Tuesday 20 March 2018

Councillor expenses slashed by €20,000 in new reform

Hogan cuts payments to mayors by up to 60pc in surprise move

Paul Melia Environment Correspondent

INCOMING city and county councillors will lose out on expenses payments totalling at least €20,000 each over their five-year term in office.

Salaries paid to the cathaoirleach, or mayor, will also be slashed by as much as 60pc and strict caps introduced in a move designed to reduce the amounts paid to our local politicians, the Irish Independent can reveal.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan has also cut the budget available to attend conferences and training courses in a move that will surprise the country's 949 councillors who officially take up office today.

The changes mean that the payment for the mayor of Dublin city will be reduced from €66,562 to a maximum of €50,000.

The three other local authorities in Dublin will have their mayoral salaries capped at €30,000 as will Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow and other councils with over 30 members.

The payment for the mayor of Cork city will go from €79,000 to a maximum of €30,000.

The cull comes amid widespread concerns about the cost of local governance and in particular some of the conferences attended at taxpayers' expense.

The Irish Independent has repeatedly highlighted the massive spend on conferences.

Mr Hogan said: "I have brought to an end the scandal of councillors travelling to a wide range of pointless and ineffective conferences."

Last month, it emerged that councillors claimed almost €23m in expenses, fees for

Irish Independent

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