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Government fails to grasp public outrage at proposed increase in TDs’ pay - Kathleen Funchion TD

8 November, 2016 - by Kathleen Funchion TD

Speaking this evening on Sinn Féin's motion calling for the on the proposed increases in the pay of TDs and Senators, Spokesperson on Childcare Kathleen Funchion TD said that many of those working in the Early Years sector were understandably outraged at the prospect of this increase while they are expected to continue to work under worsening conditions for minimal pay.

She said:

"There’s a real disconnect with what our constituents are voicing, and how this Government is proceeding.  People are genuinely outraged at the prospect of a wage restoration of approximately 5000 euros per TD which is set to kick in as of April next year. This is particularly insulting when set in the context of increased industrial tension in the public sector, and also what Budget 2017 has asked people to forgo. The decision to up TDs’ salaries by €100 a week is widely viewed as outrageous.

"A national demonstration and strike has been organised by 100s of childcare professionals for this day week.  This is the result of the sector’s absolute frustration and exasperation with this government’s refusal to acknowledge their worsening working conditions or their right to fair pay for hours worked.

"The announcement outlining restoration for TDs has, understandably, frustrated those in the Early Years sector further. The prospect of TDs getting a pay increase when early childcare professionals are told there is not enough money in the pot for adequately improved capitation rates, is pushing staff to the edge. 

"TDs are out of touch on the difficulties staff and providers are experiencing, with so many being forced to leave the sector altogether.

"Sinn Féin opposed the terms and conditions of the various FEMPI acts. When the legislation was first brought forward we tabled amendments to reduce Deputies' pay to €75,000. This as we know, was rejected. What does this say to our constituents? That there are different rules for elected representatives in the Oireachtas and everyone else. 

"We have the opportunity today with this motion to show that at a very minimum, we will not take a pay restoration while others continue to struggle."

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