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No plan for fresh round of ministerial pay cuts - Howlin

Brendan Howlin is asked to follow Francois Hollande’s lead – buy says the French president actually copied Ireland.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

PUBLIC EXPENDITURE MINISTER Brendan Howlin has ruled out any possibility of ministers taking further pay cuts.

Howlin said ministers had taken a net pay cut of over 40 per cent since 2008, when pensions levies and other deductions were considered.

Howlin had been asked whether ministers would take a pay cut through a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin’s Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, who asked if Irish ministers would follow precedents set overseas.

In particular, Mac Lochlainn pointed to the example of French president Francois Hollande – whose first executive decision upon taking office last month was to implement a 30 per cent pay cut for his ministers.

Howlin rebuffed the suggestion, claiming Hollande’s decision to reduce his own pay and that of his Cabinet “mirrors the precedent set by this Government on entry into office in March 2011″.

He added that he had “no plans at present to review the current arrangements”.

The first meeting of Enda Kenny’s government, held on the evening he took office, introduced a pay cut of 6.6 per cent for Kenny – bring his pay from €214,187 down to €200,000, the level at which it currently stands.

Other ministers took pro-rata reductions, with the Tánaiste’s wage reduced to €184,405 and the pay for other ministers falling to €169,275. Junior ministers earn €130,042, down by just over €9,000 from the previous regime.

The previous administration of Brian Cowen had cut the Taoiseach’s pay by 20 per cent, and the pay of other ministers by 15 per cent and junior ministers by 10 per cent, as part of the public sector pay cuts introduced in Budget 2010.

Read: Hollande hands new ministers 30 per cent pay cut

Budget 2013: Minister refuses to rule out income tax increases and welfare cuts

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Gavan Reilly

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