Po­lit­i­cans asked to de­fend their lat­est salary in­crease

Bray People - - News -

EV­ERY TD in the coun­try is this week claim­ing an an­nual salary in ex­cess of ¤100,000 as a 2.5 per cent in­crease that was agreed un­der the Na­tional Part­ner­ship Agree­ment kicks in.

A back­bench or op­po­si­tion TD now earns ¤101,191; a Ju­nior Min­is­ter such as Dick Roche earns ¤154,740; a full Min­is­ter earns ¤225,196; Tá­naiste Mary Cough­lan is now earn­ing ¤ 245,325; and Taoiseach Brian Cowen is on a salary of ¤285,583.

And in most cases, the ba­sic salary of a TD is sweet­ened by ex­tra al­lowances earned through mem­ber­ship of the nu­mer­ous par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tees that are now in op­er­a­tion, and bonuses they are en­ti­tled to af­ter first seven and then ten years of ser­vice, not to men­tion the gen­er­ous ex­penses al­lowances they are en­ti­tled to through­out the year.

The rise comes as talks on a new pay deal for or­di­nary work­ers through­out the coun­try have stalled, and as thou­sands more are ei­ther join­ing the dole queue or else in fear for the fu­ture se­cu­rity of their em­ploy­ment.

We this week asked County Wick­low five TDs two straight­for­ward ques­tions. The first was, ‘Given the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate, would you be will­ing to forego the raise?’, while the sec­ond was, ‘Since the last elec­tion, what have you done to jus­tify your salary?’

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