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Taoiseach says politicians should settle their Dáil bar tab or have it taken from their salaries

The unpaid tabs at the Dáil bar and restaurant amount to €5,000.

Unpaid bills at the Dáil bar and restaurant worth almost €5,000 are being written off.
Unpaid bills at the Dáil bar and restaurant worth almost €5,000 are being written off.
Image: Shutterstock/Anton_Ivanov

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has said politicians who have not settled their tab at the Dáil bar should have it deducted from their salary or pension.

The Houses of the Oireachtas report has revealed there are unpaid tabs at the Dáil bar and restaurant of up to €5,000, with some bills outstanding since 2000.

A spokesperson for the Oireachtas said that unpaid tabs in the restaurant amounted to €4,717.06 and unpaid tabs in the bar equaled €765.23.

Leo Varadkar told TheJournal.ie this morning that politicians who have not paid their bill should have it deducted from their salary or pension.

“There is a separation between the role of the Oireachtas and the role of the government and I don’t want to be accused of interfering in the role of the Oireachtas. It is absolutely my view that members and former members pay their bills and I would encourage the Oireachtas Commission to look at mechanisms of deducting that money from people’s salaries or pensions,” he said.

The Taoiseach indicated that it would be more difficult to get the money from TDs and senators who are no longer in office due to difficulties taking it from pensions.

“I imagine it is possible to deduct it from people’s salaries, it probably isn’t possible to deduct it from people’s pensions for reasons you’ll understand.

“But I would encourage the Oireachtas Commission to examine that. Everyone should pay their bills, particularly politicians,” he added.

Opposition members, such as Róisín Shortall and Catherine Murphy, said it’s “inexcusable” that the unpaid expenses are being written off.

Both TDs have suggested putting sanctions in place for those who repeatedly don’t repay what they owe. They have also said that tabs should be settled at the end of every month.

The Houses of the Oireachtas said a “series of efforts had been made to recover the sums due”, but in some cases it was acknowledged that the records were incomplete, so it was difficult to follow-up.

Read: Dáil bar and restaurant tabs ‘should be paid at the end of every month’>

Read: Dáil bar and restaurant clears €5,482 in 16 years’ worth of unpaid tabs>

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