THE country's highest-paid Lord Mayor has volunteered to take a €9,000 pay cut -- but he will still earn more than the prime ministers of Israel, Sweden, Spain and even Russia.
The Lord Mayor of Cork, John Buttimer, has proposed taking the pay cut in light of the financial crisis now facing the city council.
The 10pc cut proposed will only impact on his €92,672 mayoral salary -- representing a reduction of €9,267.
However, in total he enjoys a salary and expenses package estimated to be worth almost €200,000.
Critics claimed last night the cut did not go far enough as the council faces a €1.5m funding crisis.
As well as his mayoral salary, Mr Buttimer also gets the ordinary councillor payment of €16,724.
He also gets the use of a brand new Ford car, a driver, as well as travel expenses and entertainment budgets reported to be worth €80,000 in total.
Mr Buttimer told the Irish Independent he felt the proposed 10pc salary cut was in line with budgetary measures now being sought in Cork which faces an estimated €1.5m budgetary shortfall.
"I think the 10pc cut is a meaningful cut -- it also reflects the cut in terms of the local government fund reduction," he said.
"I also hope that it conveys in some way the willingness of myself as lord mayor and the parties that support the budget in the city council to contribute (given) the reduction in the monies coming into the authority," he added.
It also heaps pressure on Dublin's Lord Mayor, councillor Naoise O'Muiri -- who earns €70,000 in mayoral salary alone. He said he would be guided by council opinion on his mayoral package, with a motion expected to be brought at next month's meeting.