Independents must give up cash
Just when it seemed as if we had heard all that there was to hear about the taxpayer-funded largesse that has been showered on our TDs and senators, another egregious example is unearthed.
While the fact that all Independent TDs receive an untaxed and unvouched "leader's allowance" of €42,000 a year is widely known, less well known was the fact that Independent senators had also got in on the act, being paid their own "leader's allowance" of €23,000.
Having been on the receiving end of criticism from the Independent TDs and senators for their own excesses, the large parties are now hitting back. Yesterday Fianna Fail TD Sean Fleming told the Public Accounts Committee that up to 17 Independent senators are receiving the payment, which he described as the "best kept secret in political life".