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Online Government Spending For Cancer Screening Services that Didn’t Exist

Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has raised some serious questions about online spending by the government. Deputy Tóibín raised the matter with the Taoiseach in the Dáil this afternoon.

The Deputy said: “Taoiseach, under the last government a decision was made that all online advertising for various Departments would go through the Department of An Taoiseach. Is this still the practice and what controls are in place to monitor government spending and can he furnish me with a report/breakdown on the spending of taxpayer funds on advertising by the government?”

Deputy Tóibín continued: “I think we do need to have controls on online spending of taxpayer money. 2 million is a lot of money, and obviously we need to advertise on health campaigns, etc. But is there another agenda at play here? We’re all familiar with the Cervical Check scandal, and the amount of coverage that has received internationally. By strangely if you google the words ‘cervical check Ireland’, you’ll note that the first page of results omits any mention of any scandal or any news reports – government ads have buried the news articles. It is strange that there are just enough ads to push all news items to the second page of results, precisely enough to remove the scandal from the first page”.

“Also, it is worth noting that HSE ads for cancer screening, cervical check and breast check continued throughout this pandemic despite the fact that a decision had been made with government involvement, to stop screening services. Why did the HSE continue to spend money advertising a service that was not available? I would urge the Taoiseach to furnish this house with a report on government online advertising to date this year, providing a clear breakdown on where taxpayer money was spent – will you do so, Taoiseach?” asked the Deputy.

The Taoiseach said he was ‘perplexed’ by the question but confirmed that he would ‘check it out and get back to Deputy Tóibín’. He did not commit to furnish the house with a report or breakdown on online government spending this year.

By Aontú Press | 6 October, 2020

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The Irish political system is radically broken

In Ireland the vast majority of elected representatives put a finger in the air to check which way the political wind is blowing. They have one eye on their leaders – seeking brownie points – and another eye keeping their seat safe. If elected reps shut up and do as they’re told, they are promoted; if they stand up for what they believe in, they are demoted. No wonder we have the political class we have. No wonder one point one billion euro is being buried in a hole under the National Children’s Hospital and that Stormont is in stalemate.

Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics. Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.

Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.