Belfast Telegraph

Kenny surprised by lottery figures

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he is surprised at figures that showed only 10,000 euro profit was generated from 4 million euro of sales of Rehab Lotteries instant win scratch cards.

Amid deepening scrutiny of the charity sector in the fall-out from pay top-ups at the Central Remedial Clinic, a Government audit has warned about low profit margins at Rehab.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter last night revealed his department had found Rehab's gross lottery sales in 2010 of 7.2 million euro yielded a net profit of 558,000 euro - or 8%.

The Taoiseach said he was surprised and warned all charities facing inspection by a powerful Dail committee.

"I've made it perfectly clear that all charities are going to be analysed and all are going to be called the Public Accounts Committee and all of the details insofar as public support and public monies will be dealt with," he said.

"They must all be treated in the same fashion - fully transparent, fully accountable, fully answerable to the public where public monies are involved, where public monies are not involved, that it is all laid out so that the public who donate know that their money is going for what was intended."

An interim charities regulator will be in place by the end of February with the authority fully in place in late April.

Rehab, which provides education, training and employment for people with disabilities, rejected Mr Shatter's disclosure.

It accused him of giving out misleading information, abusing his position by talking about a matter that is before the courts and demanding that he apologise and withdraw the remarks.

The organisation said it will not be commenting further until it has consulted its legal team.

Rehab is taking legal action over Government plans to abolish funding available to private charitable lotteries and is also battling the state over the National Lottery licence sale.

Its chief executive Angela Kerins has been criticised over the years for refusing to publicly reveal her salary which has been revealed as being 234,000 euro for 2012.

She travelled with the Taoiseach earlier this month on a trade mission to the Middle East including to Saudi Arabia. The company signed a 2.3 million euro contract to supply training and support programmes for people with disabilities in the country.

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