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Murphy joins with Independent TDs to call for reform of system that sees political parties recieve €10.7million per year in political funding

Press Release | 13 January 2012

In response to criticisms of the €41k annual allowance provided to Independent TDs to conduct research, legislative and parliamentary work, a number of Independent politicians have today reiterated their support for Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Brendan Howlin’s plans to change the current provision whereby they are not required to vouch for how it is spent.

However, in addition to supporting the proposed change the group of Independent TDs is calling for the Minister to go further by seizing the opportunity overhaul the entire Political Funding model which sees the four main political parties of Ireland receive €10.7million per year between them.
The current system sees Fine Gael receive €58,735.79 per year and Labour €63,317.54 for each of their 75 and 37 TDs respectively on top of the vast government resources at their disposal.

However, the highest level of funding made available to political parties on a per TD basis is that received by Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil who get €119,795.09 and €121,683.36 respectively for each of their 14 and 19 TDs on an annual basis.  Arguably this and not the €41,152 per year received by Independent TDs is the best kept secret in Irish Politics.

A spokesperson for the group of independents stated:

“We do believe that there is merit in the provision of a certain degree of public funding to political parties in order to ensure that big business and corporate interests don’t have an undue influence on the policies of those parties but when that funding rises to the heights of €10.7 million per year being divided between four political parties strong questions need to be asked and big changes need to be made.”

The group went on to highlight that in addition to the vast funding provided to Fine Gael, Labour, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin political parties each group receives a complement of dedicated Oireachtas paid staff in addition to the personal staffing allowance provided to its members to conduct research, legislative, communications and administrative work that is not provided to Independent TDs whether aligned into a group or not.

“We’re calling on the political playing field to be evened out, for political funding to be reduced, for all political expenses to be vouched, and for parliamentary supports to be standardised for all members.”

ENDS

Catherine Murphy, Finian McGrath, Luke “Ming” Flanagan, Tom Fleming, John Halligan, Shane Ross, Mattie McGrath, Mick Wallace, Maureen O’Sullivan, Thomas Pringle.

 

Further information:

Political Funding in Ireland.” – an analysis by Catherine Murphy.

 

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Posted by on January 13, 2012. Filed under Dáil Technical Group,Latest News,Political & Public Service Reform. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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