Fifty-six TDs - including Taoiseach Enda Kenny - return €140k in unused allowances
Published 10/04/2015 | 21:49
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was one of 56 TDs to return almost €140,000 in unused allowances last year, it has emerged.
The money's been returned by the TDs who didn't use the entire amount given to them for 2014.
The figures show that former education minister Ruairi Quinn returned the highest amount, giving back over €15,000. This equates to about two-thirds of his total allowances of €22,240 in 2014.
Mr Kenny was the second most generous Dail member, giving back €9,215.61 of his total €16,000 allowance.
Like all other ministers, most of his expenses would be covered by the Department of the Taoiseach and not by a Dáil office.
Labour's Willie Penrose returned €8,733.08, though his total allowances still amounted to over €40,000.
Labour TD Eamonn Maloney refused to accept any allowances last year, and hasn't claimed any expenses since becoming a TD in 2011.
But while some TDs returned large amounts, others returned minuscule amounts to the Exchequer.
Jimmy Deenihan, the junior minister responsible for Diaspora affairs - returned the princely sum of €3.63 out of his total €16,000 allowance.
Transport minister Paschal Donohoe returned €6.89, while Kildare TD Bernard Durkan gave back €16.20 of his total allowance of over €40,000.
In total, TDs received a total of €€6.2 million last year in travel and office allowances.
Under existing rules, all TDs including ministers, are entitled to a flat-rate 'public representation allowance' of €1,695 per month to help cover the cost of running a constituency office, and other expenses such as mobile phone bills.
Non-ministers are also entitled to travel and accommodation allowances ranging between €750 and €2,838 per month, depending on the distance between their home and Leinster House.
Fine Gael Cork South West TD Noel Harrington is the highest claimant, as he is the deputy who lives over 360 kilometres from Leinster House.
He received over €34,000 in travel and accommodation allowances, as well as the €20,350 'public representation allowance' to which all TDs are entitled.