According to recent Figures, TDs have racked up a staggering bill of €533,366.08 in the month of August whilst they were on holidays. The figures show that Politicians pocketed hundreds of thousands of euro in expenses for a month when neither the Dail nor the Seanad were in house.
The Figures show TDs racked up a bill of €533,366.08 in August while they were on their summer holiday. Among the expenses, senators claimed for €161,187 in allowances, even though the they only met for just one day in the month. The report shows that only two politicians didn’t make a claim during the recess these were Labour TD Eamonn Maloney and Senator Fiach Mac Conghail.
It is understood that the parliamentary standards allowance is paid to politicians for travel and accommodation and costs in connection with their offices.
Apparently each of the sitting senators and TDs provided receipts for the claims with high profile ministers such as, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Joan Burton all collecting their ministerial rate of €1,333.33.
The payments are made to all TDs each month regardless and depends on how far you live
from the Dail. However if a politician cannot provide receipts for expenses, they are forced to pay it back at the end of the year but it is believed as few as 10% are audited. The appalling figures come as the Irish public prepare to hear their Budget fate in just under a fortnights time.
Although not all TD’s agree with the expenses scheme,with Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty slamming the scheme. Mr Doherty said that a number of allowances needed to be scrapped and the salaries of all politicians need to be slashed.
He also added: “In our pre-budget submission next week, we will be calling for a number of these perks to be scrapped including a cut to TDs’ salaries to €75,000 and €60,000 for senators.
“Some of the allowances are excessive and, at a time when we are experiencing severe cutbacks across the board, I think it is time to cut some of them.”
The party’s finance spokesman said the Government’s first step in the upcoming Budget was to scrap the dual allowance.
Apparently Enda Kenny had promised to dump the scheme, which applies to all cabinet ministers and ministers of state, when he came to office in 2011 but it somehow still remains intact.
Mr Doherty has said that the scheme was unfair and unacceptable in a day and age when politicians are well paid.
Doherty said: “It is not transparent, we don’t know who is receiving it. “With TDs’ and senators’ expenses, it is published on the Oireachtas website but we have no idea who claims this.”