Donegal town councillors are being urged to give the gratuities they receive when the councils are abolished to the communities they represent.
Independent Cllr. John Campbell said that the councillors should return the retirement gratuities to the department or donate them to their communities.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan has set up a budget to provide payments to town and borough councillors when the councils are abolished next year. The one-off gratuity will be based on the elected member’s time served on council and could be as much as 16,000 euro for long-serving members. It is understood councillors will not be eligible for the payment if they get elected to a city or county council.
Cllr. Campbell called the gratuity “another thing that would be used to bash politicians”.
“When people are struggling, and especially people in different towns in Donegal who would see their councils abolished and see councillors getting payments of ten or 15,000 euro, it just doesn’t sit well with them,” he said.
Minister Hogan told the Irish Independent, “We have budgeted for gratuities because people, in good faith, stood for the local elections in 2009 on the basis that they were going to be there for five years and on the basis that they were going to continue in office.”