Micheál Martin receives €30,000 salary bonus

Micheál Martin receives €30,000 salary bonus

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin received a €30,000 pay bump though an allowance claimed by the party last year, bringing his salary up to €124,353.

Mr Martin has been criticised in previous years for claiming the salary top-up.

The expense is part of €8.19m spent by the eight main parties through the parliamentary activities allowance in 2018.

Parties can recoup funds under a number of different categories and can claim back money spent on PR, travel expenses as well as general administration of the parliamentary activities.

The report published by the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) today reveals that Fianna Fáil received €305,353 for "the provision of consultant services, including the engagement of public relations services".

Fine Gael spent €73,907 under the same category while the Social Democrats spent €3,000 on PR.

Of the Independent TDs, some of the top spenders on PR included Minister Katherine Zappone who claimed €23,450; Michael Harty who received €23,500; Michael Lowry who was paid €13,716 and Noel Grealish who got €16,827.

Political parties can also claim money for a parliamentary leader of any salary or honorarium in respect of duties arising from his or her activities as such leader as distinct from those of a member of Dáil Éireann or a holder of a Ministerial office.

Under this category, Fianna Fáil received €30,000, while the Independents 4 Change group claimed €6,000.

While funding to the leaders of the eight qualifying parties last year was €7,587,820, a number of parties had a surplus that carried over from the previous 12 months bringing the total amount spent up to €8.19m.

The funding made available to non-party members of the Dáil during 2018 amounted to €703,704.

The funding made available to non-party members of the Seanad during 2018 amounted to €309,121.

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