Wednesday 18 September 2019

TDs' wages jump to over €96,000 after pay hike - here's what the political parties have said about it so far

TDs have received a 1.75 per cent pay increase
Stock picture
TDs have received a 1.75 per cent pay increase Stock picture

Anne-Marie Walsh

TDs' wages have jumped to over €96,000 a year following a pay rise over the weekend.

They will receive a 1.75 per cent pay increase that boosts their wages by over €1,600 a year in their next pay check.

And their salaries are set to rise even closer to the  €100,000 mark next year.

Another increase that is also due under the Public Service Stability Agreement will bring their €96, 89 wages up to €98,113 on October 1 2020.

A senator's salary rose to €68,111 due to the 1.75pc pay rise that took effect today for all public servants under the Public Service Stability Agreement.

TDs' pay rises under this wage deal because it is pegged at the same level as principal officers in the civil service.

Their pay is now close to where it stood on the brink of the economic crash in 2008 when it was €100,191, although the Taoiseach's was far higher at €285,583. 

The Taoiseach and ministers have voluntarily given up the pay rises to the state - although their pensions will still be based on their salaries with the increases.

Leo Varadkar's pay is €185,350 a year due to the decision to waive the increases, but with the increases his gross salary stands at €207,590 and is set to rise to €211,742 next year.

Most of the political parties said it was up to individual members to decide whether to accept the pay rises.

However, People before Profit TDs will not personally accept the increases, according to a party spokesperson.

"In line with our longstanding policy and pre-election commitments none or our TDs will personally benefit from this pay award but will continue to receive the average industrial wage," he said.

He said the party would not return the money "to a Fine Gael government" but will use it to support campaigning activities and causes that "put people and planet before profit".

A Sinn Féin spokesperson said it is a matter for individual TDs and senators to decide whether to accept the pay rises.

But he said they "are already well paid and we don't believe this increase is justified".

"Those struggling on low pay in the public and private sectors, need to be the priority when it comes to pay restoration and pay increases", he said.

A Green Party spokesperson said its TDs will accept the increase and Fianna Fáil said it does not have a party policy on the issue so it is a matter for each individual to decide.

A Department of Public Expenditure and Reform spokesperson said it is a matter for individual TDs and Senators as to whether or not to waive the increases.

She confirmed that waiving the increases has no impact on the calculation of retirement benefits. "They are based on the full salary rate in the normal way," she said.

"A government decision was made in 2016 that, on the basis of personal waivers, members of the government and minister of state would not benefit from the restoration of benefits of the FEMPI Act 2015," she said.

"The Taoiseach, ministers and ministers of state will not benefit from increases under the terms of the PSSA."

Although he is not accepting the pay rises, Tanaiste Simon Coveney's gross pay is now €191,403 with yesterday's pay rise and will increase to €195,231 next year.

Likewise, a minister's pay rose to €175,699 yesterday and will hit €179,213 next year, while a minister of state's gross pay will rise from €134,976 to €137,676 next year.

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