Greystones Councillor highest earner in the country
The Irish Independent reports how a Wicklow Councillor is one of the highest paid in the country.
The report says that Greystones councillor George Jones earned 83,000 in 2011.
The highest earner in Ireland, Wicklow Fine Gael councillor George Jones, last night defended the €83,000 in payments he received in 2011, saying he was not "cashing in".
He added: "I'm getting no more extra than anyone else. It is just an effect of the various committees and bodies that I'm involved with."
The investigation by Paul Melia and Cormac McQuinn also reveals:
- Councillors racked up huge foreign-travel bills, with more than 100 of them visiting 24 countries on five continents over the course of 2011.
- Another €2m was paid to councillors who attended conferences in Ireland.- At least 15 councillors also work as assistants and advisers to TDs and ministers, significantly boosting their incomes.
- One councillor received payments of more than €22,000 from a third-level institution and separate payments totalling €11,000 from a VEC.
- Councils have picked up the tab for master's degrees, website design and office equipment.
The investigation, conducted over four months, examined salaries, board members' fees, travel, subsistence, conference expenses and payments to attend meetings. Many of the payments are unvouched, meaning receipts did not have to be provided.
The payments were made to 883 city and county councillors, of which more than 150 also hold a dual mandate -- meaning they sit on a town or borough council as well.
This means they can claim expenses to represent two local authorities, which increases their totals.