Politicians to earn €33.5m in 2011
Third of €112m Oireachtas budget goes to TDs and senators
ALMOST a third of the €112m budget for running Leinster House will go on TDs' and senators' salaries and expenses next year.
The salaries of TDs will come to €16.3m, while their travel expenses and allowances will amount to another €10.4m, accounts published by the Oireachtas Commission show.
The Seanad's 60 senators will cost €4.2m in salaries, and another €2.6m in expenses and allowances.
Politicians' salaries and expenses come with a price tag of €33.5m, with another €20.3m going on the salaries of the secretaries to TDs and senators. Junkets abroad are being curtailed with the budget for committee travels stalled at €259,000.
The grant to the Irish Parliamentary Society, which was set up for former TDs and senators to safeguard their pension rights, is going from zero to €28,000.
No grants were paid to the society last year because it had enough funding to undertake its work of providing support and assistance to former members of Leinster House.
The overall budget for operating the Houses of the Oireachtas has reduced significantly over the last two years and is set to cost €1m less than 2010.
The Houses of the Oireachtas cost €114m to operate this year but will fall to just under €113m next year.
Overall, it is costing €33m less to operate Leinster House between 2010 and 2012 than it did between 2007 and 2009.
Under the new expenses system introduced last March, TDs and senators have to attend Leinster House for 100 days each year. They have been issued with key fobs so that they can clock in every day.
If TDs and senators attend Leinster House for less than 120 days per year, they will have to refund 1pc of their travel and accommodation allowances for each day they miss below the threshold.