MANY CYNICAL VOTERS will have accused Enda Kenny of showing the public some bare-faced cheek with promises on bank bailouts – but the Taoiseach is also showing some bare cheeks in a literal sense.
Figures obtained by TheJournal.ie show that the Department of the Taoiseach has not spent any public funds on make-up for the Fine Gael leader since he took office in March of last year.
Indeed, the figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, added that no ministers of state attached to the Department of the Taoiseach had incurred any make-up bills in that time either. The current junior ministers attached to the Department are government chief whip Paul Kehoe and EU affairs minister Lucinda Creighton.
Kenny’s frugality comes in stark comparison to that of predecessor Bertie Ahern – who spent just under €250,000 on make-up over his 11-year term as head of government.
Ahern spent an average of €441 per week on make-up during his tenure, with costs peaking at €27,721.53 in 2004, the year Ahern held the rotating Presidency of the European Council when Ireland served as president of the EU.
The costs dropped to €9,332.42 in 2008, however – a year for which Ahern was Taoiseach for 18 weeks before handing over to his then-Tánaiste Brian Cowen.
The figures suggest Cowen incurred no make-up expenses for that year, and confirm that Cowen did not incur any bills for make-up throughout the rest of his three-year leadership either.
The Department of the Taoiseach said there had also been “no expenditure on miscellaneous beauty products” since 2000.