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Dáil parties got €7.63m in expenses last year - with Fianna Fáil taking the biggest slice

Sipo has released details of expenses for 2017.

Fianna Fáil TDs outside the Dáil after the 2016 general election.
Fianna Fáil TDs outside the Dáil after the 2016 general election.
Image: Rollingnews.ie

FIANNA FÁIL SPENT the most state funding of Dáil parties last year, according to figures released by the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo).

The party spent almost €2.4 million last year with the vast majority of that spent under the heading of “general administration of parliamentary activities”.

These general costs include spending as personnel costs and telephone expenses.

Parties in receipt of state funding are required to submit details to Sipo of how that money is spent but Sipo has no role in allocating that funding.

State funding under the Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Act 1938 is allowed for a variety of reasons but it is not allowed to be used to recoup election expenses.

Last year, nine Dáil parties qualified for allowances and were required to submit returns before the end of April 2018.

Independents 4 Change are the only party not included in a report published today with Sipo saying it had not received an expenditure report from the party.

Independents 4 Change has three Dáil representatives: Mick Wallace, Clare Daly and Joan Collins.

Of the parties that did submit details of State funded spending for last year, the total spent was as follows:

  • Fianna Fáil – €2,394,888
  • Fine Gael – €1,594,772
  • Green Party – €70,675
  • Labour Party – €463,398
  • Sinn Féin – €1,589,590
  • Social Democrats – €166,177
  • Solidarity-PBP – €105,512

In total, the total payable to the eight parties for parliamentary expenses last year was €7.63 million.

The report contains further details of 11 different categories under which parties may avail of state funding for parliamentary activities.

Among them are for activities including ‘general administration’, ‘research and training’ and ‘policy formation’.

While Fianna Fáil spent the most on general administration last year at €2.2 million, Fine Gael spent the most on research and training (€132,798) and Sinn Féin spent the most on policy formation (€278,551).

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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