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Commitment must be given to stop unjust pay increases for politicians – McDonald

20 October, 2016 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD, speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, has said the government must make a commitment to legislate to stop unjust pay increases for political representatives.  

Teachta McDonald said:

 “At a time when €5 is the best that Minister Varadkar can do for pensioners and many public sector workers, politicians cannot and must not get special treatment”. 

 “The government have consistently refused to tackle and put a stop to the outrageous proposed increases in politicians’ pay. TDs earn a basic salary of €87,258; it is a wage that many workers would envy.  Indeed, it is a wage that the majority of workers will never earn.

“Of course, Minister Varadkar and his colleagues take home much more, in excess of €150,000, but let us stick with TDs. The proposed increases of more than €5,000 would bring a TDs salary to over €92,000. That is unacceptable, in particular at a time when Leo Varadkar, as the Minister for Social Protection, is telling pensioners that they are worth an extra fiver per week and young people who are out of work are worth even less than that, a mere €2.70 per week.

“The issue is one of fairness. That is what is driving pay disputes among Gardaí, nurses and teachers. Today, Sinn Féin is publishing a motion that will stop these unfair payments to Deputies, Senators, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and Ministers.

“This is not because we do not believe that people should be fairly paid, but as a result of the fact that it is unfair that someone who is on €30,000 or €40,000 per year, an average wage in the public sector, gets pay restoration of €1,000 while TDs can expect to be paid €92,000.

“At a time when €5 is the best that the Minister can do for pensioners and many private sector workers, politicians cannot and must not get special treatment.  We need to put a stop to this and the government must give a commitment to legislate to stop unjust pay increases for political representatives.” 

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