FORMER Junior Minister Lucinda Creighton has not ruled out taking around €40,000 in severance pay – even though she criticised the practice in opposition.
The payment is made to compensate those who have lost their ministerial jobs for the drop in pay - even though they still retain their €87,000-a-year TD's salary.
Ms Creighton told the Irish Independent that she had not heard anything about her severance pay yet. She said she had "no idea" whether she would take it.
Severance pay will automatically be paid by the Department of Public Expenditure to Ms Creighton unless it receives a request from her to gift it to the State.
In opposition, Ms Creighton criticised Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin when he refused to rule out taking his ministerial severance pay during the 2011 general election campaign.
"The fact that the Fianna Fail leader insists on taking €90,000 in severance pay has exposed his political reform proposals as little more than a stunt," she said.
After coming under political pressure, Mr Martin later agreed to forfeit his severance pay for losing his ministerial position.
As a junior minister, Ms Creighton was receiving a salary of around €130,000. But just before she resigned, this salary was cut to €122,000 as part of the pay cuts for higher earners under the Haddington Road Agreement. She will now be on a TD's salary – which has also been cut from €93,000 to €87,000 under the deal.