herald

Monday 20 November 2017

Flynn got €5k expenses for just 15 days in Dail

FLYNN claimed €5,160.80 in expenses for January and February despite the fact that the Dail only resumed on January 12, 2011 and was dissolved just three weeks later on February 1.











The former Mayo TD did not contest the February General Election and spent just 15 days in the Dail in 2011.

The expenses included €177.96 for February, despite the fact that the Dail was dissolved on the first day of the month.

Today, Ms Flynn insisted she could not remember how much she had claimed nor whether or not her expenses were vouched.

“I can't remember off hand. I'm gone out of it now for 11 months and it's a lifetime ago but it doesn't sound correct,” she said.

However, the figures published on the Government website show that Flynn claimed €4,982.84 for January and a further €177.96 for February. This is despite the fact that the Dail only sat for just three weeks over this entire period.

Despite her failure to recollect the extravagant claims, Ms Flynn defended the high expenses for three weeks work. She insisted that it had to be taken into account that the expenses cover mileage and accommodation.

“In terms of mileage [Mayo] is one of the furthest from the city and that builds up. Some people have a problem with it but that's the system we have,” she added.



Receipts

The former TD also insisted that she could not recall if her expenses, claimed under the Parliamentary Standard Allowance (PSA) system were vouched or not.

“I can't say for certain, I think they were vouched because I went with vouched before but I just can't remember if I did the same last year. I have to keep all the receipts anyway,” she said.

The impressive expenses come on top of the €186,219 lump sum Ms Flynn received when she decided not to run for the 2011 General Election. She also receives a pension of €33,947 per year as a result of her 14 years service.

Both of Ms Flynn's claims for 2011 were vouched expenses and were claimed under the Parliamentary Standard Allowance (PSA) system. The payment of this allowance came into effect on March 1 2010 and covers a travel and accommodation allowance and a public representation allowance.

This is not the first time Ms Flynn has hit the headlines over expenses. In 2009 it emerged that she was claiming an Independent TD’s allowance of €41,000 despite the fact that she had rejoined Fianna Fail. She continued to claim the allowance for eight months after rejoining the party until public fury forced her into a climbdown in January 2009.

The tax-free allowance is paid annually to all independent TDs who enter the Dail, but Ms Flynn abandoned her independent status when she rejoined Fianna Fail in April 2008.



hnews@herald.ie

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