Tuesday 12 November 2019

Judge tells court of €2,000 cut to income

Patsy McArdle and Kevin Keane

Sean MacBride: insulted

A DISTRICT Court judge has told a public court sitting that his income has plummeted by €2,000 a month.

Judge Sean MacBride made the announcement in response to a man who the court heard had verbally attacked public sector workers.

Cavan District Court heard this week that it was "an insult to say that civil servants are not paying their way in the current economic climate".

Judge MacBride's comments were made after he heard evidence of how a farmer arrested for dangerous driving told investigating gardai that "my taxes are paying your wages and had they nothing better to do than waste my time".

In response Judge MacBride said to the man: "How dare you insult civil servants like that."

The judge told the farmer that his own income was down by €2,000 a month due to the introduction of the Universal Social Charge and other levies.

Sharply criticising some national media reports, which he said suggested judges were not taking pay hits, Judge MacBride said the vast majority of his colleagues had suffered pay cuts and levies.

District court judges appointed post-Budget 2010 earn a salary of €132,300, while those appointed before the Budget earn just under €148,000.

The discrepancy arises because the Government is constitutionally unable to cut the pay of existing judges.

Last week a senior member of the judiciary raised concerns with the Taoiseach that some judges could face lump sum tax bills of over €400,000 on retirement because of the reduction of the ceiling for tax liability on a pension fund to €2.3m.

The measure, however, would not affect District or Circuit Court judges unless they have substantial existing pensions from their years in private practice.

Irish Independent

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