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84 politicians clock up €14,820 in Dáil restaurant debt

The debt is allowed under a new credit policy for Oireachtas staff.

Image: Shutterstock/Casco222

ALMOST 50 TDs and senators had not cleared a collective Dáil bar tab of more than €5,000 by the end of October, according to new figures.

The figures, released to under the Freedom of Information Act, show that 32 TDs and 17 senators owed €4,954 to the Oireachtas bar on 31 October, when an additional €421 was also owed by non members.

Meanwhile, 54 TDs and 30 Senators owed a collective €14,820 to the Dáil restaurant at the end of October.

Non members, including departmental staff, committee members and other Oireachtas workers, also owed the restaurant a total of €14,509.

The debt is allowed under the credit policy for Oireachtas staff, which permits workers to have two months’ worth of credit on their accounts.

The figures provided to indicate the total amount of debt which had yet to be deducted from members who used both the bar and restaurant in the Oireachtas.

An Oireachtas spokeswoman said that the deductions would automatically be taken out of staff accounts by card or salary by January 2020.

Last year, a new credit policy was announced for politicians with unpaid Dáil bar tabs to pay this debt from their salaries.

It was reported in July that an average of 30 TDs and senators were so far paying their unpaid tabs from their salary each month.

Other figures show that the Dáil restaurant made over €23,000 in profit in the last three years, including a €40,000 surplus in 2017.

The figures came amid annual revenues of more than €1.1m in each of the three years from 2016 to 2018, although the restaurant ran a deficit of almost €31,000 in 2016.

Earlier this year, also revealed that pints of Guinness were the most popular drink at the bar each month during the first half of 2019, followed by glasses of the own-brand Oireachtas wine.

Both beverages sold well over €1,000 in drinks each month during the first half of the year.

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Unpopular drink choices in the bar include Red Bull, Jack Daniels and glasses of beer. 

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