TD wage hike ‘a kick in the teeth for low-income earners’

The head of Aontú, Peadar Tóibín TD, said he had asked the government to stop the increase in TD’s wages which will occur at the end of the year if the new public service contract is approved.

“Ireland is going through the worst cost of living crisis for generations,” said MP Tóibín.

“Middle earners are suffering and many are unable to pay bills for necessities.

“Small businesses are crucified by rising energy bills.

“And yet, in the midst of this, the ruling class is giving itself a €6,500 pay rise.

“This is a pay rise worth more than half of an annual public pension for an elderly person.

“DTs will earn well over twice the average industrial wage.”

Deputy Tóibín also said that at a time when interest rates are rising, it is wrong for TDs to give themselves such a large salary increase.

“There are two Irelands with an incredible chasm between the haves and the have-nots,” he said.

“The income experience of TDs is increasingly different from that of the people they are meant to serve.

“You can’t govern well if you can’t build relationships with the people you’re supposed to serve.

“Day in and day out, we see the material evidence of this disconnect in the cost of living crisis and the endless housing and health care crises.

“Many TDs don’t know what it’s like for the families around the kitchen table trying to figure out how they’ll pay £120 for a full tank of gas or how they’ll be able to pay for the weekly shop.

“A lot of TDs can’t understand moms and dads who stay up at night wondering what bill they can pay this month and what will have to wait until next month.

“There is also the serious issue of public debt. Ireland owes 241 billion euros.

“This equates to over €100.00 in debt for every worker in the state.

“This at a time when interest rates are rising. For DTs to attribute such increases to such high debt to themselves is wrong.

“Many TDs say they have no choice over pay which is locked in to all public sector pay by legislation.

“But TDs can change this legislation at any time.

“That’s not an excuse.

“In June the Taoiseach defended a pay rise for 4,000 civil servants earning over €150,000 saying it was the law.

“These wage increases were independent of productivity or state benefits.

“Individual productivity and responsibility are absent from these discussions.

“I understand that civil servants earning up to €150,000 will also benefit from this series of salary increases.

“It’s a government in two Irelands for sure”.

William M. Mayer