Davis makes financial disclosure. Will McGuinness follow?

Mary Davis has been getting a lot of stick from the press about her various public appointments. Now, she’s published her P60 and her earnings as a director. In yesterday’s NewsTalk engagement Martin McGuinness also promised a similar disclosure… That would be a disclosure, Gerard’s been waiting for some months for

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  • keano10

    ” a disclosure Gerard has been waiting some month’s for”

    Erm from what I can see, Gerard sent his original letter on 19th September, which is exactly 2 weeks ago…

  • Mick Fealty

    Did you miss this thread?

  • Neil

    Those sneaky Shinners, not taking every pennythey can get and running. And then having the cheek to think they can donate thier own wages to whoever they please. If only they’d wise up and try to rip off as much cash as possible from the state and use the money to fund lavish lifestyles like normal politicians eh?

    I say it again. This is such a non story it’s literally LOL funny to see it again. So shinners take an average wage and donate the rest of the money to the party and by extension to their constituents. What a abunch of bastards, they need to be exposed for their lack of greed.

    I can see why certain political parties in the south are pissing themselves with fear at SF’s progress, they are going to be shown as the money motivated careerists they are, while Shinners get shown to be doing the decent thing – and are criticised for so doing. Laughable.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Neil, it would be good to know what “the average industrial wage” is acording to SF, and are any other benefits paid now or future, ie. pensions. It is they who make a big issue of it therefore they should back it up. If as Marty claims his driver gets the same pay as he does, does he think all other drivers should get that level of pay? should all ministers be paid the average wage? should everyone be paid one wage no matter what their skills, education, training or ability? thats seems to be the implication.
    I think politicians should be paid a fair wage relevant to the responsibility and status of the post. Councillors should be similar to a senior teaching position, or middle management. MLAs similar to principals, managers, doctors, and ministers to directors of medium firms, senior civil servants, etc. Ok not all politicians are up to those roles, but in those cases you have to blame the interview panel that employed them, ie. the electorate.

    With regards finincial diclosure, if you want something scarey read the “China on The Edge” colum opposite >>>>

  • Neil

    should all ministers be paid the average wage? should everyone be paid one wage no matter what their skills, education, training or ability? thats seems to be the implication.

    Not so sure about this, I think the main reasoning behind the industrial average wage for the Shinners was that it showed the predominantly working class SF voters that Gerry (for example) wasn’t just on the make, trying to improve his lot by taking the hated Brits’ money.

    Because SF were born from working class Nationalist communities, and at the time with the IRA goiong strong, it was necessary to make it look like they weren’t taking the money for their benefit and could avoid accusations of having sold out for money.

    I don’t think they advocate this as a model for society at large rather something they have to do as politicians to avoid those accusations.

  • Mick Fealty

    Neil,

    I like that about the blanket wage policy. I’ve worked in those conditions in the past and it is great for generating huge committment and value beyond the norm.

    It’s just that what Gerard is (in my view, very reasonably) asking for is clarity over what that means. We have one public disclosure for one instance (the Telegraph story on the two Westminster houses).

    In the case of my former company, you could see what the wage was when you applied for the job (and it was subject to deductions/allowances for tax, etc). In this case, we can’t.

    Now I realise Martin’s office is elected, not appointed, so as pointed out to me on Twitter, they are not the same sets of circumstances.

    But I still think it’s a reasonable question. And that it is strange that nothing has been forthcoming on the subject for so long.

  • gendjinn

    What if SF let the media spin this one out into a giant feeding frenzy before providing the documentation of what they consider the average industrial wage and how/where their TDs & MMcG donate the excess?

    Either SF in the South are not holding this and it will damage them in the election or they are and it will undermine every criticism the media/establishment have made of them in the election.

    Certainly going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • http://twitter.com/ciaran_may FSTciaran

    The average industrial wage for a Sinn Féin elected representative (MLA, MP) in the North of Ireland is £356 net. I don’t know what the Euro equivalent is but it would be around the same. This has always been in the public domain and a simple Google search should confirm it.

  • Drumlins Rock

    FST, are any other benefits in kind also given?

