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Government should impose levy on high earning public sector workers

23 June, 2011 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Speaking in the Dáil today Sinn Fein Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD challenged the Tánaiste to “impose a levy on public sector employees earning in excess of a quarter of a million euros a year.”

Deputy Doherty said:

“Yesterday the Government announced that it would not impose cuts on existing public sector workers earning in excess of a quarter of a million euros a year. The Government also announced that in the future it will allow some public sector workers to earn in excess of €5,000 per week.

“At the same time the Government is actively considering a full frontal assault on the pay of 300,000 low paid workers covered by the JLCs, many of whom earn on average €346 a week.

“Despite a clear Programme for Government commitment to impose cuts on high paid public sector workers, yesterday’s announcement by the Government is nothing more than a fudge.

“While the State is bound by contractual arrangements for existing public sector managers, they can impose pay cuts through the use of specific charges or levies. In the Finance Act 2011 the then Government introduced an ‘excess bank remuneration charge’ replacing the USC with a 45% levy bank staff bonuses.

“There is nothing to prevent the Government from introducing such a charge for those public sector employees earning in excess of a quarter of a million euros. Sinn Féin would argue that any such charge should apply to any employee earning in excess of €100,000.

“If the Government fails to introduce such a charge their credibility on this issue will be in tatters.” ENDS

Note to editor: The excess bank remuneration charge was included in the Finance (No 1) Act 2011 and placed a charge of 45% on bank staff bonuses. The relevant section of the legislation can be found on pp 29/29 of the Act @ http://www.attorneygeneral.ie/eAct/2011/a611.pdf

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