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Fury as €100k TDs safe from cuts as families suffer the most

PAMPERED politicians will still earn fortunes after the Bloodbath Budget that has left ordinary families facing a bleak Christmas.

Workers and those who have lost their jobs because of Government failings will be earning less and paying more next year.

But Taoiseach Brian Cowen will still be earning €214,000 and TDs will get over €100,000 when expenses are factored in.

Mr Cowen and Cabinet ministers did take cuts of €14,000 and €10,000 respectively but the basic pay of a TD still stands at €92,672.

At the same time, the average family will be forced to stump up around €3,000 to help bail out the basketcase banks and Exchequer.

Fine Gael's Michael Noonan claimed Fianna Fail's idea of a "new Ireland" was "Bertie's Ireland". In a slash-and-burn approach, Brian Lenihan hit the poorest, the vulnerable and middle-income families.

But the IMF overlords who are monitoring the Government's every move today welcomed the €6bn cuts.

The Budget passed its first hurdle late last night when it won the first 34 Budget votes by an 82 to 77 majority. As a result the IMF has now scheduled a board meeting for Friday for a €22.5bn loan for Ireland.



DEBATE

Petrol and diesel have already gone up by 4 and 2 cent respectively while other tax issues were also dealt with.

Today the Dail debate was moving to the controversial Social Welfare bill which imposes cuts of around 4pc on payments except pensions. Other measures include:



  • A universal social charge to replace the income and health levies


  • Minimum wage cut by €1


  • Income tax bands, credits down 10pc


  • Jobseekers allowance cut €8


  • €3 air travel tax from March


  • New 1pc stamp duty


  • Salary cap of €250,000 in semi-State bodies

Taoiseach Brian Cowen tried to offset the backlash from reductions to child benefits and other allowances by slicing €14,000 off his own pay.

Ministers will forego another €10,000 but still earn over €180,000. President Mary McAleese volunteered to cut her €325,000 salary to €250,000.

Fine Gael spokesman Michael Noonan said: "Bertie Ahern's Ireland is dead and gone, it will never be restored."

kdoyle@herald.ie


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