Gallagher outlines presidential cost saving scheme

Independent presidential hopeful Seán Gallagher has challenged his rivals to row in behind an initiative that could save more than €280,000 in public funding for counties Longford and Westmeath.

Independent presidential hopeful Seán Gallagher has challenged his rivals to row in behind an initiative that could save more than €280,000 in public funding for counties Longford and Westmeath.

The star of RTE flaghship show ‘Dragons Den’ said candidates could help save the Irish taxpayer thousands by making a small series of adjustments.

“Under Presidential election entitlements, every candidate and political party is provided with free postage for their leaflet, the Litir Um Thoghchan, distributed to every one of the 88,390 voters in the Longford/Westmeath constituency. An Post is reimbursed by the Exchequer and even with reduced postal rates because of bulk purchase, the costs could run between 44 cents and 54 cents a leaflet. This can often result in up to 30 pieces of literature, many of them duplicates going into a household where a number of registered voters live,” he said.

The Cavan businessman claimed by candidates agreeing to share one piece of literature, a saving of up to €286,000 could be achieved in the lead up to October’s election.

“It is just common sense in these straightened economic times to look for practical solutions to save taxpayers money. I have consistently said that I want to run my campaign as cost-effectively as possible. I believe that spending vast amounts of money at time when families and communities are really struggling is obscene. This is just one measure, but I am hopeful that it will help to make a positive difference,” he said.