  • http://twitter.com/ciaran_may FSTciaran

    Not that I am aware of. To the best of my knowledge on the subject any expenses or allowances that an individual Sinn Féin MLA, Minister, MP, TD and Senator claims would all go back into the constituency and then this would be used to provide constituency services. An example within Fermanagh and South Tyrone that has often been used to explain exactly how it works is that of Michelle Gildernew who was (at the time of the example being used) an MP, MLA and a Minister. Gildernew earned £356 per week (net) or £18,500 per year (net) and so did her driver, her staff and personal advisors. If this policy of only accepting the average industrial wage did not exist within the party (and abstentionism) then Michelle Gildernew could have had potential to take home over £2,000 and that would be a net figure which in my view is a ludicrous sum of money to accept for holding public office.
    I don’t agree (as Neil stated) that any elected rep would feel pressure to accept the AIW for fear of a backlash from the electorate, who might think they are getting wealthy or selling themselves out for British money. I agree with the gist of what you are saying but I just don’t believe they are doing it because of pressure but rather because they feel they have a responsibility to accept only the AIW. I believe they accept the AIW primarily so that they experience, first hand, what it is like to have to struggle financially daily and weekly and it would leave them better placed to assess the needs of their constituents because they are also struggling weekly. Remember £356 a week is a very small sum, especially if you have a family to support which in many cases they do.
    Anyway I don’t know if I explained that correctly or not but that is my knowledge on the average industrial wage.

  • Framer

    All smoke and mirrors.

    Each MLA already gets an enormous set of expenses for advice centres etc., and those who are both MPs and MLAs (all SF MPs except Adams’s replacement) get two sets of expenses.

    Of course they all also get gold-plated, inflation-proofed, final salary public sector pensions that would cost an average private sector worker 30% of their wages (if they were available any more).

    Questions – Is the average industrial wage figure before or after tax?

    If the remainder is given to the party it is still paid by the tax payer so we or the unemployed tax payer do not benefit.

    If ‘given’ to the party it is a circular process anyway as the party then spends it to get more votes and public representatives not to mention advice centres which are crowding out charity shops on our high streets.

  • Drumlins Rock

    £356 is a miniscule pay for a government minster, I wonder does it lead to the best people for the job in the long run however, teachers, solicitors, even trade unionist, would have to take a heafty pay cut. Some day reality will catch up I guess.

  • ranger1640

    Is Carol Cullen’s, (Sinn Fein’s) special advisor appointee Mary McArdle, giving over the difference between her 85K a year to Sinn Fein, and only keeping her industrial wage of 18K?

  • ranger1640

    FSTciaran, “This has always been in the public domain and a simple Google search should confirm it”.

    Can you provide the link?

  • http://joeharron@yahoo.com joeCanuck

    It would be nice to get some clarity on this. It is not as simple as FSTciaran thinks. Just a few considerations: What do they mean by “average”? That is an ambiguous term. Is it the mean, the median or something else. Is it the average wage paid out, including overtime for example?. Or is it the hourly rate with hours to be calculated.?
    Are there allowances? Is it the total average or the average of skilled tradespeople? Unionized workers, non-unionized or an “average” of the two. I could go on.

  • Old Mortality

    FST Ciaran
    I’d be astonished if Gildernew or any other SF MLA relies on just £356, bearing in mind she has to keep up appearances and I don’t think MLAs can claim clothing allowances. Moreover, unlike an individual receiving the gross equivalent, she would not be able to claim tax credits. Perhaps SF provides ‘hardship loans’ for their impoverished public reopresentatives.

  • Munsterview

    Old M. “… Perhaps SF provides ‘hardship loans’ for their impoverished public representatives….”

    In my SF activist days I got bare cost of petrol for the car and that was it. On another occasion in another area I was there when the Petrol money was handed over and when the speaker asked about food ex he was told “they will feed you tonight after the meeting and if you were at home you would have to feed yourself dinnertime anyway, get going ”

    Another occasion when self employed and driving a Top of the Range car I was informed by the finance officer in the area I went to “If you can afford to drive a bloody car like that I have better uses to put your petrol money to, thanks for the donation !”

    I have seen Republicans going to America on Movement business fitted out for the trip with new suits etc with a whip round of local Senior Republicans and business sympathizers and the person was send off without touching local funds. There are certain traditions in the Movement that may be mocked by outsiders but for those inside they are part of the ethos.

