Monday 24 July 2017

Parity politics - if we want good TDs, we must pay them properly

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe asked ministers to gift money back to the State last October. Photo: Tom Burke
Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe asked ministers to gift money back to the State last October. Photo: Tom Burke
Shane Coleman

Shane Coleman

The revelation in this newspaper that the vast majority of TDs are going to accept a pay rise of €2,700 - or to put it another way, €50 a week - has provoked howls of outrage from the usual sources.

Before we all rush to judgment though, it might be worth asking the question, how many of us would voluntarily forego a pay increase that was awarded as part of a national pay agreement? Would you? I don't think I would.

Is it really "immoral", as one left-wing TD described it, to take the pay increase? On one level, it probably is. If you think of how extraordinarily well off we all are in this country relative to most of the world's population, our materialistic and consumer-driven lifestyles are pretty much impossible to justify. We all, well the vast majority of us anyway, turn a blind eye to that uncomfortable reality.

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