40+ questions regarding Pascal & his filing.
The minister says that he has give a full comprehensive explanation of matters. Has he? These are questions he apparently has NOT answered yet. These are comprehensively the questions being asked by TD’s in the last few days and by media.
1. The Government has blocked a real question-and-answer session. Why? (yes, likely obvious answer)
2. The business workers who were putting up the Minister’s election posters were being paid by the Designer Group at the time?
3. If they were even paid minimum wage per hour, how come the financial number on the the TD’s expenses statement, is way under that total number?
4. Why did the TD involved state the posters went up at night when the workers were photographed putting them up during the day?
5. If this is just a mistake, why was there so bad checking by the TD?
6. How can workers working for the Designer Group putting up posters during the day not be a corporate donation from the Designer Group?
7. How can someone paying to get posters of the Minister put up for his election campaign not be a donation to his election campaign?
8. If the Designer Group put up only 150 posters at a snail’s pace, how many other posters did the Minister get put up and how did he get them up?
9. Why won’t the Minister’s to answer legitimate questions from the Opposition – when he was willing to answer questions from media?
10. Is it because any answers he give might be further examined by SIPO for further possible contradictions, shortage of information or lies?
11. Why the Minister did not rectify his returns in 2017 when he says he first became aware that a cost applied to the van that was used?
12. The Minister had responsibility for SIPO, so he with aides/fellow staff, was completely familiar with our electoral laws at that time?
13, if he was, how come the errors?
14. If not, why was he over a department not knowing the basics?
15. He tells the nation he only recently became aware that the team of six people were actually paid for the work they were doing. Six individuals working in three teams of two, that were paid a shocking low pay total of €1,100 for their FOUR DAYS efforts. How come he didn’t work out even the minimum rate of total pay for all these workers before filling in his final stated financial numbers?
16. Is he really telling the nation that the real commercial cost of employing six people for four days – and hiring a van over four days – was just €1,240 in total?
17. Did he get a deal of the century from all this?
18. Was there reverse engineering of financial numbers in order to fit within the spending and donations limits?
19. The rules state “Where expenses are incurred on a candidate’s behalf by an individual or body other than a political party … and the expenses are borne by the individual/body, the expenses may be regarded as a donation to the candidate.” Did he suddenly forget this before filing or amending his paperwork?
20. How does the Minister’s claim of €1,100 square with somebody who was contesting the same election in the same constituency, Senator Mary Fitzpatrick, who had to pay nearly €5,000 to get her posters put up and taken down?
21. Many of the Minister’s colleagues, sitting behind him, paid €2,500 to just get posters put up. How come his low figure if we stick to standard rate of van hire and minimum wag rate of workers?
22. The Minister claimed that these people were only putting up 150 posters over three nights, not four. As available photographs show, they were putting up posters two to a pole. That would be 75 poles, which would mean they were putting posters up on two poles per hour. Is he really expecting SIPO and the public to swallow that?
23. In 2017, who brought it to the Minister’s attention that the company van was used in 2016?
24. Who made that allegation?
25. What action did the Minister take?
26. How did he actually value the use of the van?
27. How many days was the van used for and for how many hours each day?
28. In 2021, when a number of journalists made specific, detailed inquiries of the Minister regarding the issue which is now in the public domain, the Minister said he carried out a review and that all was in order. Who carried out the review?
29. How did the Minister satisfy himself of that?
30. How does that square with the fact that he knew in 2017 that, at the very least, a van was used in this process?
31. How could the Minister say that everything was in order when this was the case?
32. When did he speak with Michael Stone about this?
33. He told the media at a press conference on Sunday that he took a number of weeks to make sure that all of the detail was accurate and that they were out putting up posters on four nights. Can he setting on either THREE DAYS or FOUR days – and also not night work as he has prior stated?
34. There are photographs showing workers out in the middle of the working day, wearing hard hats and high-visibility clothing, right off a building site with the company van parked nearby. When did the Minister contact Michael Stone to find out how much he paid, how it was acquired and whether they were Designer Group employees?
34. Were they paid in cash? Was there no pay slips? Tax/vat records to refer to?
35. If they were paid less than minimum wage, why did he not question this serious wage abuse?
36. Wage abuse would have been obvious by adding up hours by days, by 6 men, multiplied by even minimum wage rate?
37. Can he offer any personal insight as to how his friend who later got awarded a state role with then access to government information, gain a further state contract involving millions – from which he would have profited from?
38. Who was involved in the selection process regarding the appointment?
39. Who was involved in the awarding of the €8 million contract, what was the prior laid out criteria and then process in regard to its award later?
40. Was the awarding of the later contract, a conflict of interest when the man involved was also same time working for the state?
The minister says he has clarified matters. Has he? Why are government parties – ESPECIALLY THE GREEN PARTY as they election promised they would – not doing proper accountability? Will FF/FG finally give SIPO the powers it needs after it asking for many years? RTE newscasters say on camera that this is just a small matter. What all the fuss about? Do they have a point? Over to you, the public…
UPDATE – 20th/01/2023
It appears there’s possibly more to come.