16 Nationalist MLAs in the top 20 of free ink claimants…

Interesting front page story in the Irish News today… They’ve been digging on the use of free toner to political parties and it breaks down to this:

Sinn Fein £93,550
SDLP £58,693
DUP £52,770
UUP £25,515

Pat Doherty in West Tyrone claimed about £16,300, although the party say that Doherty shared an office with the former MLA Clare McGill… Sinn Fein MLAs made up nine of the top twenty spots followed by the SDLP (seven), the DUP (three), and the UUP (one)…

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  • Michael Shilliday

    Did McGill claim anything at all?

  • sdelaneys

    Yes, their total usage was £19,600 according to the Irish News.

  • tacapall

    Glad to see Sinn Fein is milking the system for all its worth the more money it costs Britain the better as far as Im concerned I would apply for loads of those bullet proof drapes that Jeffery claimed for and maybe a few of those floating duck houses Peter Viggers I would love it if they claimed £30,000 each for gardening expenses as well.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Taca, nice to see you don’t care about health, education, welfare, public safety, job creation, etc. ultimately thats where the money has to come from.

    It is also nice to see a bit of honesty from a Republican too, admitting SF are milking the system for all its worth.

  • Reader

    tacapall: Glad to see Sinn Fein is milking the system for all its worth the more money it costs Britain the better as far as Im concerned…
    It’s the Stormont budget, tacapall, not Westminster. You know; the money that is used to provide Health, Education, Printer Ink…
    Still, you have introduced the new notion that it is being deliberately wasted. Are you sure wouldn’t prefer to believe that printer cartridges have an alternative use – for instance, in fuel laundering or something?

  • Mick Fealty

    Yes TAC, and that would cover the logic for the big ink bills to the Oireachtas? If this is your favoured ‘policy’ you are pricing us out of a united Ireland very nicely.

  • sdelaneys

    yes, tacapall, frig the old border and all that aul shythe, we’ll settle for ink. Is that what Marty means by getting ready for more compromises?

  • tacapall

    I have never been anything else but honest when it comes to Britain. Of course Mick milking the system down below is not in Irelands interests but the topic says MLA’s so Im commenting on that. Britain subsidises this state to the tune of billions each year thats how much it costs for her to keep her foot in the door. Im a pacifist but do believe that theres no such thing as an unlimited purse and as long as that cost keeps rising then attutides will change.

  • Local hack

    They want to put “please consider the environment before printing this email” at the bottom of their missives!

  • sdelaneys

    Tacapall, Britain doesn’t worry that much about the few quid spent here to keep the UK intact or have you come to actually believe the old song ,”Old mother England loves us still…” that she is here for our good and would love to leave if we were just a wee bit saner?

  • tacapall

    sdelaneys what are you talking about ?

  • andnowwhat

    Thought you all knew that reproduction is the main tactic of nationalist’s to achieve a United Ireland?

  • salgado

    Looking at the numbers for those four parties – could the UUP be secretly charging printer cartridges to SF’s expenses?

  • Drumlins Rock

    I hate reducing the focus on SF, but the average per MLA surely is highest with the SDLP?

    But back to SF, they seem to have a few very high offenders, I wonder can they also claim cartridges on Westminster expenses too?

  • sdelaneys

    tacapall, what am I talking about? Your strange notion that using tons of toner is somehow striking a blow at Britain.
    Now that oral history has become so popular I can just imagine the scene, ‘And here is Paddy Murphy, Paddy, tell us what you did in the long struggle’, ‘well, sor, I wasted plenty of ink, British ink.’. ‘Good man Paddy, I’m sure we owe you a debt of gratitude for your heroism.’

  • Lionel Hutz

    Sdlps average rate is the highest. Sinn Fein has more shocking offenders. Doherty and then Adams. Adams makes the list even though he was out of ffice for most of the period.

    I wonder are there economies of scale with multiple reps from one constituency. You would surely expect Sinn Fein average in West Belfast to be less than what Atwood spent for example

  • Mick Fealty

    Tac,

    Well, it you who suggested it might incentivise the British to leave… 😉

  • salgado

    Lionel – I’d also wonder if there’s much difference between urban and rural constituencies.

