“Freedom of information it isn’t…”

In the Irish Times, Noel Whelan takes a look at the Irish presidential candidates’ declared expenditure[So you don’t have to? – Ed]  Indeed.  He starts by comparing that declared expenditure with what they said, during the campaign, they would spend.  From the Irish Times article

One of those mental notes was made during the televised election debate on the Late Late Show as candidates were asked how much they would spend on their campaigns.

Seán Gallagher answered first, making much of his no-poster policy, and saying he expected his expenditure would be about €200,000. He ended up spending €323,318.

Mary Davis was next and said her final figure “could be €350,000”. She spent €414,041 during the statutory period.

David Norris told Ryan Tubridy he didn’t know what the figure would be and ended up spending €331,975 in the eight weeks.

Gay Mitchell said he would spend “in the region of €350,000”. It transpired that the “region” was substantial because the Mitchell campaign actually spent €527,152.

I remember being struck at the time about how precise Michael D Higgins was in his reply. He said his campaign budget was €321,000. He ultimately spent just under €360,000.

When Martin McGuinness turned to answer the question, he sneered at the figures mentioned by Mitchell and Higgins saying his expenditure would be “considerably less than Gay and Michael D” and “definitely nowhere near” the figures they had suggested. As it turned out McGuinness spent €302,563, just €57,000 less than Higgins.

You can take your own look at the candidates’ declared expenditure, and donations, here.