According to a recent report the Irish taxpayer spent an astonishing €12.6million to keep the nations political parties afloat last year.
The Standards in Public Office Commission [SIPO] say the tax free money was allocated to the countries main political parties in order to keep them afloat. Figures show that the Fine Gael party took the largest amount which was €2.2million, they were followed by their current collation partners the Labour who took €1.2million, whilst the Fianna Fail party took €1.1million and Sinn Fein took €720,000.
The above figures add up to €5.4million.
A spokesman for SIPO told the Irish Mirror: “The funding is not subject to income tax and may not be used for electoral or referendum purposes.“Qualified political parties must furnish to the Standards Commission Statements of Expenditure of the funding received. “Details of the funding and how it was spent are contained in the report published by the Standards Commission. This report is available on www.sipo.gov.ie.”
A further €7.1 million was spent funding the Parliamentary party leaders of the seven qualifying parties which include the (Anti Austerity Alliance, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, People before Profit Alliance, Sinn Féin, Stop the Water Tax – Socialist Party and The Labour Party).
A further €813,000 was allocated to Independent TDs (€563,866) and Senators (€249,130) respectively. Although SIPO state that they do not have a role in where the funding should be allocated, they say they do have a supervisory role over how it is spent.
The SIPO spokesman further stated: “The payment of an annual allowance to one or more leaders of parliamentary parties has been provided for and regulated in a succession of Acts beginning with the Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Act 1938. “Party leaders are required to furnish to the Standards in Public Office Commission an annual statement of expenditure from the allowance