Over €8.6m allocated to fund parliamentary activities in 2017
Parties get funding for each TD and senator, while Independents get individual grants
Leinster House. Photograph: Alan Betson
More than €8.6 million was allocated to parties and Independents in Leinster House to fund parliamentary activities last year, a report by the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) reveals.
The report by the State’s political and ethics watchdog details funding and expenditure under the party leaders’ allowance, one of the two sources of public funding for politicians and parties.
Parties receive funding for each TD and senator, while Independents also receive individual funding grants. Parties also receive funding under the electoral Acts, reflecting the share of the vote they received at the last election.
The figures released today show that Fianna Fáil was the largest recipient under the scheme last year, having received €2.4 million last year. Opposition parties receive higher funding per TD than government parties, as government enjoys the advantages of office.
Fine Gael received just under €2 million under the scheme, while Sinn Féin received more than €1.5 million.
The parties receive payments for each TD and senator on a sliding scale. For government parties, the sums are: €42,912 per member for each of the first 10 members elected, €34,329 per member for each member elected from 11 to 30 members, and €17,169 for each member elected over 30 members.
For non-Government parties the sums are: €64,368 per member for each of the first 10 members elected, €51,493 per member for each member elected from 11 to 30 members, and €25,754 for each member elected over 30 members.
Independent TDs, including Ministers, all received just over €37,000 each. Independent senators received €21,000 each.
Parties and independents also supply a breakdown of their expenditure under the scheme, detailing administration, travel, research and other items. All parties except Independents for Change, where Mick Wallace and Clare Daly are the most prominent members, supplied this information.