    From the earliest IRB days it was always a matter of pride to Republicans to pay their own way whenever possible and most of the costs of the organizing work I did over the years came out of my own pocket. My last speaking engagement fee from a local committee was given back for the upkeep of the Local Republican plot and that among my peers is par for the course.

    The ‘Standard Industrial Wage’ is no big deal for Republicans, it is a continuatio of what they always have been doing anyway.

  • http://www.wsws.org Mervyn Crawford

    The promotion by SF and McGuinness of their ‘average wage’ ploy amounts to a stunt.

    Defending the control of the economy by the financial mult-billionaires is the defining issue.

    If SF were a ‘socialist’, ‘republican’ or a party of ‘the people’ then they would be leading the people in a campaign to end this mortally dangerous sytem of capitalist economy.
    Instead they sit comforatbly in the sectarian framework they naturally gravitate to; and they push through the cuts on behalf of the billionaires.

    http://www.faduda.net/newswhip/sipo-unaware-of-sf-funding-arrangement.html

    http://faduda.ie/200-words/the-average-wage-question

  • Old Mortality

    MV
    You don’t address my main point which is that we are expected to believe that, despite the additional personal expenses probably necessitated by her duties, Gildernew has a lower net income than someone who actually earns the average industrial wage.
    Your implied explanation is that she has a whip round of SF members before she goes shopping.

  • Neil

    It is not as simple as FSTciaran thinks. Just a few considerations: What do they mean by “average”? That is an ambiguous term.

    No, it’s not.

  • Neil

    http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/16460

    “Sinn Féin MPs, like all party members who are paid a wage, receive exactly the same average industrial wage which is £356 per week, net.”

    Jeez that was difficult. 10 seconds on Google and here we have a solid concrete statement from SF which should answer all your questions.

    Now, is it the case that everything SF says is to be treated as a lie until they prove otherwise? Guilty until proven innocent, in the absence of any facts that suggest that SF are actually telling a porky here?

    That would be fine were other parties given the same treatment but not a chance of that happening. SF do the right thing and are instantly attacked.

  • Mick Fealty

    Neil,

    There’s some serious evidence that in the Republic at least, Sinn Fein are doing neither the right nor the legal thing.

    Another blog coming up on this ‘non story’ shortly…

  • Neil

    There’s some serious evidence that in the Republic at least, Sinn Fein are doing neither the right nor the legal thing.

    Another blog coming up on this ‘non story’ shortly…

    I look forward to seeing some of this evidence, all we’ve had so far is ‘big bad shinners must be doing something wrong – they’re shinners after all’. Par for the course.

  • Neil
  • http://joeharron@yahoo.com joeCanuck

    Well, at least that clarifies what SF consider an average industrial wage to be. I don’t see why they need their policy. Isn’t a labourer worthy of his wages (1 Timothy 5:18, New American Standard Bible (©1995)). Wages calculated by a duly constituted body.

  • andnowwhat

    The Irish Indy has reported that Norris claimed the DLA for 16 years.

  • Neil

    The Irish Indy has reported that Norris claimed the DLA for 16 years.

    That’s of no interest to most here, who would rather snipe at a Shinner for what they precieve may possibly be a lie about them doing the decent thing.

    Norris, taking what he can, fair play. Marty, average industrial wage, must be a swerve.

    Out of curiosity Mick on this:

    There’s some serious evidence that in the Republic at least, Sinn Fein are doing neither the right nor the legal thing.

    I had asked on your post of ‘evidence’ or as you put it over there ‘questioning’ on the legality, I had queried your statement that they were not doing the right thing? Any response? What is not right about what SF may be doing?

    On the legality we did get that clarified to the extent that it was not evidence you had posted but a possible question regarding the definition of the word donation, so that’s all good, just wondering what you think is wrong about them spending their own money on their constituents?

  • Old Mortality

    Neil
    That bank statement is remarkably sparse. No payments for electricity, for example. It’s possible that the McGuinness family use a pre-pay card like many people with such a meagre income. Perhaps Mrs McGuinness has an income of her own.
    On the other hand, there may be other accounts.

