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PARLIAMENTARY STANDARD ALLOWANCE (PSA)

The Parliamentary Standard Allowance has two strands as follows:

  • Travel and Accommodation Allowance
  • Public Representation Allowance

 
This allowance covers the costs of travel to and from Leinster House, accommodation where applicable and, for TDs only, constituency travel. The allowance is based on the Dublin band and twelve bands of 30km depending on the distance from Leinster House with a fixed accommodation allowance. Each Member is paid a band allowance based on the distance from their declared normal place of residence to Leinster House.
 
Allowance of TDs
In the case of TDs, the annual amounts range from €9,000 per annum for Dublin based TDs to €34,065 per annum for those living 360 km or more from Leinster House.
 
Annual Travel and Accommodation Allowance (TAA) – TDs.
 
Band Number
Distance
TDs
Annual
Dublin
Less than 25km
€9,000
1
25km or more but less than 60km
€25,295
2
60km or more but less than 90km
€27,315
3
90km or more but less than 120km
€28,665
4
120km or more but less than 150km
€29,669
5
150km or more but less than 180km
€30,015
6
180km or more but less than 210km
€30,350
7
210km or more but less than 240km
€30,685
8
240km or more but less than 270km
€31,365
9
270km or more but less than 300km
€32,035
10
300km or more but less than 330km
€32,715
11
330km or more but less than 360km
€33,395
12
360km or more
€34,065
 
Allowance of Senators
Senators are paid a reduced amount as there are no payments for constituency travel. The annual amounts vary from €5,250 per annum for Dublin based Senators to €29,565 per annum for those 360 km or more from Leinster House. 
 
Travel and Accommodation Allowance – TAA Senators
 
Band Number
Distance
Senators
Annual
Dublin
Less than 25km
€5,250
1
25km or more but less than 60km
€20,795
2
60km or more but less than 90km
€22,815
3
90km or more but less than 120km
€24,165
4
120km or more but less than 150km
€25,169
5
150km or more but less than 180km
€25,515
6
180km or more but less than 210km
€25,849
7
210km or more but less than 240km
€26,184
8
240km or more but less than 270km
€26,865
9
270km or more but less than 300km
€27,534
10
300km or more but less than 330km
€28,215
11
330km or more but less than 360km
€28,895
12
360km or more
€29,565
 
Allowance of Office Holders: (Leas Cheann Comhairle, Cathaoirleach, Leas-Cathaoirleach, Seanad Leader)

Oireachtas Office Holders are paid an allowance ranging from €6,300 per annum for the Dublin based Office Holders to €32,535 per annum for those 360 km or more from Leinster House.
 
Travel and Accommodation Allowance –Office holders
 
(Leas Cheann Comhairle, Cathaoirleach, Leas-Cathaoirleach, Seanad Leader)
 
Band Number
Distance
Office Holders Annual
Dublin
Less than 25km
€6,300
1
25km or more but less than 60km
€22,011
2
60km or more but less than 90km
€24,435
3
90km or more but less than 120km
€26,055
4
120km or more but less than 150km
€27,260
5
150km or more but less than 180km
€27,675
6
180km or more but less than 210km
€28,076
7
210km or more but less than 240km
€28,478
8
240km or more but less than 270km
€29,295
9
270km or more but less than 300km
€30,098
10
300km or more but less than 330km
€30,915
11
330km or more but less than 360km
€31,731
12
360km or more
€32,535
 
The Ceann Comhairle shall receive a payment of €14,715 in respect of overnight allowance only (this payment is only payable to a non-Dublin based Ceann Comhairle). The Leas Cheann Comhairle and Cathaoirleach may also opt for the payment of this amount, instead of the figure in the table above, and apply for alternative travel arrangements with the agreement of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
 
Allowances of Ministers, Ministers of State, Ceann Comhairle
Ministers, Ministers of State and the Ceann Comhairle are not entitled to the travel allowance under the PSA.
 
Verification and Certification for Payment
Payment of the Travel and Accommodation Allowance (TAA) is verified by attendance at Leinster House. Members must attend a minimum of 120 days annually to receive full payment of the TAA. The 120 days can be registered on any day that Leinster House is open to attend and is not specific to the sittings of the House. Where attendance is below this, Members will refund 1% of the travel and accommodation allowance paid for each day below 120 days within two months of year end. The Members who attend beyond the 120 days required do not have these attendances recorded.
 
Members must certify within one month of the end of the relevant period that the amount paid to them was used for expenses allowed under the regulations. Members have two months from the end of the relevant period in which to make refunds.
 

Attendance records of Members for verification of the Travel and Accommodation Allowance
 
Attendance recording at Leinster House is by means of an electronic System for Recording Attendance (SRA) or signing a Daily Attendance Record located in the One Stop Shop. Members can register their attendance once daily at any time during the day or evening when Leinster House is open.
 
Members, in general, attend on sitting days for plenary sessions of the Houses and on non-sitting days for a range of reasons related to their parliamentary duties e.g. to attend Committee meetings, to meet Ministers or to meet other parliamentary colleagues. Members may also attend without recording attendance on the system.
 
The regulations provide that attendance record may be reconciled, for the appropriate number of days, if the Member can show that their attendance was not recorded at Leinster House due to:
  • Attendance abroad in the performance of his or her duties as a Member or as an Office Holder, or in the State, (otherwise than in Leinster House) as part of or on behalf of an Oireachtas Committee,
  • Ill-health certified by a medical practitioner (the Member must declare that the absence is medically certified),
  • Extraordinary circumstances, determined by the Ceann Comhairle or Cathaoirleach, as may be appropriate, to be good and sufficient and which could not have been foreseen by the Member. In this regard, a Member must apply to the Ceann Comhairle or Cathaoirleach as appropriate.
Records which are published on-line show only the days recorded on the System for Recording Attendance (SRA). Figures are published one month in arrears. The figures remain provisional until completely verified at the end of the year. Records of individual Members can, under SI 84 of 2010, be reconciled up to 31 January for the previous year or within one month of the end of the relevant period.

