Fine Gael have reacted swiftly to the Áine Collins debacle by enlisting economy dwarf Eddie Hobbs to take her on a two-week bugeting bootcamp, which will be fimed by RTÉ and run in the Autumn 2012 schedule.”The show is going to be great” said RTÉ mainman Tom Savage. “The premise is simple: Áine has made a few silly mistakes with her personal finances during her short time in office, and Eddie comes in with a firm hand to help her balance her books and mention his website and other projects”.
Áine Collins hit the headlines last week when she noted that anyone in Ireland’s current economic climate would find it difficult to survive on a €140,000 salary. As a TD, Collins earns €92,672, with an additional allowances and expenses of €50,000, a combined income of €142,672. The resulting salary is more than four times’ Ireland’s average industrial wage.
In her defense, Collins says she had been “taken in” by the glamourous Teachta Dala life and had made a series of costly purchases, including:
- A Gold-Plated Ferrari with personalised vanity plate
- A Gold-Plated, Diamond-encrusted Nintendo Game Boy
- Wages for 16 muscular, oiled-up Ukranian men to service her estate – including gardening, lifting heavy items and fanning the TD with large palm-tree leaves
- A bejewelled crown with COLLINS DA BOMB embedded in Silk Diamonds (said to be the latest craze in opulence)
- An expansive personal monorail
- A small privately-owned jet piloted by more topless Ukranian men with COLLINS written in silk paint with miniature diamonds crushed into it.
- The acquisition in 2011 of French Polynesian island COLLINS ISLAND
Collins said she “regretted” her comments and that she had “learnt a very valuable lesson”. “But obviously not as valuable as perhaps a Porsche 993 with ivory wheels and a gold steering wheel and ‘COLLINS’ sewn into the leather upholstery”
The show will see Áine Collins write down her spending in a ledger to see where she went wrong, as well as being told to repeatedly look at Eddie Hobbs’ website for more advice. The 6-week program schedule will be padded out by footage of Collins spending time being “mentored” on her finances by more experienced TDs, such as junket-master John O’Donoghue and legendarily self-righteous human money-pit Pádraig Flynn. She hopes to “really learn a lot” from her superiors, such as loopholes regarding keeping benefits and how to make and keep up to 9 pensions on the go without anybody copping on.