TDs and Senators return unspent allowances worth €217,230
Taoiseach one of 63 who made repayments under new fully-vouched expenses system
Taoiseach Enda Kenny repaid over €7,000 of his expenses allowance. Photograph: David Sleator
TDs and Senators returned a total of €217,230 to the Oireachtas last year after they spent less on political expenses than had been given to them in upfront expenses payments from parliament.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was among 63 TDs and Senators who repaid unspent money to the Houses of Oireachtas under a new fully-vouched claims system in which they receive a monthly expenses payment and file receipts later.
A new report from the Oireachtas shows that Mr Kenny opted to receive €16,000 last year under the public representation allowance scheme, the maximum rate applicable to Ministers.
He returned €7,438, as it was unspent, and kept €8,562.
Other Cabinet members who returned unspent money included Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, who repaid €10,800, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn, who repaid €5,405, and Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton, who repaid €4,830.
“One of the many political reforms introduced by this Government and widely welcomed was to make the Oireachtas expenses system fully vouched,” said a Government spokesman.
The unvouched allowance system was scrapped on January 1st, 2013 . “Members are acting in accordance with the new system,” he said.
The expenses system for TDs and Senators is known as the parliamentary standard allowance.
It embraces two types of claim: the public representation allowance, for office and other associated costs; and the travel and accommodation allowance, based on the distance to Leinster House from the member’s normal residence.
The maximum annual rate for TDs under the public representation allowance is €20,350, and the maximum rate for Senators is €12,225.