Austerity for some, all expenses generously paid for others.
New Oireachtas figures just released reveal that TDs and ministers claimed an astonishing €5.94 million in expenses last year.
The Oireachtas forked out €2.98 million in Travel and Accommodation Allowance to TDs, to cover the costs of travelling to and from Leinster House, as well as any overnight expenses they may have incurred.
If that wasn’t enough, our democratically chosen representatives went on to claim a further €3.1 million in Public Representation Allowances. Both ministers and TDs can claim this for expenses incurred while working on their public duties.
TDs can choose to repay any monies they don’t use. Unsurprisingly perhaps, figures tell us that just 53 ministers and TDs paid back any of their generous allowances during 2014.
Only one TD, Labour’s Eamonn Moloney, representing Dublin South–West, did not claim any expenses.