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Politicians warned not to use pre-paid Oireachtas envelopes for electoral purposes

If a candidate uses the envelopes inappropriately it’s regarded as an election expense and must be accounted for.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

TDS AND SENATORS are being warned not to use pre-paid Oireachtas envelopes for election purposes.

Socialist TD Clare Daly used the envelopes to canvass for votes earlier this month.

Her office admitted she made an error and said they’re arranging to repay the money.

The Standards Commission said it has received a number of queries concerning the use of Oireachtas envelopes.

It stated that ”Oireachtas members are provided with free postal facilities under section 2 of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) Act 1962″.

However the Standards Commission also noted that:

Oireachtas members must only use the free postal facilities provided to them from public funds in respect of their duties as public representatives and not for any other (eg. electoral or party) purpose.

The codes of conduct for members of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann state that when performing their official duties:

Members must apply public resources prudently and only for the purposes for which they are intended.

The Standards Commission says that if a candidate uses Oireachtas envelopes inappropriately, it’s regarded as an election expense and must be accounted for.

“It is also regarded as a donation from the Member who provides the envelopes. If the value of the donation exceeds €600, it must be disclosed on the candidate’s Donation Statement.

“The name of the Member who provided the envelopes must also be disclosed”.

 

Read: Less than half of political parties accounting units have made their donation returns>

Read: One person received 70 per cent of all big political donations last year>

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