Pascal Donohoe under massive pressure as he ‘regrets’ undeclared election campaign costs – – Our News, Your Views

Pascal Donohoe under massive pressure as he ‘regrets’ undeclared election campaign costs

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform must withdraw from policy decisions related to the further development of ethics legislation and SIPO.

Paschal Donohoe said the rule would remain in effect while the Standards in Public Office investigates a complaint filed about the donor filing during his 2016 general election campaign.

The services involve putting up and taking down campaign posters, which Donohoe said he believes is voluntary.

Mr. Donohoe has written to the Secretary General of his department to inform him of his decision to resign from these positions.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, he said that by examining records relating to the provision of a service for his 2016 election campaign, he discovered that he would have had to declare an additional amount of €1,057 with his election declaration.

This, he said, reflects the equivalent commercial value of the service.

Referring to a sequence of events, the Fine Gael minister said his party’s central Dublin branch was offered assistance in his 2016 re-election campaign by putting up and removing placards.

He said six people were involved and neither Mr. Donohoe nor his campaign paid them, nor was he aware they were paid.

However, upon checking, he discovered that they had been paid for their help in this campaign. He told reporters today that it was a personal payment from an individual to support Fine Gael in central Dublin.

He said his campaign expenses form should have reflected that cost, which he said was €140, and this was his oversight.

The value of the works carried out should also have been declared, which would have been around 917 euros.

Mr Donohoe said he “deeply regrets” that the matter was not handled properly in 2016 and said he has always held himself to the highest standards.

No sense of urgency to modernize SIPO, says Shortall

Socialist deputy leader Róisín Shortall said today that successive governments “have completely ignored” calls for more powers on standards in public offices (SIPOs) and there is no urgency to modernize them.

Speaking to RTÉ’s This Week, Ms Shortall said: “Sometimes people think that you only have to declare monetary donations but of course we are required to declare goods and services as well.”

In the same programme, John Devitt of Transparency International Ireland said it could be another four to five years before SIPO is reformed.

“We need reform in an overhaul of how these statements are made,” Mr Devitt said, reports RTE.

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