Ireland may have recently passed though a historic general election but some things never change: Irish politicians who will willingly publish their expense and allowance claims, for one.

This week, two presidential candidates were among the two-thirds of Irish Members of the European Parliament (MEP's) who have refused to release the details of their expense and allowance claims.

The silence fell days before a new report detailing widespread abuse of MEPs' expenses is due to be published.

According to the Irish Independent, two Fine Gael presidential hopefuls Mairead McGuinness and Gay Mitchell were among the eight MEP's contacted by the paper to reveal their expense details.

But just four MEP's - Proinsias De Rossa, Phil Prendergast, Marian Harkin and Nessa Childers - actually responded to paper's questions, with varying degrees of detail.


A gutless first 100 days for new Irish government

Minister urges Irish to shop till they drop

New poll shows voters can’t see progress on key economic plans for Ireland

On top of an average salary of around 96,000 euro a year, MEP's are entitled to claim for a raft of expenses including their staff and administration costs. These overall total can add up to 400,000 euro a year.

The failure to respond to transparency claims came as the 2006 Galvin Report into abuses of the expenses system by MEP's is due to be published.

The report was partially leaked in 2008, when it revealed payments of massive bonuses to assistants and even payments to non-existent staff, however at that time no Irish MEP was named.

The report also detailed how a number of MEP's quietly funneled money to their own family members, or to non-accredited staff and even national political parties.