Pay increases must apply to all councillors- Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on local government Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on Minister Simon Coveney to urgently reconsider two aspects of his announcement on the upcoming increase to local councillor pay. Deputy Ó Broin said:
“I spoke with Minister Coveney yesterday after his announcement of modest increases to councillor pay. I queried his decision to not to apply the increase to all councillors across the state. There is no rational argument as to why rural councillors will receive a €1,000 pay increase and urban councillors will not. This sends out the signal that government values the work of some councillors more than others, or that some councillors have a heavier workload than others. This clearly isn’t the case and it would be unfortunate if the government acted in a way that it was. It would also be deeply unfair that councillors in Dublin, Cork city or Galway city will not receive parity of treatment with their more rural colleagues.
“The Minister’s justification for applying this increase only to rural councillors because of their extra work load and the creation of municipal districts is flawed. The new functions transferred to some County Councillors following the abolition of Town Councils are already a core part of the work of City and County Councillors elsewhere.
“The Minister must also reconsider using existing limited local government funds to pay for this increase. Local Authorities have already set their estimates and allocated funding for 2017. There is a real concern that funding the pay and expenses increases will lead to cuts to other already agreed budget lines.
“Given the small amount of money involved from a general government expenditure point of view I would urge you to introduce an increase in the allocation to the Local Government fund for 2017 to cover these increases.”
“I have formally written to the Minister today outlining these concerns asking him to make these changes to his proposals.”