Limits Put On Election Spending

Minister John Gormley announced last week that all candidates standing in local elections to be held on June 5th of this year will be subject to spending limits. The move has been welcomed by the majority of candidates contacted by the County Leader. “I would welcome this move by the Minister. Local elections should be about giving everyone who is interested an option to put themselves forward to represent their community and imposing a spending limit makes it more of a level playing field for all,” said Cllr Darragh Butler. The limit for candidates running for Fingal County Council will be E15,000. Candidates seeking election to town and borough councils will have a spending of E7,500. Green Party candidate for the Swords ward Ken Duffy also welcomed Minister Gormley’s announcement. “Lower spending by candidates during the forthcoming election campaign makes a lot of sense. In this time of recession, less spending equals less financial waste. It also makes for better politics, by levelling the playing field for all candidates,” he said. Cllr Clare Daly expressed her concern that these limits would not be respected by the bigger, richer parties. ”Experience shows from Dail elections where limits exist that it is very difficult to enforce. The big parties and those with connection to big business and developers have many ways of bending the rules.” Cllr Eoghan O’Brien called the proposals ‘reasonable’ and said they create ‘ a more level playing field’ for all the candidates.