Wednesday 24 May 2017

Oireachtas cannot go on like a private club

As the Oireachtas finally gets around to constituting new parliamentary committees it is worth asking why the chairs of these committees are to be rewarded with an extra €10,000 on top of their parliamentary salaries.

I work as a university lecturer and sit on a large number of internal institutional committees and external bodies. I neither expect nor receive additional payments for this work as I consider it part of my service.

Why should TDs and senators, already amongst the best-paid parliamentarians in the world, receive additional remuneration to take up a committee chairmanship? Given the scale of cuts foisted on lower-paid employees in both the public and private sectors it is unacceptable for the Oireachtas to go on acting as a privileged club, where members of parliament have to be persuaded via monetary inducement to take on tasks which in most workplace settings would constitute a central part of one's normal workload.

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