Why is the Taoiseach paid so much?

17th June, 2009

As a country we will not overcome these awesome challenges of rising unemployment, of dealing with our banks and of the Lisbon Referendum unless people have confidence in the institutions and people that lead them. If we want to survive and prosper again Ireland must profoundly change. Government and Leinster House must completely change to gain the support of the people for the changes that are vital for our country to survive.

The review of salaries paid to senior figures in the public services due in September offers a golden opportunity to restore confidence in government and politics.

At Government level, the practice of awarding Ministers and the Taoiseach huge salaries in addition to their TD salary must end. Appointment to Junior Ministerial rank should bring a “bonus” of €10,000, appointment to Cabinet should bring a €20,000 increase and on appointment to the Taoiseach’s office, an increase in salary of €30,000 should suffice.

How have we got ourselves to a place that we are paying Government Ministers hundreds of thousands of euros for the privilege of leading our country when we are asking our citizens to support a drop in their living standards?

These changes may be severe but they are less severe than many of the changes facing our country. If politicians are looking to serve in cabinet for the money then they should leave office and let others take their place.