President Michael D Higgins has said he supported more transparency around the activities and spending of the Office of the President.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, he said if re-elected he would propose to have an independent audit committee look at the controversial €317,000 spending allowance, what it is for and to a continuous audit throughout the year.

Mr Higgins said people wanted more than "the finished sign-off" of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

He said it would be a very good idea to bring out an annual report on all the engagements, visits and spending in the office.

Mr Higgins has said he is not accepting funding for his election campaign from political parties and dismissed suggestion he is the "establishment candidate".

He started his campaign with his own resources and then used donated funds, he said.

He anticipated his total election spend would be between €360,000 to €390,000 and within agreed spending limits.

He said he had sought election under Article 12 of the Constitution, which allows a sitting president to seek re-election once, rather than through the support of a political party.

On the news that Peter Casey is re-considering his candidacy, he wished Mr Casey well but repeated that his comments on the Traveller community were "appalling".

He added that it would be very cynical to take one of the most vulnerable communities in society to garner votes.

He said he did not address the Houses of the Oireachtas during his term in office as his speech text would have to be run by the Government.

Mr Higgins said that in light of the Troika and the difficulties in the country, he chose to speak in the European Parliament where "he could make the best contribution".

He defended the turnaround of staff from Áras an Uachtaráin under his tenure.

He said that his secretary general had been on secondment and has now returned to the diplomatic corps.

Liam Herrick and Wally Young remain as advisers on his campaign despite leaving posts in the Áras.

He also defended the record of his executive assistant Kevin McCarthy saying he is "highly qualified and hardworking".