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Political parties and independents were paid over €8 million of state funds last year

The SIPO report shows that Fianna Fáil received over €2.2 million in 2016.

Counting of votes in the 2016 general election.
Counting of votes in the 2016 general election.
Image: RollingNews.ie

TDS AND SENATORS from across the political spectrum were given just over €8 million from exchequer funding last year.

The Standards Commission today released the figures showing the payment of funding under parliamentary activities allowance legislation.

The report shows that funding made available to parliamentary party leaders of the nine qualifying parties (Anti-Austerity Alliance – People before Profit, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Green Party, Independents 4 Change, Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, Socialist Party and the Labour Party) amounted to €7.215 million in 2016.

Qualifying parties are defined as registered parties who contest the last preceding general election and have at least one member elected to the Dáil or elected or nominated to the Seanad.

The funding made available to non-party members of the Dáil during 2016 amounted to a total of €640,887 and the funding made available to non-party members of the Seanad during amounted to a total of €249,159.

Of that available funding, €8.034 million was spent.

Allocation

The 2016 report shows that Fianna Fáil received over €2.2 million in 2016, having brought no funds forward from 2015. The party spent €2.089 million in total.

Fine Gael, however, brought forward over €700,000 and received €1.9 million. They spent €2.3 million of that figure. Sinn Féin received €1.4 million and spend €1.033 million and Labour received €733,000, spending just over €1.3 million.

AAA-PBP received €350,000 and spent €330,000, Independents 4 Change received €220,000 and spent €129,000, the Social Democrats spent €87,000 after receiving €165,000.

The Green Party received €138,000 but declared spending of just over €3,600 under the act.

Independents received €640,000 but spent just over €495,000.

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Under the legislation, parties receive for their Dáil members:

  • €64,368 per member for each of the first 10 members elected
  • €51,493 per member for each member elected from 11 to 30 members
  • €25,754 for each member elected over 30 members

In the Seanad, that figure is €42,089 for each member.

Elected non-party members of Dáil Éireann received an annual allowance of €37,037 while elected or nominated non-party members of Seanad Éireann received an annual allowance of €21,045.

The Standards Commission does not have a role in the allocation of this funding, but it has a supervisory role in relation to the spending of the funds.

Read: It has cost over €360,000 to investigate this senator’s €2,000 expense claims

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