Donegal’s Pearse Doherty has said that his party will introduce a Bill to the Dáil that would dramatically cut payments and salaries to politicians. He also pointed out that Taoiseach Enda Kenny earns 5.5 times the average industrial wage.
The Reduction in Pay and Allowances of Government and Oireachtas Members Bill 2011 seeks to impose pay cuts of up to 30% on senior office holders including the Taoiseach and Tánaiste. The Bill also seeks to abolish outright an additional nine types of payment including allowances for group leaders, whips and committee chairs.
Deputy Doherty said: “There has been a dramatic decline in the disposable income of the vast majority of people in recent years. Unemployment is rising and wages are falling at a time of rising inflation and interest rates hikes. Many families are now at breaking point.
“Against this backdrop the Government is proposing to reduce the pay of more than 300,000 of the state’s lowest paid workers through a so-called reform of the JLC system. All the while elected politicians, Government members and Oireachtas office holders continue to receive salaries many times above the pay of the majority of workers.
“In the current economic climate there is a need for those of us who are elected to public office to show leadership. If there are sacrifices to be borne then we should be in the front line of making those sacrifices.”
The Reduction in Pay and Allowances of Government and Oireachtas Members Bill 2011 would cut the Taoiseach’s pay by 30%, the Tánaiste’s pay by 28%, Ministers’ pay by 27% and the Ceann Comhairle’s pay by 36%.
In addition the Bill seeks to reduce pay to Ministers of State and other office holders on a scale ranging from 20% to 31% and to cut the basic salary of TDs and Senators by 19% and 9% respectively.
“Some TDs from both government and opposition parties will argue that Government members and Oireachtas office holders pay has been cut in recent years. Some senior office holders were subject to two cuts under the previous government and an additional voluntary cut from the current government. However a TD continues to earn at least three times the average industrial wage while the Taoiseach, even after his 6.6% voluntary salary reduction in April of this year, earns 5.5 times the average,” he said.