Upcoming poll expected to cost taxpayer over €300,000
THE imminent by-election in Donegal is set to turn into a very costly affair for the taxpayer and come with a final bill of more than €300,000.
The recent Dublin South by-election cost €212,136, according to newly published figures from the Department of Finance.
The by-election in Donegal South West will come with a similar price tag, on top of the legal costs arising from the court case taken by Sinn Fein to get the election held.
Experts estimate the legal bill could be between €100,000 and €150,000 but it is likely to rise further because the Cabinet decided to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
Fine Gael's Lucinda Creighton last night claimed there would be a huge saving to the taxpayer if all four by-elections were held on the same day.
The four elections could be grouped together in the tendering process, she said.
"But by doing it on a constituency by constituency basis, the Government is driving up the costs," Ms Creighton said.
The Government has been forced to hold the long-awaited by-election on November 25 after a damning High Court ruling.
It means the Government will have to focus on campaigning for the Donegal South West by-election just before the crucial December 7 Budget -- although there will be fewer ministerial visits than normal to the constituency.