Friday 9 December 2016

Councillors 'not getting any special treatment'

Published 27/07/2016 | 02:30

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tony Gavin
Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tony Gavin

Councillors are not getting any "special treatment" under plans that could see their incomes boosted by €800 a year, Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has claimed.

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The minister confirmed he was progressing plans to allow local representatives to either stop paying PRSI or claim back welfare benefits, like normal PAYE workers. He insisted the move had nothing to do with the fact that councillors hold 10pc of votes in the Fine Gael leadership race.

"Just to be clear, the issues of councillors' pay and remuneration is a matter for ministers Coveney and Donohoe, so any questions on councillors' pay or remuneration I'm sure you'll direct to them," he said.

"What I'm pushing forward, and what I believe in, is a move to a more European-style social insurance system.

"That means that if you pay PRSI and pay into the social insurance system, then you must get something back for it."

In response to how this would benefit councillors, Mr Varadkar said: "All I'm proposing is that they get fair treatment, so if they are going to pay PRSI, they can claim benefits like everybody does."

Irish Independent

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