Written answers

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Department of Finance

Oireachtas Payments

8:00 pm

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal South West, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context

Question 93: To ask the Minister for Finance if he will provide a full list of all payments and allowances paid to Members of the Government and the Oireachtas as of April 2011; the changes, if any, he plans to make to these payments and allowances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17144/11]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context

The answer to this PQ is set out in three parts. Part 1 deals with salary payments to Ministers and Members of the Oireachtas. Part 2 deals with expense allowances for Ministers. Part 3 deals with allowances payable to Members of the Oireachtas.

The answer to this PQ is set out in three parts. Part 1 deals with salary payments to Ministers and Members of the Oireachtas. Part 2 deals with expense allowances for Ministers. Part 3 deals with allowances payable to Members of the Oireachtas.

1. The Government on 9 March, 2011 reduced the salary of An Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister’s of State and certain related Office Holders. The current rates of pay in respect of Members of the Oireachtas and Ministerial and Parliamentary Office Holders are set out in the table below.

PostMarch 2011 31 Dáil
TD€92,672
Senator€65,621
Taoiseach€107,328
TD€92,672
Total€200,000
Tánaiste€91,733
TD€92,672
Total€184,405
Minister€76,603
TD€92,672
Total€169,275
Ceann Comhairle€76,603
TD€92,672
Total€169,275
Attorney General€169,275
Minister of State€37,370
TD€92,672
Total€130,042
Leas Cheann Comhairle€37,370
TD€92,672
Total€130,042
Cathaoirleach€44,336
Senator€65,621
Total€109,957
Leas-Chathaoirleach€24,429
Senator€65,621
Total€90,050
Leader of the Seanad€19,439
Senator€65,621
Total€85,060

2.Independent Members of the Oireachtas are paid an Independent Party Leaders’ Allowance provided for in the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) Act, 1938 as amended by the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Act, 2001. The current rates are set out below.

2.Independent Members of the Oireachtas are paid an Independent Party Leaders’ Allowance provided for in the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) Act, 1938 as amended by the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Act, 2001. The current rates are set out below.

PostRate per annum
Independent TD€41,152
Independent Senator€23,383

3.Allowances in respect of certain Ministerial and Parliamentary positions (Party Whips and Chairs of Oireachtas Committees, etc) are currently under review.

1.Travel Rates

Since 1 May 2011 Cabinet Minister with the exception of Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice & Law Reform now use their own cars on official business. All Ministers are now paid for official mileage up to 96,540 kilometres [or 60,000 miles] per annum. Ministers of State have used their own cars on official business since 1984.

The travel rates payable depend on the car engine size and are as follows since 5 March 2009;

Rates per Kilometre

Rates per Kilometre

Official Motor Travel in a calendar yearEngine Capacity up to 1200ccEngine Capacity 1201cc to 1500ccEngine Capacity 1501cc to 2000ccEngine Capacity 2001cc and over
Up to 6437km39.12 cent46.25 cent59.07 cent70.89 cent
6438km and over21.22 cent23.62 cent28.46 cent34.15 cent

Rates per Mile

0 – 4000 miles62.94 cent74.42 cent95.05 cent114.06 cent
4001 miles & over34.13 cent38.00 cent45.79 cent54.95 cent

Ministers including Ministers of State may appoint two civilian drivers the salaries for whom are paid by the Minister’s respective Department.

2.Subsistence

Ministers on official overnight business away from their home or HQ may claim the vouched cost of a hotel room including tax and up to 15% service charge. They may also claim an overnight subsistence allowance of €72.66 i.e. half the civil service Class A overnight rate of €108.99, increased by one-third.

Where Ministers travel abroad including Northern Ireland they may claim for the vouched cost of a hotel room and up to 15% service charge plus the civil service Class A conference rate for the location increased by one third with the exception of the USA and Canada, where it is increased by a half.

3.Representational Allowance

Where a Minister participates in a visit abroad an allowance of up to a maximum limit of €190.46 may be claimed to cover additional costs that may arise such as, for example, the purchase of a gift for the Minister’s counterpart.

4.Parliamentary Standard Allowance [PSA]

Ministers receive the Public Representation Allowance [PRA] element of the Parliamentary Standard Allowance. Under the PRA Ministers may claim an unvouched amount of €12,000 per annum or a fully vouched amount up to €20,000 per annum. The purposes for which this allowance may be used includes expenses related to constituency offices, mobile phones, home telephones, newspaper advertising, distribution of leaflets, newsletters, conferences and other engagements related to their duties as a public representative, hire of rooms, replacement of equipment and web hosting and design.

Since the commencement of the PSA Minister’s departments are responsible for paying the cost of telephones in Ministers’ constituency offices.

5. Dual Abode Allowance

Ministers cannot avail of the Travel and Accommodation element of the PSA which is only payable to members of the Oireachtas. However, Ministers outside the Dublin area who maintain second homes because of their official duties can claim an income tax deduction in maintaining that second home as well as the annual mortgage repayment. The availability of this allowance is determined by the Revenue Commissioners.

6.Secretarial Assistance to Ministers provided under the Parliamentary Standard Allowance

The secretarial assistance facilities available to Ministers are as follows:

(a) a fully vouched Secretarial Allowance of up to €41,092 annually; or

(b) a vouched secretarial allowance of up to €11,591, plus an unvouched annual amount of €8,888.

