Swipe Cards

15th July, 2009

Had a really good debate on the way in which politicians behave and are rewarded in the Committee Stage Debate on the Oireachtas Members Pension Bill today. A number of Senators (particularly Senator Micheal McCarthy) argued that the use of swipe cards is not appropriate for members of the Oireachtas and for the work that we do.

I couldn’t disagree with this more. It is but a small example of the kind of change that politicians will need to accept in order to gain the authority to help save our democracy. If I used one for 10 years in the private sector why should this now change given that I now work in the institutions funded by the tax payer? Also argued that we need to radically reduce the salaries paid to office holders in public life.

Finally the arguement was put forward by Senator John Hannafin that only politicians have to live with the constant risk of losing their job? Again, couldn’t disagree more. What about just about everybody working in business in Ireland at the moment?