Green Party motion aims to stop TDs and senators getting double salaries

9th March 2009

At its annual convention over the weekend, the Green Party / Comhaontas Glas passed a motion calling on its parliamentary party to instigate legislation which will stop members of the Oireachtas who were previously public servants from effectively drawing two salaries.  Under the current situation members of the Oireachtas who were public servants, mostly teachers, can take an indefinite leave of absence from their position, and still draw their full salary with all increments and pensions entitlements, and from this salary they must pay for a substitute, who is invariably on a much lower point on the salary scale, with the Oireachtas member pocketing the difference.

The motion, which was put forward by the Cork South Central Greens, was proposed by the Green Party candidate for the South Central ward of Cork City Council, Mary Ryder.  Commenting on the motion, Ms. Ryder said:  “This motion is about removing double standards, which politicians have voted for themselves.  These double standards anger the public, and cost the taxpayer money.  There is simply no justification for this.  Members of all parties except the Green Party have availed of this, some for more than twenty years, purely to line their own pockets to the tune of maybe an extra €20,000 – €30,000 per annum on top of their Oireachtas salary.  This has to stop and it has to stop now.”

At the convention the motion was also supported by Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, the Green Party candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council and Passage West Town Council.  Cllr. Donnelly commented:  “This is the sort of thing which leads the public to regard politicians as only being in politics for what they can get out of it.  It devalues politics, and undermines the public’s trust in those who are meant to be running the country.  The only Green Party member of the Oireachtas who could have availed of this perk, Minister Trevor Sargent, has never done so.  On election to the Dáil, Trevor Sargent immediately resigned his post as a national school principal.  However members from all other parties have shown a complete lack of morals by taking an unlimited leave of absence from their positions, and continuing to draw their salaries while also drawing their Oireachtas salaries.  This is an abomination.”

 

Full text of motion:

This convention

  • notes that a number of elected representatives have taken temporary leave from public and civil service posts, including teaching.
  • proposes that, on election to the Seanad, Dáil or European Parliament, such a career break be granted on the same basis as to all other teachers and other civil and public servants who take a career break: they have five years in which to either return to their jobs or retire, they do not receive a career salary or part thereof during their absence, they do not advance again on the incremental salary scale until and unless they resume their career.
  • mandates its parliamentarians to initiate the legislative change necessary to implement this policy within the lifetime of  this Dáil.
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