€13m in taxpayer funding goes to political parties

The country's six biggest political parties received almost €13m in taxpayer funding last year.

The public ethics watchdog, SIPO, said the figure is down slightly on 2012.

Fine Gael received the biggest payout, of just under €5m - while Labour received over €3m, Fianna Fáil over €2.8m, and Sinn Féin €1.8m.

The Socialist Party and the People Before Profit Alliance also received taxpayer funding.

Parties receive taxpayer funding and allowances based on their results in general elections, to help them with the costs of running TDs' offices.

€7.5m of the funding was allocation under the Party Leaders Allowance legislation. Another €5.5m was awarded under the Electoral Acts.

The funding received is not subject to taxes, but may not be used for electoral purposes or campainging.

Another €878,389 was paid to non-party members of Dáil Éireann and the Seanad under the same legislation.

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