"Free Vaccines for Ministers and TDs is a Slap in the Face to those Suffering from the Cost-of-living Crisis" - Tóibín
The Taoiseach, government Ministers, TDs, Senators and political staff in Leinster House have been offered free flu vaccines, it has emerged. The scheme has been heavily criticised by the leader of Aontú - Peadar Tóibín TD.
Speaking today, Deputy Tóibín said: "I was shocked last week when I received an email offering me a free flu vaccine. The mind actually boggles. It is ludicrous that the Taoiseach, Ministers, TDs, and Senators are being offered free flu vaccines in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. Surely, Ministers, TDs and Senators can afford to pay for their own vaccines?"
Deputy Tóibín continued: "Aontú is calling for a halt to this practice as we believe the money would be better spent on the vulnerable currently struggling in every community up and down the country. When I received the email notifying me of the fact that there are free vaccines for TDs I was really taken aback. I've never availed of the scheme before, nor did I know it existed. People up and down the country are struggling to pay for medicine. Why should TDs get vaccines for free?"
"I would urge Oireachtas colleagues who wish to receive a flu vaccine to pay for it themselves, like everyone else in their pay bracket. Successive governments have proven themselves very capable of spending other people's money. This government in particular are constantly talking about 'targeted measures' to help with the cost of living. It shows where their priorities are when we see that they're offering refunds and freebies specifically targeted to Ministers, TDs and Senators", concluded Deputy Tóibín.