Thursday, 7 March 2013

Ceisteanna (107)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

107. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the total amount of funding allocated under the party leader's allowance in each of the past ten years broken down by party; and the way in which the underlining rate per Member applying to the party leader's allowance scheme has changed in each of these years. [12254/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Party Leader’s Allowance is provided for in the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) Act, 1938, as amended by the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices)(Amendment) Act, 2001.

The allowance is paid to the parliamentary leader of a "qualifying party”, as defined in the legislation underpinning the allowance, in relation to expenses arising from the parliamentary activities, including research, of the party. Payments are made in respect of members of the party elected to Dáil Éireann and members elected/nominated to Seanad Éireann at the last preceding general election, or a subsequent bye-election or, in the case of Seanad Éireann, nominated to it after the last preceding general election.

Under the legislation, the amount of the allowance is calculated based on the number of members elected at the time of election in accordance with the following table:

TDs

Rates: September 2008 to date

Rates: September 2008 to date

Government Parties*

First 10 members

71,520

47,680

11 members to 30

57,214

38,143

More than 30 members

28,616

19,077

Senators

First 5 members

46,766

Over 5 members

23,383

*The legislation provides that, in the case of a qualifying party forming part of the Government, the combined allowances due in respect of TDs of that party are reduced by one third.

The legislation also provides that payments may be made to a member of Dáil Éireann, who at the last preceding general election or at a subsequent bye-election was elected as a member other than as a member of a qualifying party. Such qualifying Independent TDs are currently entitled to an annual rate of €41,152. A similar provision in the Act provides for an annual payment, currently amounting to €23,383, for Independent Senators.

A table outlining the historic rates applicable for calculating the entitlement of qualifying Party Leaders and qualifying Independent Members for each of the years 2002 to 2012 is set out at Appendix 1.

The total amounts paid to each qualifying party leader in each of the years 2002 to 2012 is set out at Appendix 2. Appendix 2 also illustrates the total amounts paid in respect of all qualifying Independent TDs and all qualifying Independent Senators in each of those years.

The rates of the allowances were adjusted automatically by reference to salary increases in the Civil Service in accordance with legislation.

As part of the reform of the political expenses regime, in the context of the Expenditure Estimates for 2013, I announced that a 10% reduction will be applied to the Party Leaders’ Allowance rates payable to qualifying leaders of political parties and to qualifying Independent Members. I also announced my intention to amend the legislation to amend the legislation to improve the transparency of the allowance by providing for auditing provisions to apply to Independent Members in receipt of such payments. My Department is preparing the changes to primary legislation necessary to effect those changes.

Appendix 1

Rates applicable for calculating entitlement to the Party Leaders Allowance

October 2001

October 2002

January 2004

July 2004

December 2004

June 2005

July 2005

December 2005

June 2006

December 2006

June 2007

March 2008

September 2008 to date

TDs

First 10 Members

€51,217

€53,266

€54,864

€55,961

€57,080

€57,936

€60,109

€61,011

€64,795

€66,739

€68,074

€69,775

€71,520

11 to 30 Members

€40,973

€42,612

€43,890

€44,768

€45,663

€46,348

€48,086

€48,807

€51,835

€53,390

€54,458

€55,819

€57,214

31 Members and over

€20,491

€21,311

€21,950

€22,389

€22,837

€23,180

€24,049

€24,410

€25,925

€26,703

€27,237

€27,918

€28,616

Senators

First 5 Members

€33,489

€34,829

€35,874

€36,591

€37,323

€37,883

€39,304

€39,894

€42,368

€43,639

€44,512

€45,625

€46,766

over 5 Members

€16,745

€17,415

€17,937

€18,296

€18,662

€18,942

€19,652

€19,947

€21,185

€21,821

€22,257

€22,813

€23,383

Independent Members

Independent TDs

€29,470

€30,649

€31,568

€32,199

€32,843

€33,336

€34,586

€35,105

€37,283

€38,401

€39,170

€40,149

€41,152

Independent Senators

€16,745

€17,415

€17,937

€18,296

€18,662

€18,942

€19,652

€19,947

€21,185

€21,821

€22,257

€22,813

€23,383

Party Leaders Allowance - Total amounts paid in each year from 2002 to 2012

Party

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Fianna Fáil

€2,094,432.49

€2,257,360.56

€2,348,307.96

€2,472,866.29

€2,704,170.67

€2,730,839.76

€2,867,494.65

€2,915,876.00

€2,871,363.60

€1,746,500.88

€1,674,402.96

Fine Gael

€1,826,963.57

€1,754,505.96

€1,825,202.03

€1,927,929.22

€2,115,053.75

€2,435,377.93

€2,845,636.90

€2,921,385.00

€2,909,462.34

€2,579,029.69

€2,678,402.64

Labour

€1,052,611.19

€1,175,537.04

€1,222,906.50

€1,296,764.51

€1,417,104.63

€1,399,650.66

€1,536,056.85

€1,564,039.00

€1,499,736.06

€1,634,607.19

€1,789,782.96

Progressive Democrats

€331,620.05

€423,401.28

€440,463.36

€467,066.43

€510,410.09

€308,167.94

€185,080.70

€47,223.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

Sinn Féin

€182,322.65

€266,325.00

€277,062.48

€293,795.41

€321,059.17

€297,321.50

€326,078.34

€332,846.00

€335,424.57

€933,875.54

€1,084,353.96

Socialist Party

€50,304.58

€53,265.00

€55,412.52

€58,759.09

€64,211.90

€22,408.31

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€120,902.86

€137,080.00

Green Party

€232,628.76

€319,596.00

332475.00

€352,554.50

€385,271.00

€347,518.10

€371,893.05

€383,509.00

€426,378.00

€75,583.10

€0.00

People Before Profit

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€120,902.86

€143,040.00

Independent TDs

€328,472.72

€398,436.48

€414,485.63

€467,272.68

€514,158.64

€313,283.67

€201,581.62

€147,682.00

€164,607.84

€505,091.31

€652,552.50

Independent Senators

€85,400.80

€87,075.00

€90,582.60

€96,054.30

€104,970.85

€116,334.65

€160,354.39

€157,835.00

€140,297.76

€208,794.15

€275,601.20

Total

€6,184,756.81

€6,735,502.32

€7,006,898.08

€7,433,062.43

€8,136,410.70

€7,970,902.52

€8,494,176.50

€8,470,395.00

€8,347,270.17

€7,925,287.58

€8,435,216.22