Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has raised concerns over plans by an Oireachtas committee to examine the costs of the president's office in the midst of an election campaign.

Mr Varadkar said the presidency and the president were above politics, and he questioned the timing of a probe scrutinising presidential spending.

"I'm concerned by it," Mr Varadkar said.

The Public Accounts Committee  decided yesterday that it would examine the expenditure related to the Office of the President next week.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and the country's top civil servant, secretary general to the Government Martin Fraser, have both voiced their worries over the expenses being analysed.

Mr Varadkar said: "We have a separation of powers in our Constitution. The Áras is not accountable to the Dáil and the Dáil is not accountable to the Áras."

The Taoiseach added: "We are heading into a presidential election in the next couple of weeks.

"Presidential terms last for seven years. The PAC has seven years to look at this matter and they'll have seven years again to look at this matter if they so wish, perhaps the timing is not advisable."

The majority of committee members agreed in a vote to hold a meeting looking into the costs incurred by the Office of the President.

The meeting is set to take place next Tuesday, a day before the Presidential election campaign officially kicks off.

PAC chairman Seán Fleming said that it was important that information about presidential spending be released before the election so that people could draw their own conclusions before they vote.

Mr Fleming added that if the examination did not go ahead, it could cause members of the public to cast aspersions on the expenditure, which could be damaging to the Office of the President.

Records relating to the presidency are exempt from Freedom of Information laws.

So far six candidates are in the running for the election.

President Michael D Higgins has launched a second bid for the office.

He will have to face Sean Gallagher, Gavin Duffy and Peter Casey, Senator Joan Freeman and Sinn Féin candidate Liadh Ní Riada.

The closing date for nominations is Wednesday at 12pm with the election set to take place on 26 October.