Enda and the boys hand back €240k... because they have to
Just when you'd given up any faith you had in Irish politicians along comes the news that they handed back €240,000 in unspent allowances last year. No telling what they actually spent though.
Before the political hacks begin gushing about our generous and civic-minded TDs and Senators, there wasn't actually any choice. Under the new system of expense a politician can either provide receipts to get their allowances, or not and get a lower level.
The expenses are automatically handed over to politicians every month and then the surplus is given back to the State at the end of the year. That's where the €240,000 steps in.
So, the money we got back was just from TDs and Senators who still don't feel like providing receipts for the expenses they claim. Simples.
The difference between the vouched and unvouched is pretty big. Take for example the average TDs office supplies and communication. Unvouched they can 'only' claim €15,000, but if they whip out the old receipts then they can bump that right up to €25,700. That's an awful lot of communicating. Eh Aengus Ó Snodaigh?
It's seems like being a politician in Ireland is still the good life, despite our economic woes.