  • JR

    sdelaneys,

    Interesting fact for the day, Sor, is the Irish for animal tick or blood sucking louse, That is the meaning Gael had in mind while adressing their landlord of English gentry with title Sor.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Salgado, that may be right to. I dont know though because, Alban Maginness is third, McDevitt 7th, Adams 8th, Attwood 11th, Peter Robinson 13th. I suppose it depends on what counts as rural beyond that

  • Mike the First

    tacapall

    Northern Ireland is allocated a fixed block grant from the Treasury. So your ‘keep claiming expenses and it’ll be Brits out in no time’ strategy appears rather half-baked: you say “as long as that cost keeps rising then attitudes will change”, which shows that you haven’t grasped that this comes out of the NI budget, which has already been allocated from Westminster.

  • sdelaneys

    JR, thank you, although I was aware of that.

  • Framer

    Why is it free and what else is there for the taking?

  • Michael Shilliday

    As far as I’m aware there is a list of stationary items that was drawn up in 1999 that MLAs would be able to take without charge including such essentials as floppy discs. Toner will be on there. In some ways its fair enough, they need stationary to function, but perhaps some are taking it a little far……

  • BluesJazz

    Carson’s statue is *stationary*. A runaway gravy train is not.

    These people are given significant expenses to buy *stationery* for their office costs.
    The fact that some are freeloading more than others is not a big deal. They are all legally filling their boots.

    Remember that the next time you go to A&E.

  • tacapall

    sdelaneys Sorry there Dan Breen, I bet you’ve been round a few corners. Anyhows the more it costs Britain keeping its feet here the better. Gonna have to head to the dole tomorrow get myself one of them community care grants, dont want that budgeting loan lark you have to pay it back out of the free money you get from the Brits. I might even spoof I have a job interview and get a grant for some new clothes for the Easter parades.

  • cynic2

    So has anyone investigated this yet?

    Where have all these toners really gone. Were they taken by someone for the SF Party Machine? If so, is that not plain and simple theft?

    So will the Assembly now make a complaint to PSNI and ask for an investigation?

  • cynic2

    Sinn Feins Environmental strategy states:

    “We believe that all economic activity and policy decisions should be environmentally proofed to ensure no needless damage is inflicted to an island environment already under severe pressure from unnecessary pollution”

    So were all those empty cartridges recycled then? The truth must be told.

  • tacapall

    Fair play to you Cynic I totally agree with you although Im secretly hoping Unionism will as usual be playing its part in costing the government as much as possible over the 12th July with all that environmental and structural damage caused by loads of loyalist bonfires add on the costs of clearing up and repairing the damage caused to roads, houses etc. How much does it cost to clean all the litter up after those parades as well, its a tidy sum, lucky enough for Unionists they dont have to pick up the bill either.

  • carl marks

    Toner as a weapon of liberation. if this doesn’t get the brits out we will have no choice but to hit them with the paper clips and Polly pockets.
    Britain don’t say you weren’t warned

  • cynic2

    Tacapall

    A printer once again!!!!! And Again!!! And Again!!!!

    By the way I agree completely about the 11th night bonfires. Drunken rabble. They should be turned into genuine community events, well conducted and managed.

    PS just pointing out the hypocrisy of on one hand presenting SF as the greenest party (in all ways) yet the truth is something quite quite different

  • andnowwhat

    Anyone mentioned Wolfe Toner yet?

    (I’ll get my coat)

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s been done… Serious point though. Nationalist far outspending unionist MLAs even though there’s fewer of them.. What’s thy all about?

  • cynic2

    Generations of oppression?

  • sdelaneys

    tacapall “sdelaneys Sorry there Dan Breen, I bet you’ve been round a few corners. Anyhows the more it costs Britain keeping its feet here the better. Gonna have to head to the dole tomorrow get myself one of them community care grants, dont want that budgeting loan lark you have to pay it back out of the free money you get from the Brits. I might even spoof I have a job interview and get a grant for some new clothes for the Easter parade”

    Good old mother Teresa, you’re not dead yet, keep on begging for Ireland, you sound good at it. Just be careful they don’t get you a job.

  • andnowwhat

    Maybe some of the young earth brigade on the unionist benches think that photocopying is black magic?

    If so, they must think that faxes are the personal work of Satan (PBUH)

  • ayeYerMa

    Unsurprising. Sinn Fein have always been more about propaganda than substance. Pity though that so much of their propaganda has had so little challenge by impotent Unionists.

    Flyers, however, are merely one of their many methods, but Unionists need to concentrate on targeting the cyber-Shinner nutters and expose them for being little other than the extremely vocal minority that they are.

