Councillor to donate expenses to charity
Independent Newry City Councillor Kevin McAteer has decided to donate his monthly expenses to charity.
The move comes after it was revealed that councillors elected to Newry, Mourne and Down Council will pocket around £1m in allowances, subsidies and mileage claims from their first 12 months in office. MLAs from the Newry and Armagh and South Down constituencies also claimed over £1.2m in expenses over a 15 month period.
Newry, Mourne and Down Councillors are entitled to monthly expenses on top of their monthly wage of £1,183, to cover mileage and other subsidies such as accommodation and food expenditure while on official Council business.
Speaking to The Examiner about the issue, the Independent Councillor said,
“This is something I thought about for a long time. I plan to donate my expenses to a charity of my choice in an effort to help others. Politics for me has never been about money, it’s about helping others.”
Councillor McAteer says he will allow his expenses to build up over three months and then donate that amount every three months to a different charity in the hope that it will help someone in need.
“I know I will probably come under criticism from the political parties but I know this money no matter how little it may be will help a lot of people and that’s what is important.”