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Minister Regina Doherty will have to repay €16k chief whip allowance

The allowance, paid to the current Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty, was found to have “no legal basis”.

Minister for Employment and Social Protection Regina Doherty.
Minister for Employment and Social Protection Regina Doherty.
Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

MINISTER FOR SOCIAL Protection Regina Doherty will have to pay back an allowance of almost €16,000 that she received last year.

The decision was taken to revoke the allowance – paid when Doherty was the government’s chief whip – following advice from the Attorney General.

The decision taken by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to pay the allowance was found to have “no legal basis”.

The issue was first brought to light in the Dáil by Labour leader Brendan Howlin in June this year, where he claimed that the payment to Doherty was unlawful under existing legislation.

“The Whip was paid an allowance of €15,829 for her role as government whip,” Howlin said.

No such position exists under law… the allowance was paid to the government whip on the understanding that the government whip was actually being paid for her responsibilities as Fine Gael whip.

“This might seem like a technical and minor matter, however under the law no allowance can be paid to a party whip, if that person is a minister or a minister of state. This means that one cannot pay such an allowance to the new government chief whip.”

A source confirmed that this has been confirmed to Doherty and that arrangements are being made for repayment.

The current Government Chief Whip Joe McHugh isn’t entitled to the allowance either.

Read: Regina Doherty may have to repay €15,829 of Chief Whip allowance if it was unlawful

Read: Minister says Public Services Card is ‘not compulsory but is mandatory for services’

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