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Political Funding: the Facts

Political Funding: the Facts

There is a lot of very understandable confusion and anger surrounding the whole topic of funding to political parties and politicians. That’s why here I attempt to break down the extremely complex arrangements and rules which govern the payments so that people have a better understanding of what exactly is paid to whom and where reform is most badly needed.

Unfortunately the funding system is so complex it is virtually impossible to get a proper appreciation of its scale. While there are many areas where reform is obviously needed, arguments often suffer from a lack of accuracy.

While I firmly believe that political activity must be supported by the State, I have taken the position that the present funding given to parties and politicians must be drastically reduced, simplified and equalised according to the individual mandate of the TD, and I have attempted to amend legislation to give effect to that.

In addition, funding is awarded in very unequal manner across the 166 TDs elected to Dáil Éireann. Research conducted by my office shows that some TDs in Dáil Éireann receive up to four times as much state support as others, for no reason other than they belong to a political party. I feel this must be addressed urgently.

Above all I want a political system that is funded fairly, cost-effectively, respects the mandate people give to their TD and is completely transparent.

Please click the links below to find out the full facts about political funding and to see details of my own funding.

How Political Parties, Groups and TDs are funded

My Own Funding: What I receive and how I spend it

Along with my colleague, Stephen Donnelly, I have also made publicly available the facts and figures surrounding the current system so that people can see for themselves exactly where their money is going. You can find this data and research at these links:

Political Funding in Ireland: An Analysis by Catherine Murphy (pdf)
Catherine Murphy PQs on Political Funding (pdf)
Stephen Donnelly Analysis of Political Funding (Excel)
Staffing levels for Political Parties (Houses of the Oireachtas) (pdf)