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One-third of TDs return €210k in unused expenses for 2011

Ministers Eamon Gilmore, Richard Bruton, Ruairí Quinn and Róisín Shortall are among those returning the highest amounts.

Ruairí Quinn returned almost 79 per cent of his parliamentary expenses, the most of any TD.
Ruairí Quinn returned almost 79 per cent of his parliamentary expenses, the most of any TD.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

JUST OVER A THIRD of Ireland’s TDs have returned some of their unused expenses from last year – returning a total of over €210,000 to Leinster House authorities.

Records published by the Oireachtas show that 57 of the 166 sitting TDs returned unused expenses, totalling €210,091.27.

The reductions mean a reduction to the original bill, of €6,041,540.76, covering payments made to all TDs to cover their travel and office expenses for 2011.

Several Cabinet ministers are among those making returns – with education minister Ruairí Quinn, whose Dublin South-East constituency includes Leinster House itself, making the highest proportional return.

The minister returned back almost 79 per cent of the €17,543 he received to cover his travel, refunding a total of €13,838.11. Quinn receives lower parliamentary expenses given his status as a minister, given the facilities provided by his government department.

His Labour constituency colleague Kevin Humphreys is the TD with the highest absolute returns, returning €15,471.84 to reduce his expenses bill by 48.5 per cent.

Enterprise minister Richard Bruton (62 per cent), junior health minister Roisín Shortall (52 per cent), and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore (42 per cent) are also among the members returning the highest proportion of their parliamentary allowances.

Shane Ross returned 38 per cent of his €31,672 allowances; Fine Gael’s Catherine Byrne returned 28.3 per cent of the €31,865 she had received, while Stephen Donnelly gave back just over a quarter of the €45,478 he had been given.

At the lower end, five ministers are among those making the lowest repayments – with environment minister Phil Hogan giving back €11.90, small business minister John Perry returning €12.17 and culture minister Jimmy Deenihan giving back €12.85.

Gaeltacht minister Dinny McGinley returned €13.39, while agriculture minister Simon Coveney gave back €37.74.

The returns mean that a total of 29 TDs received net allowances of over €50,000 for last year, with Cork South-West TD Noel Harrington the highest claimant at €53,714.95.

Just one TD – Labour’s Eamonn Maloney – declined to claim expenses for 2011.

Interactive: How much your TD received in expenses in 2011

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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