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Gilmore to cap his pay at €190,000 if elected Taoiseach

LABOUR Party leader Eamon Gilmore last night stole a march on Fine Gael rival Enda Kenny by proposing significant cuts to the salaries of the Taoiseach and ministers.

Mr Gilmore claimed that if he was Taoiseach his salary would be capped at €190,000.

And he said senior and junior ministers would also have to take a cut of 17pc -- a drop of some €30,000.

But Mr Kenny refused to state what salaries he had in mind for the Taoiseach and Cabinet.

The Fine Gael leader insisted he had already given serious thought to the salary levels but would not be making an announcement until the first week of the General Election.

Pressed repeatedly about his plans, Mr Kenny would only say he "welcomed" the Labour Party's position.

Package

"I intend to announce a very clear package in regard to these matters in the first week of the General Election campaign," Mr Kenny said.

But his rival for Taoiseach -- Mr Gilmore -- vowed only to draw a salary of €190,000 if he took the highest office.

The salary of the Taoiseach was cut by 20pc last year, reducing it by almost €60,000 to €228,000 -- but the salary is still high when compared with other world leaders.

Ministerial salaries also fell by 15pc to €191,000.

But Mr Gilmore last night proposed cutting them by another 17pc for all senior and junior ministers.

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However, the likely coalition partners were in public agreement on the need to cap public sector salaries. The Labour Party called for a cap of €190,000, while Fine Gael called for a €200,000 cap.

The two party leaders, who may have to negotiate a Programme for Government in the New Year, were at odds yesterday on the overall cutbacks target.

While Fine Gael accepted the Government's target of €6bn in cutbacks and savings in 2011, Labour opted for a headline figure of €4.5bn.


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