Parties get €13.7m in State funding
Political parties received €13.7 million in state funding last year, according new figures published today by the Standards in Public Office Commission.
The funds were paid to parties under the Electoral Acts and under the Party Leaders' Allowance legislation.
The six main parties (including the now defunct Progressive Democrats) received funding of €5.6 million under the Electoral Acts and €8.1 million under the Party Leaders Allowance legislation.
Fianna Fáil, which qualified for 44 per cent of all the funding available to parties last year, received €2.2 million, while the main opposition party was given €1.5 million.
The Labour Party received funding of €652,704 while Sinn Féin was granted €487,432. The Green Party received funds of €370,592 while the PDs was grnted €268,732.
Additionally, Brian Cowen received €2.86 million in funding last year under the Party Leaders' Allowance, which is given to the leaders of each party based on the number of seats it holds in the Oireachtas. Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny was granted €2.84 million while Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore received €1.53 million.
John Gormley of the Green Party was granted €371,893 under the Party Leaders Allowance legislation while Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin of Sinn Fein received €326,078
Mary Harney of the now defunct PDs, received €185, 081 in funding despite the fact that she was replaced as leader of the party by Senator Ciarán Cannon in April 2008. This is because the allowance must be paid to a member of Dáil Éireann.
Non-party members of Dáil and Seanad Éireann also receive funding under the Party Leaders Allowance legislation.
The amount given to each Independent TD last year was €41,152 and the amount payable to non-party senators in the Seanad during the same period was €23,383.
Overall, non-party members received €361,936 in State funding in 2008.