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This is how much your TD claimed in expenses in 2011

Figures released by the Oireachtas detail exactly how much every TD in the country claimed in expenses from the day they got elected until the end of December 2011.

Singing from the same hymn sheet? The average expenses claimed by TDs from specific parties are detailed in the article.
Singing from the same hymn sheet? The average expenses claimed by TDs from specific parties are detailed in the article.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

THE 31st DÁIL has had economic issues to the fore since its members were elected at the end of February last year. One financial stat that the political parties and independents might not be trumpeting this morning is the €6 million total in expenses that 165 out of the 166 sitting TDs claimed from the day of their election until the last day of December 2011.

The one TD who didn’t claim a cent of expenses (or ‘a red cent’ as was the buzzword of #GE11) last year was Labour TD for Dublin South West Eamonn Maloney. In an interview with TheJournal.ie yesterday, Maloney said that he didn’t want to make a crusade of his expenses refusal but that it was a “matter of principle” for him to live within the bounds of his €90,000 TD salary. He said:

As TDs, we earn a huge amount of money already – over €90,000 a year. I was on the dole before I came in to Leinster House because I’d lost my job two years before the election and I’d worked in a factory before that. So I think the average worker looking on, especially given the economic state of the country, can be left dismayed by the amounts involved.

If you are interested in exactly how much TDs in your constituency earned in 2011, we have assembled the expenses for each month from February (part) to December to come up with a total for the year.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SPREADSHEET

What you should know when reading the figures:

The total expenses for each TD is in the furthest right-hand column of the spreadsheet.

However, before you judge the individual TDs’ claims, there are a few important factors to bear in mind:

  • The maximum amount a TD can claim can be affected by whether they vouch (provide receipts) for their expenses or not. In our spreadsheet, those who vouch expenses is marked with a ‘Y’. Those who claim unvouched expenses are marked with a ‘N’. Those who choose to vouch for their expenses are entitled to a higher rate of expenses.
  • Ministers, ministers of State (junior ministers) and the Ceann Comhairle generally have lower expenses in these figures released by the Oireachtas because they claim their travel expenses from their individual departments. (You will find that all the ministers and junior ministers of the 31st Dáil are at towards the bottom end of the expenses).
  • The geographical distance a TD lives from the Dáil will also affect the amount they can (and probably will) claim. Those further from the Dáil can, naturally, claim more. That is why most Dublin deputies are in the lower end of expenses claims. The band number which is marked on our spreadsheet beside deputies’ names (eg, ‘D’ for those who state their residences are in Dublin, nos. 1-12 for the rest) show how far their residences are from the Dáil. The higher the number, the further they have to travel and the more they are entitled to claim:

(Image: Oireachtas.ie)

  • NOTE: The Oireachtas will release “reconciled” figures in March which will adjust expenses figures for TDs if they give back any of the total they are listed for in the current report for 2011. As it was explained to TheJournal.ie yesterday in the case of independent TD Stephen Donnelly, deputies can be attributed with the maximum amount they are entitled to – but that they are free to return some of the cash if they didn’t actually use it. Donnelly intends to return around €11,000 of the €45,478.95 he has been awarded.

More details on the allowances and expense ceilings for TDs can be found here.

If you are interested in analysis of the highest and lowest claimants, TheJournal.ie compiled the following articles:

When it comes to the average claimed by TDs from a political party (and the Ceann Comhairle), this is the breakdown:

WUAG* – Average per TD: €49,911 (1 TD – Seamus Healy) *Workers and Unemployed Action Group

Fianna Fáil* – Average per TD: €47,115 (*of the 19 current TDs)

Sinn Féin - Average per TD: €44,153

Independents – Average per TD: €40,713

Fine Gael – Average per TD: €36,412

People Before Profit Alliance – Average per TD: €31,866

Labour* – Average per TD: €29,513 (*of original 37)

Socialist Party – Average per TD: €23,653

NOTES: The Fine Gael and Labour totals include TDs who were elected under the party name but have since lost the party whip, eg, Naughten, Penrose and Broughan. Neither Patrick Nulty nor Brian Lenihan are included in the averages as they only served a small part of the year.

The averages may also reflect several factors eg, where the majority of a party’s TDs’ constituencies are located (Fianna Fáil has no Dublin TD so its members’ travel expenses may be higher) or the fact that Cabinet members are either from Labour or Fine Gael (and as such, the travel expenses of those ministers/junior ministers don’t fall into the Oireachtas expenses list).

FULL LIST OF EXPENSES CLAIMED, TD by TD, from 25 Feb – 31 Dec, 2011>

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