Government climbdown on €12,000 pay hikes for ministers - but doubt still surrounds TDs’ €5,000 increase
Government Ministers will next week voluntarily refuse a €12,000 pay rise, the Dáil has been told.
But there is no decision yet on a pro-rata pay rise worth €5,400 for TDs.
Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the Budget had delivered derisory income increases to low-paid workers and the extra €5 weekly welfare increase contrasted starkly with planned pay hikes for politicians.
“Once again there is one rule for ordinary families and citizens. Look after ‘Number 1’ – the others can wait,” Ms McDonald said.
But replying for the Government, Education Minister Richard Bruton said he believed politicians must take a lead on the issue of pay restraint.
Mr Bruton said politicians had taken big pay cuts as part of austerity measures – and he confirmed Irish Independent reports today that Ministers will not take €12,000 worth of pay restoration due to be paid up over the coming three years.
“The Government will confirm next week that Ministers will not be taking the pay rise,” the Education Minister said.
Mr Bruton did not comment on what will happen to a similar pay restoration increase for TDs worth €5,400 over the next two years.
Earlier the Government strongly defended its “help-to-buy” scheme for first-time homebuyers. Fianna Fáil’s Darragh O’Brien said the plan would not help young people trying to get on the property ladder – but it would drive up house prices.
“This is not a help to buy scheme. This is a help to sell scheme,” Darragh O’Brien said.