Thursday 21 September 2017

Donohoe attacks left-wing TDs over pay stance

Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Tom Burke
Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe has demanded Sinn Féin reveals details of its TDs' pay arrangements if it is going to criticise the Government on the issue.

Mr Donohoe went on the offensive yesterday, arguing Gerry Adams's party needs to "clarify" their policy on pay ahead of a motion on the issue which they intend to place before the Dáil.

The minister also accused AAA-PBP TDs Paul Murphy and Brid Smith of trying to exploit the looming teacher and garda strikes for political gain.

"It is on the deputy's ideological agenda never to acknowledge progress on any matter, let alone that this is happening through constructive and progressive engagement between reasonable leaders in the union movement and a government that is doing its best to make progress on areas with the resources available to it," he told Mr Murphy.

Responding to questions from Sinn Féin's David Cullinane on how the Government can justify pay restoration for TDs, Mr Donohoe said: "I am being very clear about the Government's policy on politicians' pay.

"I ask the Deputy to clarify Sinn Féin's policy on this matter. For a period of time I heard the party say that politicians should only be paid the average industrial wage.

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane. Photo: Tom Burke
Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane. Photo: Tom Burke

"Will the deputy clarify if that is still the case and, if it is, what is the amount of money?"

However, Mr Cullinane insisted he took the average industrial wage and hired a staff member, at a salary of €300 a week, with the remainder.

But Mr Donohoe again hit back, arguing that while Sinn Féin TDs said they only took the average industrial wage, the Exchequer made no gain.

"What amount of money does he draw down as his wages? In light of the fact that his party is tabling a Private Members' motion on this matter, will he sign a waiver form and relinquish his share back to the Exchequer?" he asked.

Irish Independent

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