  • Neil

    Old Mortality,

    Perhaps he pays using his credit card? Are you so blinkered and blinded by your dislike of Martin/SF you can’t see the obvious truth when it’s waved in front of your face? Lol. Get the hint, you were wrong, it happens to the best of us. Usually best to admit the mistake and move on though.

    Synopsis of story so far:

    MMG says he gets an industrial wage and specifies amount.

    Everyone accuses him of wrong doing, in spite of the fact that a) he’s under no obligation to take such a low wage b) he’s giving the money back to his constituents c) there’s no evidence that he isn’t doing that which he says he is, even though he’s entitled to do with his own cash as he pleases.

    He provides bank statement.

    Some people can neither admit or even realise when they are completely wrong and refuse to accept that he’s provided what was asked for, evidence that he receives from his party the wage specified.

    Has he other income? Probably. Has he ever written a book for example? I don’t know, I could find out but couldn’t be arsed, you look if you care so much, try Google. Then complain about him getting paid for writing.

    The argument is framed thus: he gets a set wage from the party. He has provided proof from the bank that he gets a set wage from his party.

    Has he other income? Mind your own business. What people earn from various sources is not at issue. What is at issue us what the party pays him.

    Proof has been provided. Fairly conclusive proof at that. If you wish to continue denying reality because you wish you’d caught him out then by all means go ahead. It’s not making Marty look daft that’s for sure.

    Incidentally they accept those credit card thingies most places these days, so you can use them for electricity, food, clothes, why damn near anything. So good luck finding any magic bullets in there.

  • Old Mortality

    Neil
    You can’t use a credit card to pay for electricity or gas, certainly in NI. Yes, the statements show that SF paid him exactly what he claimed they paid him but it doesn’t eliminate the possibility that he receives payments into other accounts.
    Of course, any private income or his wife’s income is none of our business but we are being encouraged to believe that SF elected representatives and their families live solely on £356 per week.
    As I’ve already pointed out, they cannot claim the tax credits that many actually earning the ‘average industrial wage’ would receive and so are worse off.
    There would be compelling non-political reasons for keeping additional ‘expenses’ payments secret since they would almost certainly be liable to tax at 40% in the case of MLAs.

  • Neil

    but we are being encouraged to believe that SF elected representatives and their families live solely on £356 per week.

    Incorrect yet again old bean. You are being encouraged to believe that SF pay Martin 356 pounds per week. Martin can earn other monies if he so wishes and he can use that money, just like his wages, as he pleases.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    There’s a really interesting discussion on this taking place over on politics.ie

    Not, I hasten to add, that anyone is saying anything interesting; it’s more from an anthropological point of view that it’s fascinating. It seems that, after a decade of the Celtic Tiger, most people in the south simply cannot understand the idea that anyone could possibly be motivated by anything other than money, or that anyone would fail to grab everything they possibly can, given the chance.

    McGuinness’s stance on pay seems to be causing not so much admiration or scepticism as sheer cognitive dissonance in the south. Truly, his candidacy has not come a moment too soon.

  • Old Mortality

    Neil
    I know that his duties as DFM are far from onerous but do you really think he has a second job. At least you are close to acknowledging that he does not subsist on £356 pw and that he has other sources of income.
    Any thoughts as to what they might be?

  • Neil

    I know that his duties as DFM are far from onerous but do you really think he has a second job. At least you are close to acknowledging that he does not subsist on £356 pw and that he has other sources of income.
    Any thoughts as to what they might be?

    I never suggested he did, and neither did he. The suggestion that he gets by on 356 pounds a week exists only in your imagination. He has said that the party pays him an average industrial wage.

    I know nothing of his finances, he may have written a book (I’ve never read it if he has), or as is suggested elsewhere, his wife may earn a hundred million pounds a year. All irrelevant though as the only statement he has made or I have defended is this:

    The party pays him an average industrial wage

    That does not mean he has no other money coming in. That does not mean his wife is unemployed and not on benefits. That doesn’t actually mean anything other than the party pays him an average industrial wage. Geddit?

  • http://joeharron@yahoo.com joeCanuck

    Geddit?

    Some people are incapable of gedding it. Others are wilfully michievous. And then are the ones who like to flog dead horses.

    Question asked, question answered.