Public service pay rise takes TDs’ salaries to €98,000
Dail deputies' pay will rise close to Celtic Tiger levels next week when a wage hike pushes their earnings above €98,000 a year.
A 2pc increase will bring TDs' annual pay near its highest point of €100,191 in 2008.
A senator's pay will increase to €69,474 with the wage hike, which is being made under a public-sector pay deal. This is close to their 2008 salary of €70,134.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin and ministers have taken a 10pc pay cut instead of the 2pc rise due next Thursday to 340,000 public servants.
The bill for the increase for public servants, including TDs, will be €264m a year.
It comes as workers and employers in sectors forced to shut down because of Covid-19 are urging the Government to reverse cuts to income supports.
Many of the 206,341 claimants of the pandemic unemployment payment were hit with reductions of up to €100 a week when it arrived in their accounts yesterday.
The number claiming the benefit may rise next week due to Dublin restrictions.
A total of 35,484 employers are registered for a wage subsidy scheme.
Restaurants Association of Ireland chief executive Adrian Cummins said the public servants' pay rise should be deferred until a road- map for the country's recovery is drawn up.
"It isn't good optics to be giving a 2pc increase next week when so many have lost their jobs and don't have certainty in the weeks and months ahead," he said.
"There are thousands across this country in hospitality, aviation, the events industry and pubs. All those people have had major economic hardship, and it will be the wrong message next week.
"The President spoke about social solidarity, but it won't be looked on as social solidarity when a 2pc increase is given."
He said those on the frontline in the fight against Covid deserved some reward.
The restaurants association wants the Government to restore the PUP rate of €350 a week immediately for hospitality staff hit by the second lockdown.
It also wants a wage subsidy restored to original rates up to €410 a week.
Country music singer Mike Denver said people in the industry cannot pay bills and are fighting to keep their homes, vans and equipment.
"We really need the Government to actually do something that will allow people to survive until next year," he said. "They should be all taking a pay cut as we're all supposed to be in this together."
People are selling equipment to survive while banks were ending payment breaks, said Jackie Conboy of the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland.
Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy will meet her colleagues to discuss the pay rise this week.
"When this agreement was put in place, the last thing anyone could have factored in is what has happened and how under pressure sectors of society are," she said.
Some Sinn Féin TDs said they waived the increase earlier this year.
Separately, a circular issued to public servants shows the pay of secretaries-general, who are the most senior such employees, will rise to €211,742 on October 1.
The Government has said the rises due under the Public Service Stability Agreement will restore cuts imposed during the recession.
By year's end, more than 90pc of public servants will earn as much as or more than they did before the cuts.