News Politics

Monday 23 September 2019

TD waives €1,600 pay rise as salary at 'Celtic Tiger' levels

Noel Rock has said he will not accept the wage increase.
Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Noel Rock has said he will not accept the wage increase. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Anne-Marie Walsh

Some TDs are set to turn down a €1,600 pay rise as their wages edge back towards Celtic Tiger levels.

Two deputies have revealed they are waiving a 1.75pc increase that pushed their yearly salary up by €1,654 to €96,189 at the weekend.

People Before Profit politicians will also forego the increases - although the cash will find its way into the party coffers.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock and Tipperary Independent TD Seamus Healy said they will not accept the increase paid from last Sunday under the public service pay deal.

TDs' pay is set to jump to €98,113 next year after a further 2pc pay rise.

This is not far off boom-time rates - a deputy's basic wage hit €100,191 in September 2008.

Mr Rock called for gross pay for the job to be capped.

"I think it would be wrong for a TD's salary to pass €100,000 as it was during the Celtic Tiger," he said.

"As TDs' salaries come closer to that mark, I will refuse this increase and would call for the salary to be capped in future."

Seamus Healy said he was not accepting the latest pay rise and has not accepted "any of these increases".

Sinn Féin's Dessie Ellis said he would have to consult his party on its policy.

A Sinn Féin spokesperson said it was up to individuals to decide, but it does not believe the increases are justified.

Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming said he would accept the increase and believed everyone on the public payroll who suffered a cut should get pay restoration.

"Everyone who had a pay cut during Fempi [emergency legislation] should get full pay restoration and there should be no exceptions," he said.

Fianna Fáil said it does not have a policy on the increases, while Green and Labour TDs are expected to accept them.

"We support the decision made over a decade ago that the salary of a TD should be linked to that of a principal officer in the civil service," said a Labour spokesperson.

However, the Taoiseach and ministers waived the increases following a public outcry over a previous pay rise while a State pension hike was delayed.

A TD's basic pay was €100,191 in September 2008. However, those with longer service had higher wages of up to €106,582 a year. "Long service increments" were axed in 2011.

TDs' wages were slashed during the fiscal crisis and plummeted to €87,258 in 2013, although their pay has risen in recent years.

Irish Independent

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