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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 11 July, 2020

Three out of five voters think the President should give up all pensions while in office

A new poll has gauged people’s opinions on presidential earnings.

President Michael D Higgins launching his re-election campaign.
President Michael D Higgins launching his re-election campaign.
Image: Sam Boal/

THREE OUT OF five voters think the president should give up their State pension while in office, according to a new poll.

The findings are from the same Paddy Power/Red C poll which yesterday showed that  a huge majority want to see Higgins returned as president. 

The poll also looked at people’s attitudes towards presidential earnings and salaries and found that a majority felt a president should not be collecting a pension while in office. 

The Sunday Times reported last month that President Higgins has continued to draw down €19,000-a-year a pension from NUI Galway during his time in office.

Asked whether state pension payments should be disallowed while a president in office, 60% agreed that they should while 40% disagreed. 

Sinn Féin voters were the most likely to support disallowing pensions (74%), followed by Fianna Fáil voters (65%)

Red C 2 Source: Paddy Power/Red C

Currently, the salary of the president is €249,000 per year.

The opinion poll also asked whether this should be dramatically reduced to the minimum wage of €9.55 per hour.

Almost one in five (19%) agreed that it should but 81% were opposed to the idea. 

Sinn Fein voters were again most likely to be in favour of the measure with 31% supporting it. 

Red C 4 Source: Paddy Power/Red C

The poll also looked people’s attitudes towards a united Ireland becoming on the agenda as a result of Brexit. 

It found that just over three in five people (61%) would support a united Ireland arising from Brexit, with 39% opposed. 

Unsurprisingly, Sinn Féin voters were the most likely to support this, but a majority of both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael voters were also in favour of a united Ireland resulting from Brexit. 

Labour and independent voters were opposed.

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Rónán Duffy

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