TDs and Senators to have any outstanding Dáil bar tabs deducted from salaries starting in June
They have until the end of May to clear any Dáil bar tabs.
All unpaid Dáil bar tabs will be automatically deducted from the salaries of TDs and Senators from mid-June onwards.
In a letter from the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission sent to all TDs and Senators, the Dáil bar and restaurant will be introducing a new payment system, which requires all members to complete an application and deduction mandate form prior to making any further purchases on credit.
Coming into effect on 23 April 2018, this credit system was outlined in a letter, titled 'New Credit Facility Arrangement for Bar and Restaurant Purchases'.
It also stated that two months following said date any outstanding debts will be classified as "aged debts", at which point the are automatically deducted from the members salary.
Members have now been informed that any aged debt must be cleared by the end of May, before the mandated deduction option begins for the first time the following month.
The system was introduced after it was revealed in August 2017 that almost €5,500 in unpaid tabs had been written off due to there being "no realistic prospect" of recovering the money, with some of these bills being owed since the year 2000.
The figures, released to the Sunday Times under freedom of information legislation also revealed one TD ran up a tab of over €1,200 for food and drink in the Dáil in July and August 2017, a period in which the Dáil only sat for eight days.
Another TD had an outstanding bill of €1,500 by the end of August that had been unpaid for over two months at that stage.
In total, €31,000 was owed to the Oireachtas for food and drink at the end of August 2017, including €950 from politicians who lost their seats in the 2016 General Election and €22,000 that had been unpaid for two months.