17 April 2003 Edition

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PD jobs for the boys

The echoes of the Progressive Democrats annual conference have barely subsided and already there a clear difference between what the PDs say and what they actually do.

In particular, take Mary Harney's populist claims that they would end the "rip off culture" and "open up whole new areas of the Irish economy to the forces of competition".

This week, we found that the PD competition policy does not apply to EU jobs, when former party leader and founder Des O'Malley was appointed to a full-time job as board member of the EU Bank of Reconstruction and Development.

The job commands a §116,000 annual salary and was given to O'Malley without any public tender or competition. The former minister also gets a ministerial pension over §35,500.

One wonders will he still collect this and his Dáil pension while getting paid in his new job or does this not count as part of Harney's "rip off culture"?

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