Recently published figures highlighting the expenses claimed by TD’s and Senators from the region during the final 10 months of 2010 reveal TD’s from the Sligo/North Leitrim and Roscommon/South Leitrim constituencies all claimed expenses above the average claim of €40,000.
The reasons for TD’s from the region claiming higher than average expenses may be explained by the fact that Minister’s and Ministers of State are paid lower allowances as they have other supports available to them and the region had only one Minister for State last year, Michael Finneran. The fact that it is a journey of 155km (from Carrick-on-Shannon) to Leinster House also explains why the expenses claimed locally may be higher than the national average.
The expenses for each individual TD and Senator are revealed in two distinct categories: travel and accommodation allowance and public representation allowance. The travel and accommodation allowance covers the costs of travel to and from Leinster House, accommodation where applicable and constituency travel for TD’s. The allowance is based on the Dublin band and 12 bands of 30km from Leinster House.
The public representation allowance is allocated for office rent, maintenance and upkeep; web hosting and other related computer costs; hiring rooms for clinics; newsletter distribution; advertising and attendance at conferences.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.