7.Prepaid Envelopes

TDs, including Ministers, are entitled to 1,500 prepaid envelopes per month [18,000 per annum]. Senators are entitled to 1,000 pre paid envelopes per month [12,000 per annum].

8.Entertainment Expenses

There are limits on what may be spent on official entertainment by Ministers and other civil servants. For the Ministers the limits are as follows:

Occasion Host Limit per person

Minister €64.00

Minister €51.00

Minister €13.00

9.Attorney General

An Attorney General who is not a member of the Oireachtas may claim a miscellaneous expense allowance of €12,000 per annum.

An Attorney General who is not a member of the Oireachtas may claim a miscellaneous expense allowance of €12,000 per annum.

An Attorney General who is not a member of the Oireachtas may claim a miscellaneous expense allowance of €12,000 per annum.

Oireachtas Members can avail of the Parliamentary Standard Allowance which has two elements as follows:

ØTravel and accommodation allowance and

ØPublic Representation Allowance.

10.Travel and Accommodation Allowance [TAA]

There is a single amount covering the costs of travel to/from Leinster House, overnights where applicable and, in the case of TDs, constituency travel. The annual amounts vary depending on the distance of a residence from Leinster House. As mentioned above Ministers are not entitled to these payments.

11.TAA Amounts to be paid

11.TAA Amounts to be paid

BANDNUMBERDISTANCEDEPUTIES ANNUALSENATORS ANNUALOIREACHTAS OFFICE HOLDERSANNUAL
DublinLess than 25km€12,000€7,000€8,400
125km or more but less than 60km€28,106€23,106€24,457
260km or more but less than 90km€30,350€25,350€27,150
390km or more but less than 120km€31,850€26,850€28,950
4120km or more but less than 150km€32,966€27,966€30,289
5150km or more but less than 180km€33,350€28,350€30,750
6180km or more but less than 210km€33,722€28,722€31,196
7210km or more but less than 240km€34,094€29,094€31,643
8240km or more but less than 270km€34,850€29,850€32,550
9270km or more but less than 300km€35,594€30,594€33,443
10300km or more but less than 330km€36,350€31,350€34,350
11330km or more but less than 360km€37,106€32,106€35,257
12360km or more€37,850€32,850€36,150

Public Representation Allowance [PRA]

12.Amounts to be paid under the PRA

TDs may receive an unvouched amount of €15,000 per annum or a fully vouched amount up to €25,700 per annum. Senators have an unvouched amount of €9,250 per annum and a vouched amount of up to €15,000 per annum.

13.Constituency Office Grant

TD’s including Ministers receive a one-off grant of €8,000 towards the cost of setting up a constituency office. This grant is not payable to Senators.

14.Secretarial Assistance to TDs provided under the Parliamentary Standard Allowance

The secretarial assistance facilities available to TDs, apart from the Secretarial Assistant provided by the Oireachtas Commission, IT and other equipment provided, are as follows:

One of the following

(a) A Parliamentary Assistant employed by the member with the salary paid for by the Oireachtas Commission; or

(b) a fully vouched Secretarial Allowance of up to €41,092 annually; or

(c) a vouched secretarial allowance of up to €11,591, plus an unvouched annual amount of €8,888.

The vouched Secretarial Allowance may be used for work or service done or the employment of a temporary person.

15.Secretarial Assistance to Senators provided under the Parliamentary Standard Allowance

The secretarial assistance facilities available to Senators leaving aside IT and other equipment provided are as follows:

One of the following:

(a) an additional 50% of a secretarial assistant employed by the member with the salary paid for by the Oireachtas Commission. This gives the Senator a total of a full time secretarial post; or

(b) a fully vouched annual amount of up to €20,546; or

(c) an unvouched Secretarial Allowance of €6,666 pa plus an additional ¼ of a secretarial assistant.

The vouched Secretarial Allowance may be used for work or service done or the employment of a temporary person.

16.Members of the Oireachtas are paid subsistence when they travel abroad on official business at normal civil service rates.

17.Members of the Oireachtas attending the Parliamentary Assemblies may avail of the following arrangements:

17.Members of the Oireachtas attending the Parliamentary Assemblies may avail of the following arrangements:

OrganisationSubsistence
Parliamentary Assembly of the CouncilHotel Accommodation costs plus A conference rate of subsistence increased by 80% to cover an element for casual entertaining.
Parliamentary Assembly of the Western European UnionHotel Accommodation costs plus A conference rate of subsistence increased by 60% to cover an element for casual entertaining.
Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCEHotel Accommodation costs plus A conference rate of subsistence increased by 60% to cover an element for casual entertaining.
Parliamentary Assembly of the Euro-MedHotel Accommodation costs plus A conference rate
Attendance at Inter Parliamentary Union ConferencesHotel Accommodation costs plus A conference rate of subsistence increased by 60% to cover an element for casual entertaining.
Bi-lateral VisitsBecause such visits occur at the invitation of a foreign parliament, Members travelling do not obtain subsistence as all their accommodation, meals and transport costs are covered by the host Parliament. In this instance an entertainment allowance is paid to Members at rates of 20% of the Class A conference rate increased by 1/3.

18. It is the position that a new Oireachtas expenses regime was introduced from 1 March 2010 and provides for a more rationalised system of expense payments.

Comments

No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.