Friday 6 December 2019

Backdate pay rise for councillors - minister

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Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Pay rises for councillors should be back-dated to this year's local elections, a Fine Gael minister has told TDs and senators.

Junior housing minister John Paul Phelan also said it's his view that councillors should be paid "substantially more" than their current salary of around €17,000.

But he disagreed with suggestions at the Oireachtas Housing Committee that it should be as high as 50pc of senators' pay of almost €70,000.

A report on pay for county and city councillors is being prepared by barrister Sara Moorhead. It is expected to recommend a possible pay increase of €8,000 at a cost of €7.5m a year to the State, according to a report by RTÉ.

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Mr Phelan said that he expects the report to be finalised and published in the next 10 days.

Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly asked if pay rises would be back-dated to the local elections in May.

Mr Phelan said: "I haven't diverted from my view that it should be dated from the last local election… elections are natural boundaries politically."

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin sought confirmation that pay rises for councillors will be part of wider public sector pay talks next year.

Mr Phelan said it is a "strong possibility", but that decision has not yet been made.

He said the aim is to link councillors' remuneration to public sector pay "so it's not politicians in future which are deciding pay of other politicians".

Fine Gael senator Martin Conway said there needs to be clear timelines for councillors' pay rises to take place.

Irish Independent

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