TDs should pay Dáil bar bills or have salary docked– Varadkar

Taoiseach responds to report that almost €5,500 in unpaid Dáil bar tabs were written off

Leo Varadkar: ‘Everyone should pay their bills, particularly politicians’

Leo Varadkar: ‘Everyone should pay their bills, particularly politicians’


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said all current and former TDs and Senators should settle unpaid Dáil bar bills or have salaries or pensions docked.

He was responding to a report in The Irish Times on Monday that unpaid Dáil bar and restaurant bills have been written off because there was no prospect of recovering the money.

“It is absolutely my view that members and former members should pay their bills. I’d encourage the Oireachtas Commission to look at mechanisms of deducting that money from people’s salary or pensions,” he said.

“Everyone should pay their bills, particularly politicians.”

Mr Varadkar said he imagined it would be possible to deduct the money from salaries but perhaps not from pensions.

He said there was a separation between the role of the Oireachtas and the role of Government and he did not want to be accused of interfering.

The recently-published Houses of the Oireachtas Commission annual report revealed that almost €5,500 in unpaid Dáil restaurant and bar tabs had been written off.

At least one of the accounts that was written off dated back to 2000.

The bulk of money, €4,717.06, was owed to the members’ restaurant and a self-service restaurant.

The remaining €765.23 was owed to the two bars in the Leinster House complex, one of which is exclusively for the use of TDs and Senators.

TDs and Senators can avail of a tab facility when ordering drinks or bar food in Leinster House, which they can pay off later. Traditionally, there has been no specified time limit in which unpaid tabs must be settled.

A revised credit policy is being developed to restrict the time period during which TDs and Senators are obliged to settle their accounts in the restaurant and bar in the Leinster House complex.