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'I couldn't show my face in my area if I took home a TD's salary'

Gino Kenny has strong views on TD’s pay and says he’ll only take home the average industrial wage.

Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

A NEWLY-ELECTED TD has hit out at the “obscene” salaries paid to TDs and ministers, claiming he could not show his face in his constituency if he took the full €87,000 salary.

Gino Kenny was elected for Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit in Dublin Mid-West last month.

He said he will take only the average industrial wage, diverting the rest of his salary into a “political solidarity fund”.

Kenny said he saw no point giving part of his salary back to the exchequer, saying the rest of the money would be used to help striking workers and employ part-time organisers for the left-wing party.

“I personally think it’s obscene. I’m not ultimately against money, but I think as a public servant, on that huge amount of money, I couldn’t show my face in the area I come from if I’m earning €1,100 or €1,200 a week,” he told TheJournal.ie this week.

There’s no way. If it was compulsory, I wouldn’t be a TD, let’s put it that way.

Kenny believes that a minister should not earn more than €80,000 and that all TDs should be paid the average industrial wage.

“I think there should be a cap on pay for ministers and for TDs. I don’t think that any minister should earn more than €80,000,” Kenny said.

The last seven years of this country we have seen the brutalisation of austerity and I think politicians earning astronomical fees and pay and pensions, it’s obscene.

At present, a TD earns €87,258 before tax annually, while a cabinet minister earns €157,540. A Minister of State earns €121,639.

Read: Meet the working class TD named Gino who’ll get the bus to Leinster House today

Read: This new Fianna Fáil TD wants to repeal the Eighth Amendment – but she won’t convince her colleagues

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Hugh O'Connell

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