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Ministers will not be singled out for extra pay cuts, insists Howlin

Brendan Howlin says the €150,000 salary ministers will earn after Croke Park 2 compares well to the private sector.

CABINET MINISTERS will not be singled out for further specific pay cuts, the minister in charge of public pay has said.

Brendan Howlin says the pay of ministers has fallen by over 30 per cent from its peak under the last administration – more than any other group in public life.

In an interview last week with, asked if ministers might lead by example and take extra cuts, Howlin suggested people with similar responsibilities in the private sector would command far higher pay.

“There’s not too many groups of workers in our economy that has taken a 30 to 40 per cent pay cut,” he said, of those who were still in full-time work.

He said this was before any Croke Park 2 cuts, which would not treat ministers differently to anyone else on the public payroll – and leave them earning in the region of €150,000 a year.

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Ministers currently earn €169,275 each, having taken a pay cut in the first act after Fine Gael and Labour took office in March 2011. Before that, ministers were paid €181,283 each – an amount which had fallen quite significantly in previous years.

When it was pointed out that current ministers had not taken a pay cut since their first hours in power, Howlin said ministers were no different to any other public workers, in that no public workers had seen pay cuts since the introduction of the first Croke Park agreement in mid-2010.

“When you look at what other senior administrators in public companies or private companies are paid… whether that [€150,000 salary] is reasonable, I’ll let you judge that,” the minister said.

Read: Hollande hands new ministers 30 per cent pay cut

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Gavan Reilly

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