Tuesday 19 February 2019

Kenny still earns more than British PM after pay cut

Aine Kerr Political Correspondent

ENDA Kenny will still earn more than British Prime Minister David Cameron -- even after the Taoiseach cut his salary by €14,000.

But Mr Kenny's new €200,000 pay packet now puts him behind other European leaders -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel earns €242,000 per annum and French President Nicolas Sarkozy earns €253,000.

And the Taoiseach is now significantly behind US President Barack Obama, who earns €276,038 a year.

Mr Cameron took a 5pc pay cut when he took office last May as a symbolic gesture ahead of major cutbacks, leaving him with a salary of £142,500 (€165,761).

And the British prime minister earns less than Irish ministers who have seen their salaries cut by €12,000 to €169,000 as of Wednesday night.

The Taoiseach's salary is also significantly more than the Spanish prime minister who earns some €92,000 and the Swedish prime minister who is paid €138,000.

At its highest point in September 2008, the salary of the Taoiseach was €285,582.

In addition to the direct cuts, the Taoiseach and ministers pay the public service pension levy, income tax and the PRSI charge.

The Taoiseach's headline salary of €200,000 is separate to the pension, expenses and car which comes with the office.

In his first major decision as Taoiseach on taking office on Wednesday night, Mr Kenny announced that his salary would fall from €214,187 to €200,000. When the pension levy is included, it comes to €181,050.

The salary of the Taoiseach has been cut by over 30pc since 2008, while the Tanaiste's salary has fallen from €197,486 to €184,405 -- or €167,092 when the pension levy is included.

But despite the cuts, Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty last night described the move as "tokenistic". Sinn Fein plans to bring forward legislation to reduce ministers' pay by 40pc and TDs' pay by 20pc.

"This pay cut is simply a tokenistic gesture designed to please an electorate that is demanding fundamental change and real political reform," he said.

Irish Independent

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