The Parliamentary Standard Allowance is an annual allowance paid monthly in arrears to all Members.
The PSA comprises two distinct elements: (1) the Travel and Accommodation Allowance (TAA) and (2) the Public Representation Allowance (PRA). See below for more information on these.
This allowance is based on the distance from the Member’s normal place of residence to Leinster House and covers the costs associated with travel to and from Leinster House, overnights and, for TDs only, other travel expenses including constituency travel. Senators are paid a reduced amount as there are no payments for constituency travel. Distance, in this case, means distance from the Member’s normal place of residence to Leinster House by the shortest practicable route. On declaring this distance the Member is assigned to one of the bands in the table below.
At the end of the year each Member must certify that the amount paid to them was applied in respect of expenses incurred for the purpose specified in the regulations. The TAA is calculated on the basis of 150 days attendance at Leinster House. However, Members must register their attendance in Leinster House for at least 120 days annually to retain the full allowance. A deduction of 1% of the TAA allowance is made for each day less than 120 days attended at the end of the year or relevant period. Where attendance recorded is less than the required number, the Member must repay the amount to be refunded within two months of the end of the year or of the relevant period.
Oireachtas Office Holders (excluding the Ceann Comhairle) are paid an allowance ranging from €6,300 per annum for the Dublin-based Office Holders to €32,535 per annum for those 360km or more from Leinster House. The Ceann Comhairle may avail of an annual overnight allowance of up to €14,715. The Leas Cheann Comhairle or Cathaoirleach may opt for payment of the overnight allowance only and apply for alternative travel arrangements with agreement of the Minister for Finance. Ministers, Ministers of State and the Ceann Comhairle are not entitled to claim the TAA.
In order to receive their TAA, members must personally record their attendance in Leinster House once daily at any time during the day or evening when Leinster House is open. This can be done on a time terminal or by signing the Daily Attendance Record.
The records published online 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. 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. The regulations also 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:
This allowance is payable to all members and is fully vouched. The maximum yearly amounts which Members may receive are as follows:
|Fully vouched max 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)
|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)
The categories of expenses allowable under the PRA vary according to role. See the table below for more information on eligibility to claim allowable expenses.
|Purpose of Allowance||TDs||Senators||Ministers & Ministers of State|
|1. Rent, rates and other such charges in relation to an office or offices||Yes||No||Yes|
|2. Utilities of an office or offices (e.g. electricity and gas bills)||Yes||No||Yes|
|3. Improvements to office accommodation||Yes||No||Yes|
|4. Signage in respect of the constituency office||Yes||No||Yes|
|5. Purchase or maintenance of office furniture or equipment||Yes||No||Yes|
|6. Purchase of stationery||Yes||No||Yes|
|7. Insurance including for office accommodation or equipment and public liability insurance||Yes||No||Yes|
|8. Cleaning of office accommodation||Yes||No||Yes|
|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||Yes||Yes||No|
|10. Web hosting and other related computer costs||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|11. Hiring rooms for clinics or other meetings relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member of the Oireachtas||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|12. Leaflet and newsletter distribution||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|13. Advertising relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|14. Attendance at conferences relating to the performance of his or her duties as a Member (except expenses relating to travel)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|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.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Declaring for the PRA
All Members must, one month before the 1st of January each year, specify the amount of PRA they wish to receive on a monthly basis. This amount is subject to the maximum yearly total as outlined above.
Certification of the PRA
Members must complete a Certification of Expenditure Form annually. This form certifies the amount spent and that it was properly spent as outlined in the regulations. If money has not been spent, it must be re-paid. If additional money has been spent, a top-up may be applied for (up to the maximum yearly total as outlined above).
Audit of PRA
All Members are eligible for selection for audit. At least 10% of Members may be chosen for audit. Audits are conducted by an independent auditor on an annual basis. As the expenses of any Members can be audited, Members must retain receipts, vouchers, proof of payment etc., for all expenditure under the PRA for a period of five years with the exception of the monthly amounts specified in respect of incidental expenditure.