  • Framer

    Michael writes “there is a list of stationary items that was drawn up in 1999 that MLAs would be able to take without charge including such essentials as floppy discs. Toner will be on there. In some ways its fair enough, they need stationary to function, but perhaps some are taking it a little far.”
    Hang on a tick, floppy discs are essential items?
    This relates to the era of ‘money no object’ where the Peace or Provo Process was concerned.
    That’s over now. There should be nothing free or subsided at Stormont or else MLAs’ expenses should be scrapped.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Mick Fealty (profile) 5 April 2012 at 8:50 pm
    It’s been done… Serious point though. Nationalist far outspending unionist MLAs even though there’s fewer of them.. What’s thy all about?

    There’s something significant about West Tyrone needing so much, having a 1,2 here. I think large rural regions might have a factor.

  • BluesJazz

    Framer:

    From the online dictionary;

    The term riding the gravy train probably originated from phrases such as “everything else is gravy,” which people sometimes use to describe a great deal of profit after expenses. Gravy is a rich, decadent, and fattening food, and the word is frequently used to describe luxuries or large amounts of money. A train ride is easy and relaxing, taking you where you want to go without any effort on your part. Combine the two and you get gravy train.

    Placebo talking shop assembly at Stormont and ‘Peace process’ largesse.

    They’re in clover up at Stormont. No real work, chaffeurs, subsidised food, amazing salaries and expenses.
    At least Mike Nesbitt wants to see how the other 99% live, for 24 hours. After that he will tell the house of his shock that the average wage in NI is less than £22, 000, and no expenses! Horrors!

  • The price per cartridge dramatically alters the ‘batting order’ for some. Pat Doherty is well ahead of the field at £88.24 [1 = 1] with Gregory Campbell at £76.34 [17 > 1], Barry McElduff £63.13 [18 > 3], Martina Anderson £51.35 [15 > 4] and Willie Clarke £51.33 [12 > 5]. Peter Robinson brings up the tail with a miserly £28.88 [13 > 20].

  • Lionel Hutz

    To be honest, I’m more surprised by the sdlp figures. Apart from election pamphlets I’ve never seen anything printed by them. You can’t move for Sinn Fein leaflets. And in West Throne, they seem to have massive posters everywhere which are regularly changed

  • Mick Fealty

    Well, as Brian Feeney pointed out on Morning Ireland this morning, the glut of toner seems to have gone out in 2010 and it looks like a manoeuvre to get around campaign spending…

    I don’t buy the idea that the governing factor here is the nature of the constituency… The defining characteristic is definitely nationalist/unionist not constituency. For instance, former West Belfast MP Gerry Adams comes in at number 8 (despite not being a member for well over a year now…)

  • FuturePhysicist

    I never said it was the governing factor, you seem to believe that its nationalists’ desire to print bilingually or something that is the governing factor. Yes there are urban candidates such as Adams, McDevitt and Peter Robinson … similarly there are unionist candidates in the list like Gregory Campbell. I still feel there is an obvious tendency for leaflet dropping in the larger rural constituencies than in smaller ones.

    Dominic Bradley, McDevitt and Attwood obviously feel leaflet dropping is important, but candidates like Ritchie, McDonnell and Mark Durkan MP do not, candidates like Connor Murphy, Ciatriona Ruane and Martin McGuinness do not.

    Anyway it might seem a bit rich for a journalist to complain about wasting ink … no one buys newspapers these days anyway.

  • Mick Fealty

    I just asked a question…

  • FuturePhysicist

    Will “A Long Peace?: the Future of Unionism in Northern Ireland” be coming out on Kindle?

  • RyanAdams

    £372.99 per toner?

    Make it an allowance for a standard type of toner, and if you want luxury you pay the extra!

  • HeinzGuderian

    Burn everything British………escept their money and ink cartridges…..

    By the jr…..an oirish man at Brussels……’Tank ya Sor’.

  • littlewhitedove

    I need an Ipad and you need new shoes Hienzy. Dole office here we come.

  • lamhdearg2

    Would i be right in thinking MLAs buy the toner then claim back the expence, from wherever they choose, ie from their better half/best mate/business partner, at whatever rate that person is selling, even if somone else is selling for a fraction of the cost?, but sure what can be done to stop them.

    What was it George Seawright allegedly said about priests.

  • FuturePhysicist

    To be fair Martin needs more ink than Peter because he has to put Deputy on his stationary.