Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath has outlined his absolute objection to any proposal that will see free antigen tests supplied to TD’s and Senators while the public are expected to pay.
Deputy McGrath, who has been absent from the Dáil for the last 6 weeks on health grounds following surgery, has this week returned to attending Oireachtas Committee Meetings online.
Speaking after attending a meeting of the Dáil Business Committee, Deputy McGrath explained his absolute shock at a proposal that free antigen tests would be provided to TD’s and Senators while the public are expected to pay for tests.
“This morning I attended a meeting of the Dáil Business Committee online. I was absolutely shocked to hear of a proposal that TDs and Senators would receive free antigen tests.
This proposal comes at a time when antigen tests are not being made available to the wider public and where members of the public can be expected to take several antigen tests a week.
“While I welcome the wider use of antigen tests, I raised my absolute disgust at a situation where TDs and Senators would be given free Tests paid for by the taxpayer when so many are struggling to meet the cost of these tests.
“My office has been inundated with calls from members of the public who want to take a responsible step and use antigen tests but they do not have the financial means to purchase these tests. With tests costing anywhere between €5- €10 per test, a family of four could now be expected to pay up to €120 per week to take 3 tests in a week. This is unsustainable for the majority of families and I was absolutely appalled at the suggestion that TD’s and Senators would receive free tests,” said Deputy McGrath
“I made my strong objections to this proposal known during the meeting and think it is a disgraceful kick in the teeth to the public and I called on the proposal to be rejected. I was however informed that the tests have already been ordered.”
Once again it appears that Oireachtas members who are passing draconian pieces of legislation are getting preferential treatment and members of the public are being left behind,” he said.