On a practical level, a Member who forgets his or her key fob or fails to record attendance on a day can provide evidence of attendance, which is reconciled on the system.
 
This allowance, which is the second strand of the PSA, is payable to all Members including Ministers and Oireachtas Office Holders at the rates set out below.  Members must certify the amount expended in respect of expenses incurred in the performance of his/her duties as a Member within one month of the end of the relevant period.  Members must repay unused amounts within two months of the end of the relevant period.

The PRA portion of the PSA is now fully vouched. There is now no option for un-vouched allowances.
 
PRA Allowances for 2013

The new maximum yearly amounts which Members may receive are as follows:
 
Category
Fully vouched maximum amount for vouched expenditure subject to audit
Members of Dáil Éireann (including an office holder but excluding a Minister of the Government or Minister of State)   
€20,350
Ministers of the Government and Minsters of State
€16,000
Members of Seanad Éireann (including an office holder but excluding a Minister of the Government or Minister of State)
€12,225
 
There is provision for a small amount of un-vouched expenditure under “petty cash”. This amounts to €100 per month for a Member of Dáil Éireann, €75 per month for a Member of Seanad Éireann and €100 per month for a Minister of the Government or Minister of State

(1)    Obligations in relation to return of the unused portion of the PRA
As is the current practice, one month after the end of each year, Members must complete a Certification of Expenditure Form on which a Member must:
a)    certify the amount of expenditure incurred in the performance of their duties as a Member and that the expenditure was in accordance with requirements specified in the regulations;
b)    certify any additional expenditure more than the amount paid and apply, if the Member wishes, for such additional amounts to be paid, subject to the maximum amounts specified above;
c)    repay within two months of the end of the relevant period any unspent amounts where the amount of expenses incurred is less than the amount of the allowance received by the Member.
 


The categories of allowable expenses are as follows:
 
Ministers and Ministers of State -Purposes of Allowance
1. Rent, rates and other such charges in relation to an office or offices,
2. Utilities of an office or offices (e.g. electricity and gas bills),
3. Improvements to office accommodation,
4. Signage in respect of the constituency office,
5. Purchase or maintenance of office furniture or equipment,
6. Purchase of stationery,
7. Insurance including for office accommodation or equipment and public liability insurance,
8. Cleaning of office accommodation,
9. Web hosting and other related computer costs,
10. Hiring rooms for clinics or other meetings relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member of the Oireachtas,
11. Leaflet and newsletter distribution,
12. Advertising relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member,
13. Attendance at conferences relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member (except expenses relating to travel)
14. Applicable From 1st February 2012 only –Expenses, including any statutory deductions, for the purchase of secretarial support, public relations, information technology (but not internet related) and training services under a contract for service from a person or service provider, other than - (I)Persons engaged or expenses incurred under Regulation 9 or the Regulations of 2008, or (II)Ministerial staff employed under the Guidelines on Staffing Ministerial Offices. 
 
TDs - Purposes of Allowance
1. Rent, rates and other such charges in relation to an office or offices,
2. Utilities of an office or offices (e.g. electricity and gas bills),
3. Improvements to office accommodation,
4. Signage in respect of the constituency office,
5. Purchase or maintenance of office furniture or equipment,
6. Purchase of stationery,
7. Insurance including for office accommodation or equipment and public liability insurance,
8. Cleaning of office accommodation,
9. Telephone calls, otherwise than from Leinster House, including line rental and mobile phone calls, relating to the performance of his/her duties as a Member,
10. Web hosting and other related computer costs,
11. Hiring rooms for clinics or other meetings relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member of the Oireachtas,
12. Leaflet and newsletter distribution,
13. Advertising relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member,
14. Attendance at conferences relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member (except expenses relating to travel)
 15. Applicable From 1st February 2012 only –Expenses, including any statutory deductions, for the purchase of secretarial support, public relations, information technology (but not internet related) and training services under a contract for service from a person or service provider, other than - (I)Persons engaged or expenses incurred under Regulation 9 or the Regulations of 2008, or (II)Ministerial staff employed under the Guidelines on Staffing Ministerial Offices.
 
Senators - Purposes of Allowance
1. Telephone calls, otherwise than from Leinster House, including line rental and mobile phone calls, relating to the performance of his/her duties as a Member,
2. Web hosting and other related computer costs,
3. Leaflet and newsletter distribution,
4. Advertising relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member,
5. Hiring rooms for meetings relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member and
6. Attendance at conferences relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member (except expenses relating to travel).
7.Applicable From 1st February 2012 only –Expenses, including any statutory deductions, for the purchase of secretarial support, public relations, information technology (but not internet related) and training services under a contract for service from a person or service provider, other than - (I)Persons engaged or expenses incurred under Regulation 9 or the Regulations of 2008, or (II)Ministerial staff employed under the Guidelines on Staffing Ministerial Offices.
  
Verification and Audit of PRA

All Members will now be eligible for audit. Audits are conducted by an independent auditor on an annual basis. At least 10% of Members may be chosen for audit. The first audit under the new rules and rates will take place in 2014. That audit will be of payments made in 2013.

 Members must retain receipts, vouchers, proof of payment etc., for all expenditure under the PRA for a period of five years.