Wednesday 16 January 2019

Former party members decline to reveal if what they take home is on a par with the average industrial wage

Peadar Tóibín is working to build a new all-Ireland party. Picture: Tom Burke
Peadar Tóibín is working to build a new all-Ireland party. Picture: Tom Burke
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Former Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín will not reveal how much of his TD's salary he takes home, despite having left the party.

The Meath West TD recently quit Sinn Féin amid claims that he had been "censored" due to his views on abortion.

He is now working to build support for a new political movement.

As a Sinn Féin TD, Mr Tóibín would have been expected to follow guidance issued by the party, requesting that TDs take home no more pay than the average industrial worker.

The policy has come under fire as it emerged that it is applied loosely in the party. It is not clear how many of the party's public representatives obey the policy.

As a newly Independent TD, Mr Tóibín has said he has no plans to take up a full TD's salary. Before tax, a TD earns a salary of €94,535; this does not include expenses.

However, when asked for detail on how much he takes home each month, Mr Tóibín did not respond.

Mr Tóibín is currently organising a mini-tour of the country in a bid to build his all-Ireland movement. He has pitched this as an alternative to the parties in Leinster House, which he claims have become dominated by "groupthink".

Sinn Féin has previously made a virtue of its TDs and MEPs taking only an average industrial wage, with the remainder being used by the party to fund constituency officers and related party work. This policy suggests that a TD should take just €39,500 of his or her salary.

However, Sinn Féin has since been forced to confirm that the policy is not mandatory for TDs and no written records are requested by the party to prove what pay the TDs take home.

Meanwhile, another former party member, Offaly TD Carol Nolan - who also left the party over the abortion issue - did not respond to repeated queries on whether her newly independent status had led to a change in her salary.

Irish Independent

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