Allowances in excess of €50,000 for over 30 TDs

Thu, Jun 7, 2012, 01:00

THIRTY TDs claimed allowances of more than €50,000 for travel and other expenses between the general election in February 2011 and the end of the year.

More than €6 million was paid in parliamentary standard allowance payments to 165 of the 166 TDs. The only exclusion is the Labour deputy for Dublin South West Eamon Maloney who decided on election that he would claim no allowances.

The Oireachtas published the updated figures for 2011 on its website last night. The vast majority of those who have received the highest payments live the furthest from Dublin and also submitted receipts for bills incurred in running their offices.

The highest individual payment went to Cork South West Fine Gael TD Noel Harrington who received €53,714. Mr Harrington is the only TD whose residence is in Band 12, the band representing the furthest distance from Leinster House. Two deputies claimed expenses of €52,447. They were Mr Harrington’s constituency colleague Jim Daly (Fine Gael) and Sinn Féin’s Kerry North TD Martin Ferris, both of whom claimed vouched expenses for Band 10.

Seven Dublin deputies claimed more than €30,000 in allowances. They were: Richard Boyd Barrett (ULA); Joan Collins (ULA); Joe Costello (Lab); Paschal Donohoe (FG); Derek Keating (FG); Mary Lou McDonald (SF) and Mary Mitchell O’Connor (FG).

Ministers and Ministers of State, including the Ceann Comhairle, receive a reduced allowance as they are entitled to separate ministerial expenses. The rate for most Ministers was slightly over €10,000 for Dublin-based Ministers, rising to almost €20,000 for those based furthest away from the capital.

The highest repayment was made by Dublin South deputy Shane Ross. He repaid €12,048 of the €31,865 claimed in the end-of-year reconciliation process.

Labour TD Arthur Spring returned some €10,000 while Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin repaid some €3,500.

The standard allowance paid to TDs is divided into travel and accommodation as well as a public representation expense.

The latter, which can be vouched or without an invoice, covers office expenses such as rent, insurance and cleaning, telephone bills, printing and distribution of leaflets.

The travel and accommodation allowance covers the costs of travel to Dublin as well as around the constituency. Members must attend a minimum of 120 days annually to receive full payment of the allowance.

The annual travel amounts range from €12,000 for Dublin-based deputies to €37,850 for those living 360km (224 miles) or more from Leinster House.

The public representation allowance is paid in addition to that sum and has run to €15,000 for some deputies.

THOSE CLAIMING OVER €50,000

Niall Collins (FF, Limerick) €50,225

Colm Keaveney (LP, Galway East) €50,540

Áine Collins (FG, Cork North West) €51,808

Charlie McConalogue (FF, Donegal North East) €50,759

Mattie McGrath (Ind, Tipperary South) €50,225

Michael McNamara (LP, Clare) €50,225

Derek Nolan (LP, Galway West) €50,225

Tom Barry (FG, Cork East) €50,540

Timmy Dooley (FF, Clare) €50,540

Seán Kyne (FG, Galway West) €50,540

Tony McLoughlin (FG, Sligo North Leitrim) €50,540

Jonathan O’Brien (SF, Cork North Central) €50,855

Michelle Mulherin (FG, Mayo) €51,179

Dara Murphy (FG, Cork North Central) €51,179

Michael McGrath (FF, Cork South Central) €51,179

Ciarán Lynch (LP, Cork South Central) €51,082

Pádraig Mac Lochlainn (SF, Donegal North East) €50,725

Pat Breen (FG, Clare) €51,179

Jerry Buttimer (FG, Cork South Central) €50,593

Joe Carey (FG, Clare) €51,179

Pearse Doherty (SF, Donegal South West) €51,808

Michael Moynihan (FF, Cork North West) €51,808

Martin Ferris (SF, Kerry) €52,447

Jim Daly (FG, Cork South West) €52,447

Noel Harrington (FG, Cork South West) €53,714

Willie O’Dea (FF, Limerick City) €50,225

Patrick O’Donovan (FG, Limerick County) €50,540

David Stanton (FG, Cork East) €51,179

Brian Walsh (FG, Galway West) €50,540