Friday 24 February 2017

TD'S claim over €1,000 per week in expenses



FIGURES released by the House of the Oireachtas have revealed that Cork TDs claimed over €1m in expenses in 2012.

The reports show that 16 of the city and county's 19 TD's, across the five constituencies, each claimed €1,000 or more per week in expenses.

Combined with commissions, allowances and salaries, the total figure for Cork TD's came to €2.9m in the last 12 months.

Fine Gael TD for Cork South West, Noel Harrington, topped the list, amassing expenses totalling more than €63,500, over €1,300 per week, the highest in the country.

Fellow Fine Gael TD, Jim Daly, who shares the constituency with Deputy Harrington, claimed expenses of just under €62,000 in the same period, while Labour's Michael McCarthy, a member of the Oireactas Public Accounts Committee, claimed over €59,000.

In Cork East, Fine Gael's David Stanton claimed expenses in excess of €60,000, while Tom Barry, also Fine Gael, and Sinn Fein's Sandra McLellan accounted for claims of €59,800 each respectively.

Labours Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, claimed only €12,000 in expenses; however he also collects a Ministerial allowance of €37,368 on top of his basic TD's salary of €92,672.

In Cork North West, Fine Gael's Michael Creed claimed over €51,000, over €10,000 less than fellow constituents and fellow party member Aine Collins and Fianna Fail's Michael Moynihan.

Cork North Central's Jonathan O'Brien, Billy Kelleher and Dara Murphy all claimed €60,550 in the 12 months to December, while the constituencies fourth seat holder, Kathleen Lynch, claimed a further €20,000 on top of her salary and ministerial allowance.

Cork's five seater, Cork South Central, saw Jerry Buttimer and Ciaran Lynch of Fine Gael and Fianna Fails Michael Martin and Michael McGrath claim over €60,000 each individually in the last 12 months.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, claimed only €20,000, though he also receives a ministerial allowance of €76,600 per annum.

Though Government Ministers are no longer entitled to state cars and drivers, should they need to take hotel or guest house accommodation while based in the capital, they can claim a €3,500 tax refund - without having to vouch for their expenses.

Along with salaries and expenses, TDs also receive commission for various roles in the Oireachtas. Fine Gael's David Stanton, Jerry Buttimer and Ciarian Lynch all receive an extra €9,500 per year for chairing committees in the Oireactas, bringing their individual yearly total to €162,700.

TDs also receive additional or alternative mileage allowances for their cars; free access to a gym; free parking in Dublin; a subsidised bar; free postage; free ink toners and free VHI membership.

TDs are also entitled to €41,092 for secretarial assistance; and a further €8,000 to kit out a constituency office.

Nationally, €7.1m was spent on TD's expenses in 2012.

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