Unpaid Dáil bar bills set to be written off

It comes after a review of outstanding balances

Unpaid Dáil bar bills set to be written off

File photo

Unpaid Dáil bar bills look set to be written off as there is "no realistic prospect of recovery of the sums due".

This is according to an Oireachtas report, circulated to politicians in recent days.

The Irish Times says a revised credit policy is being developed to restrict the time period during which TDs and Senators can settle their accounts in the restaurant and bar in Leinster House.

It comes after a review of outstanding balances was carried out.

Figures released last year showed 62 politicians had apparently left an unpaid Dáil bar bill of more than €5,000 after the summer break.

One member had the largest outstanding bill, coming in at €340.

Dáil and Seanad members are able to pay for their drinks on account, however they do get monthly reminders requesting payment.

Wicklow publican Paul Moynihan told High Noon here on Newstalk no other bar would get away with this.

"I don't think any publican in the country could tolerate that at the moment. Business is tough at the moment.

"Maybe the Dáil bar is slightly different, maybe they don't have the expense that ordinary publicans have, but there's not many businesses that could sustain that."

"Generally speaking, I don't think there's much credit given in bar trade operations.

"I think things have changed drastically in the last few years.

"I think a big help to the pub trade is the debit/credit card machine that basically nobody can be stuck for cash anymore".

"We're in the leisure industry - I don't think we can afford to lend out money to people to spend on leisure industry these days, I don't think so".

Independent MEP Nessa Childers has questioned the need for a tab in the first place: