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Keep number of TDs ~ just pay them less – Doherty

24 July, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Donegal Senator Pearse Doherty has refuted Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny’s proposal to reduce the number of TDs by 24 arguing instead that the level of representation needs to remain as is but TDs and Senators should be paid substantially less.

Senator Doherty said:

“Reducing the people’s representation in the Dáil by 24 Deputies would be a blow to the democratic process, particularly for rural Ireland. Now more than ever before the people of this state need to have champions from their communities fighting for them in Leinster House. Government decision making and policy direction in reaction to the recession has been to attack the vulnerable, the low paid and working families.

“That said the day to day cost of Leinster House to the exchequer does need to be reduced. That is why Sinn Féin has called for a cap on TDs salaries at €80,000 per year and Senators at €60,000. Both these measures would save the public finances nearly €8 million.

“Sinn Féin also called for the introduction of a cap of one pension for all former and current TDS which would save the exchequer €5 million annually. We made this proposal in March, a number of months before Enda Kenny finally gave up his own Ministerial pension. It is also worth noting the Deputy Kenny has been unable to convince other Fine Gael TDs to follow his lead and they continue to benefit from a Ministerial pension payment on top of their very generous TD salary.”

“Saving can be made but reducing the number of TDs is not the way to go.” ENDS

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