FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin has defended an extra €30,000 he receives on top of his existing salary from the Parliamentary Activities Allowance, funded by the taxpayer.
The Irish Independent today detailed how Martin was the only party leader to use this fund – available to parties for a range of activities – to top-up his own salary during the life of the current Dáil.
The paper says this places his salary at €117,258.
When asked about the payment today, Martin said it was “above board”.
He highlighted that it is “expressly provided for in legislation”, and that previous opposition leaders such as Enda Kenny claimed in the region of almost €50,000.
Martin said the information was made public in April 2014.
Defending the payment, he said:
I think it is in respect of the extra duties that the leader of the opposition has.
He also claimed that the payment is subject to tax, although the Irish Independent has quoted the Standards in Public Office commission (Sipo) as detailing that the payments are not subject to tax.