Higgins says advice contradicts ruling
Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins has said he has received independent legal advice which directly contradicts the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission ruling that he was not entitled to use a Dáil allowance to cover travelling expenses outside Dublin.
The Dublin West TD said he was prepared to seek a judicial review in the High Court on the issue if the Government did not clarify the matter. He wrote to Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin outlining the legal advice received. He said the counsel’s opinion stated there were ambiguities in the wording of the statutory instrument setting up the allowance regime and it did not exclude travel outside Dublin.
Mr Higgins yesterday urged Mr Howlin to make a public statement and clarify that a broader interpretation could be open than that taken by the commission.
Mr Higgins and other left-wing TDs admitted using a portion of the €1,000-a- month allowance available to Dublin TDs to cover expenses in travelling to anti-water charge meetings across the State.