Fionnan Sheahan: Parties must tell us how they spend state funding
A STICK frequently used by political parties to beat Independent TDs is the lack of accountability over how their €41,000 leader's allowance from the taxpayer is spent.
This allowance is paid to every TD in the Dail on top of their salary and expenses. TDs in a party never see the money as it goes directly to their party to be spent on support services for the leader and his office.
Labour Party chief whip Emmet Stagg has often said that a TD who shares a constituency with an Independent is up against an "election war chest of €200,000" -- a figure based on the five-year gap between general elections.