Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure & Reform Seán Fleming TD has called for reform of the special allowances paid to Independents after it emerged that the 12 Independent Senators receive €23,000 each, on top of their salary.
Deputy Fleming said: “These payments are unvouched, untaxed. I want to see the same rules apply to this allowance as applies to payments under the party leaders’ allowance scheme. These payments should be vouched, independently audited and lodged with the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO). We need to ensure politics is open and transparent.
“It has long been known that Independent TDs received a leader’s payment amounting to €42,000 a year but Senators are also in receipt of a special allowance of €23,000. It’s been the best kept secret in politics in the last number of years.
“These payments are not subject to audit. I believe they should be vouched and subject to lodgement with SIPO.
“If we are to rebuild public confidence in politics and our political institutions we have to start by being more open about the payments made to politicians and the allowances received.”