LOUTH TDs cost the tax payer a total of €196,991 in expenses in 2011 according to figures released this week.
The most expensive TD was Gerry Adams, who clocked up €48,643 in 2011, which narrowly pipped Peter Fizpatrick as the most expensive politician in the constituency.
Adams expenses were just €5,000 less then the highest expenses bill, which was for TD Noel Harrington from Cork.
Fine Gael’s Fitzpatrick had €47,478 in expenses for the same year.
Fine Gae’s Fergus O’Dowd was the best value for money in terms of expensive totalling nearly a third of his fellow TDs expenses at just €17,484.
Fianna Fail’s Seamus Kirk was mid-table with €37,490, while Labour Gerald Nash was closer to the top at €45,478.
In a statment to the Dundalk Democrat, TD Gerry Adams stated: “All my expenses are vouched. And all money paid in expenses is used to provide a first class constituency service in Louth which includes full time offices in Dundalk and Drogheda with full time staff. For part of the week I stay in accomodation in Dublin. Like all my Sinn Féin colleagues in the Dáil and Seanad, I receive the average wage.”
The average wage to which Adams refers to is stripped down wage which all Sinn Fein TDs claim, which is a gross annual pay of just €34,049. This average wage is calculated across society and is slightly less than the average industrial wage. TDs earn an average salary of €92,672 and nationwide TDs claimed €6m in 2011. The parliamentary standard allowance paid to TDs is made up of a travel and accommodation allowance and a public representation allowance. The first allowance covers the costs of travel to and from Leinster House, accommodation where applicable and constituency travel.