their lives to the State, I am also cognisant of the fact that they have been handsomely paid for their service and continue to receive generous pensions.
“The practice of accommodating former Taoisigh with such ‘mercs and perks’ belongs, without question, to another era. It is unnecessary and, especially in these straitened times, is an increasingly difficult expense to justify.
“I believe that after the second year of retirement the automatic entitlement should be ended with a car pool instead being made available. Former Taoisigh could well do without this added bonus and there is no question that these funds could be better spent elsewhere.
“Ireland as a nation must begin to grow up. We must send out a clear signal that we are changing the way we operate. In order to attract investment that will lead to jobs for a brighter future we must begin to modernise ourselves.
“To do this we must first accept that our small country has been broken by the failed culture that has gone before. It is time we accept the need for radical change. Only a cultural change will lead to further, more sustainable investments now and for the future. I believe cutting back on areas of needless gratuitous expenditure, such as this, is undoubtedly the right place to start.”