The Workers’ Party have strongly criticised the annual Oireachtas Members’ Interests statement saying the statutory declaration is woefully inadequate and hides more than it reveals with regard to the true financial, business and property interests of government ministers, TDs, Senators and MEPs.

Seamus McDonagh

Workers’ Party representative in Meath, Seamus McDonagh, said the focus of the legislation governing Members’ Interests is too narrow and only obliges a member to reveal that they have an interest or shareholding, not the value of it or the amount of any income accruing from it.

McDonagh said: “The Irish legislation is completely inferior to international standards for such declarations and is a pale shadow of even its counterpart in Britain, which seeks information on payment for sums of as little as £100 in respect of MPs work outside of their parliamentary duties. In addition they are required to make declarations in respect of any member of their family is involved in lobbying of the government or other public bodies”.

“What passes for a declaration of Oireachtas members’ interests is really only the tip of the iceberg. It does not reveal the true extent of their property ownership, financial interests or income from external work. It is also in stark contrast to the type of scrutiny that jobseekers and other social welfare recipients are put under on a daily basis,  not to the mention the culture of suspicion cast on them by Official Ireland from the Taoiseach downwards”, said Seamus McDonagh.