THE high cost of politics was laid bare today as the expenses dished out to TDs across the county were revealed.
Our TDs received the following:
Deputy Padraig McLochlainn – €51,174
Deputy Thomas Pringle – €42,135
Deputy Joe McHugh – €51,808
Deputy Charlie McConalogue – €51,808
Deputy Pearse Doherty – €51,808
Deputy Dinny McGinley received €18,063 in his role as a TD but more substantial expenses as a Junior Minister have yet to be revealed.
The system for expenses has been heavily criticised by Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty who says the way TDs get automatic pay-outs for unvouched expenses has to change.
Said Deputy Doherty: “Only a portion of the money that we receive as a TDs is vouched. (i.e. we need to have receipts for it, but only 10% of TDs per year will ever have to produce the receipt as only 10% are asked for them based on a lottery system.)
“This vouched expenditure is primarily to run your constituency offices, host clinics and for advertising purposes. The other payments that TDs get are your wages over €92,000 per year which you can do what you want with them and the other payment is for travel, subsistence and accommodation purposes which are not vouched, however if you attend the Dáil less than 120 times in a full year then this payment will be reduced.”
He went on: “It is my belief that all TDs and Senators should be open with the public as to how much money we receive from the state and for what. From time to time headline figures appear in the media after the media are forced to go through a lengthy and not cost free, freedom of information process. Why should the media or any citizen be forced to do this, what have TDs and other Oireachtas members got to hide?”