Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Questions (158)

Paul Murphy

Question:

158. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the reason Deputies and Senators continue to be paid enhanced subsistence rates for overseas travel. [49737/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The Oireachtas Service pays travel and subsistence expenses to members travelling abroad on official business in line with civil service norms. Enhanced rates of subsistence are only paid to members attending meetings of international parliamentary assemblies, as follows:

- Inter-Parliamentary Union General Assembly – meets twice a year and is attended by up to 5 members;

- Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe - OSCE - meets 3 times per year and is attended by up to 6 members;

- British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly – meets twice a year (1 in Ireland) and is attended by up to 25 members;

- Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe - PACE - meets in plenary session 4 times per year and attended by up 8 members. Members also attend meetings of PACE committee (1 member per Committee) – there were 19 such meetings in 2018

The enhanced arrangements for attendance at these meetings are based on sanctions granted by the Department of Finance in July 1959, March 1961 and May 1968.

There have been no changes in policy in this area under the current Government.