Wednesday 18 October 2017

Revealed: The salary hike TDs will pocket over the next three years

  • Taoiseach's pay due to jump by €21,000 over next three years

  • TDs to get salary rises worth more than €3,600

  • Finance Minister considering delaying the increase

While the gross salary for the top political job would increase dramatically by 2020, Leo Varadkar is not expected to take all of the increases that would fall due. Photo: Reuters
While the gross salary for the top political job would increase dramatically by 2020, Leo Varadkar is not expected to take all of the increases that would fall due. Photo: Reuters
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with his newly-appointed Cabinet at Áras an Uachtaráin – but the new Cabinet closely resembles the old one. Photo: Kyran O’Brien

Anne Marie Walsh

TDs are in line for two pay rises worth more than €3,600 on the first day of the new year - and the Taoiseach's pay is set to soar by more than €21,000 in the next three years under a new wage deal.

Wages of deputies would rise from €89,965 to more than €93,598 on January 1 because of a wage increase due under the Lansdowne Road Agreement, plus a second pay rise of 1pc due under a new extension to that deal.

Under the new deal alone, they are also in line for a third increase of 1pc in October as part of a total wage boost worth 7pc or more to most public servants up to October 1, 2020.

Meanwhile, those earning more than €110,000, including the Taoiseach and secretaries general in government departments, are due pay rises over the next two years.

Those earning more than €110,000 got one-third of a previous temporary pay cut returned on April 1 this year. They are due another third on April 1 next year, and the final amount on April 1, 2019.

The Taoiseach's pay is set to soar by more than €21,000 in the next three years under the successor to the Lansdowne Road Agreement. The salary for the Taoiseach will rise from €190,233 to €211,588.

While the gross salary for the top political job would increase dramatically by 2020, Leo Varadkar is not expected to take all of the increases that would fall due.

The department spokesman said a decision had not been taken on whether the Taoiseach would accept any of the pay rises due under the proposed new deal.

Pension

"The Taoiseach's salary was €200,000 on June 30, 2013, prior to the imposition of the pay reduction on July 1, 2013, under the Fempi Act 2013," said the spokesperson. "On July 1, 2013, it was reduced to €185,350."

However, he said the gross salary is currently €190,233, although the Taoiseach has waived a €4,833 increase that was due in April.

The pay rises come as the planned €5 a week pension hike in Budget 2018 looks set to be delayed by several months.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is considering delaying the increase as he is concerned the €150m cost of introducing it on January 1 would reduce his ability to spread the benefits of next week's Budget.

The Irish Independent reported last week that the scope for increases in social welfare payments will "go down to the wire", as sources admitted there was an acceptance there was not enough money to give across-the-board increases.

The double increase has been revealed after some deputies and ministers decided to opt out of a pay rise due earlier this year. Members of the Dáil were due to see their salaries rise by between €2,700 and almost €5,000.

The first increase to be paid to TDs and other higher earners in the public service on January 1 is the second phase of that pay rise. It is the final part of a clawback of a temporary pay cut taken only by higher-paid State workers during the downturn.

Under emergency legislation, it was imposed on a temporary basis with a refund to be paid last April worth half the pay cut and the second half to be paid in January next year.

Unions do not classify the increases as pay rises but the restoration of wage cuts - in the form of a pay cut and pension levy - that were imposed by the Government under emergency legislation during the recession.

The second pay rise is a 1pc wage increase that will be paid to all 300,000 public servants under the new pay deal.

A spokesperson at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform confirmed that two pay increases would be paid on January 1 to those earning more than €65,000 following ratification of the deal.

Irish Independent

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