Wexford TDs and senators have earned over €4m since 2011
COUNTY Wexford's Dail Deputies and Senators have earned a whopping €4 million in salaries and expenses since the 2011 General Election.
Minister Brendan Howlin's salary and expenses were the highest at almost €834,000 while Chief Whip and Junior Defence Minister Paul Kehoe was close behind at €785,869.
The breakdown of all the salaries and expenses earned by elected politicians nationally sine 2011 have just been published by the Irish Mirror following a Freedom of Information request.
They show that Brendan Howlin's figure stood at €833,881.27; Paul Kehoe's at €785,869.69; John Browne's at €604,945.40; Liam Twomey's at €591,498.46; Mick Wallace's €477,925.91; Senator Jim Walsh €403,809.11 and Senator Michael D'Arcy €376,311.95.
All TDs receive a gross salary of €87,258 a year, while senators get €65,000. Cabinet ministers are also paid additional salaries ranging from €50,210 a year to €98,092 for the Taoiseach.
Nationally ministers, TDs and senators have run up a travel and entertainment bill just shy of €2.4 million since the current Government came to power in 2011
TDs and senators can also claim allowances that are unvouched - they do not have to supply evidence that they have actually spent the money.
Then there are expenses in which politicians are reimbursed for expenditure they can prove they have made. They may also claim an overnight subsistence of €72.66.
By combining salaries, allowances and expenses it can be shown how much TDs, ministers and senators have cost the taxpayer.
Brendan Howlin spent the most on travel and entertainment over the period, at just over €75,000; Paul Kehoe was close behind at €65,544.
Ministers away on official overnight business can claim the vouched cost of a hotel room including tax and up to 15 per cent service charge.
Among the expenses, Minister Kehoe spent €355 on taxis in four days during a visit to Australia in 2013 and in March this year, claimed business class flights to Abu Dhabi costing €2,325.
In terms of his Taoiseach's Department expenses, Paul Kehoe claimed a total of €117,582, €75,714 in mileage, €3,375 in accommodation, €2,174 in subsistence, €16,662 in phone costs, €19,790 in air travel, €370 in ground transport, €1,482 in 'other' and just to prove that every little helps, €12.95 in entertainment!
Private staff expenses claimed by Minister Kehoe were €16,234.