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Pay rise for politicians and public servants to cost €264m a year

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A 2pc pay rise due to politicians and the workforce of more than 300,000 public servants this autumn will cost €264m a year.

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said the increase will cost €88m this year.

This is because it will only be paid for part of the year as it is not due until October 1.

The cost will run to €264m from next year under the terms of the current public sector pay agreement.

The 2pc pay hike is due to the workforce of more than 300,000 public servants.

TDs and senators also benefit because their wages are linked to public service grades.

The Taoiseach and ministers have previously waived increases that were due under the deal, which is called the Public Service Stability Agreement. Sinn Féin TDs revealed they have already waived the increase that will bring a deputy's basic pay close to €100,000 a year.

A TD's pay currently stands at €96,189 a year while a senator's salary is €68,111.

The pay agreement runs out at the end of this year and the new Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, said the negotiation of a new deal will be one of his tasks as minister.

He also indicated earlier this week that the 2pc pay increase will be honoured.

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin said deputies including party leader Mary Lou McDonald have waived the pay rise.

He said this was part of a €8,847 increase that included other pay rises that they agreed to return to the State.

Mr Ó Broin said deputies from his party met to discuss whether they should divert the increase into constituency services, charity or back to the State. He claimed TDs are "excessively overpaid" and get unvouched travel and accommodation allowances of up to €36,000.

"We had this debate and said with the money we were getting, there was no justification for pay restoration or an increase for TDs and the best way to send a clear public signal on this was to gift it back to the State," he said.

"At a time that lots of other people in the economy were having increasing difficulty with the cost of living we felt it was really important".

He said the New Zealand government's decision to take a 20pc pay cut may only be symbolic but this was important at times of national crisis.

The full cost of the pay agreement is €877m over three years. It benefits most state workers by between 6pc and 7pc each.

Irish Independent