There never seems to be enough money to go around for basic services for the citizenry, and grants and allowances are cut for those who need it most.
However, politicians are immune to these hardships, as they have access to slush funds that they can use at their discretion, to top-up their own salaries or do pretty much anything else they want.
It has emerged that Micheál Martin granted himself a €30,000 top-up back in 2014, thus bringing his total salary for the year up to €117,258. He accepted the payment, despite having said previously that he would not take any such frivolities.
The money was taken down from one of two cash piles (worth about €13.8m per year), which TDs can raid at any time without having to justify where the money goes.