Over €200,000 in expenses in 10 months

Kilkenny elected officials claimed over €200,000 in expenses in their first 10 months in office, according to figures obtained by the Kilkenny People.

Kilkenny elected officials claimed over €200,000 in expenses in their first 10 months in office, according to figures obtained by the Kilkenny People.

The figures reveal that between last year’s election on February 25 and the end of November, TDs from the Carlow Kilkenny constituency received €184,930 on top of their salaries, while the only senator in the constituency received €22,223 in unvouched expenses.

In their first three days in office from February 25-28, Deputies John Paul Phelan, Pat Deering, Ann Phelan and John McGuinness claimed €2,134 in expenses between them.

Fianna Fáil TD and Chairman of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee John McGuinness had the highest claim at €44,690. Deputy McGuinness claimed €4,888 a month in expenses for nine months of the year and €698 in February.

Newly elected Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan was the next highest claimant. The Tullogher TD claimed €44,466 in expenses in his first 10 months in the Dáil. Deputy Phelan claimed €4,920 for nine months of the year. In February Deputy Phelan only claimed €186.

Carlow Fine Gael TD Pat Deering was the next highest claimant, taking in €42,697 since he was elected. Deputy Deering’s highest claim was for €4,795 while his lowest claim was for €685 in February.

Labour TD Ann Phelan was the only local deputy to opt of the unvouched system of expenses. Deputy Phelan from Graignamanagh received €3,997 a month in expenses except for February, when she claimed €571. In total she received €36,544.

The lowest claim for expense came from Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan. Minister Hogan received €16,533 in expenses. Minister Hogan’s expenses were substantially lower than the other public representatives as this figure does not include his ministerial expenses.

As Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan earns €169,275 while TDs earn a basic Dáil salary of €92,672 per year.

Kilkenny’s only senator, Pat O’Neill, claimed €22,223 in expenses in the eight months that he has been in the upper house. Senator O’Neill’s expenses included €516 claimed between April 28 and 30. Figures for Senate expenses are only available up until the end of November.