independent

Thursday 22 August 2019

Public outrage at massive pay rise for top politicians

Bertie Ahern's latest 14 per cent pay rise brings his annual salary to a mind-blowing ?310,000, more than that earned by the US President.And Tánaiste and Finance Minister Brian Cowen got an even bigger percentage rise than the Taoiseach, his 15.6 per cent increase propelling his annual salary to ?270,000.

Bertie Ahern's latest 14 per cent pay rise brings his annual salary to a mind-blowing ?310,000, more than that earned by the US President.

And Tánaiste and Finance Minister Brian Cowen got an even bigger percentage rise than the Taoiseach, his 15.6 per cent increase propelling his annual salary to ?270,000.

The combined salary cost of the Cabinet and all the Junior Ministers now comes to more than ?7.2 million year. Are they worth it, and are we, the taxpayers, getting value for money?

Martin Codd, of Station Road, Rosslare Harbour, feels that the politicians are definitely paid to much.

Look at amount of time they have off,' points out Martin, who also feels that our Taoiseach gets far too much when compared with other world leaders.

He gets paid more than British Prime Minister Gordon Brown when they have a population of 60 million and we have a population of under 5 million, it's unbelievable,' said Martin.

However, the Rosslare man feels that the tax payers can do little to stop politicians lining their pockets. Who's to challenge them anymore? They just say what their wages are and then pass it.'

Martin also feels that the learner driver issue was used as a smokescreen' to deflect attention from the big pay raises for Bertie, Brian and their colleagues.

It's absolutely scandalous,' said Debbie Roche, of 12 Rahdarc na Mara, Coolcotts, adding that her friends all feel the same about Bertie's ?38,000 pay rise.

It's disgraceful when you look at people starving in this country,' said Debbie. I'm not saying that he's not doing his job, but it's too much money, he's already getting enough.'

There's lots of better things that could be done with that money, like helping young people to get a start in life,' said the Wexford woman.

No he's not worth it,' agreed David Furlong, from Talbot Green in Wexford, who described the Taoiseach's salary as a joke', particularly when all his expenses are factored in.

David also feels the ease by which TDs and Senior Ministers can raise their own wages needs to be looked at. It's definitely not right, something needs to be done about it,' said the Wexford lad.

Larry Murray from Pondsfields thinks that our professional politicians are 'definitely' overpaid.

'I firmly believe that they are paid too much. They don't even made decisions on their own they have advisors to do that and they are paid,' said Larry, who added that Bertie's latest 14 per cent pay rise was 'definitely out of hand.'

'I think the pay rise was definitely out of hand. It is ridiculous towards the pay raise of the ordinary person and in comparison to other worldwide politicians. President Bush isn't getting paid as much as Bertie and Bush is the number one politician in the world as far as I'm concerned,' said Larry, who added that 'we are sure not getting good value for money.'

Camblin resident, Catherine Power, believes that Bertie's huge pay rise was just out of proportion.

'Bertie's pay rise was just too much,' said Catherine.

'It depends on the amount of responsibility, their history and track record as to whether some ministers are paid too much. Some ministers are value for money but I would question others,' added Catherine.

Michelle Burton from Clonee does not believe our politicians are worth it'. Some of them should trying living on the minimum wage and see how it works out for them,' she said. They should try it for a month'.

I agree they have to get paid appropriately, but it's all the perks they get,' she continued. What they get paid, they can probably put in the bank at the end of the week'.

Joe Doran from Monamolin, however, was of a differing opinion. The way I look at it, someone has to run the country,' he said. It's not a job that would suit everyone. If you have to have someone running the country, then you have to pay the price and that's it'.

'I really don't think they should be getting more,' said Peter Flynn from Patrick Street in Enniscorthy. They get too much as it is. There's no need for a pay rise, they get paid enough for the work they do.'

'We don't get value for money as it is,' was the view of Mary Keogh of Clonjordan, Enniscorthy. They are on ridiculous salaries. The money could be much better spent. I think they should give pensioners a few bob extra.'

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