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Dublin: 6°C Wednesday 19 January 2022

Sinn Féin's TDs are in line to earn up to €50,000 extra a year

A party review has recommended ending the policy of paying all staff and representatives the average wage.

Gerry Adams with Sinn Fein TDs outside Leinster House in March.
Gerry Adams with Sinn Fein TDs outside Leinster House in March.
Image: Rollingnews.ie

SINN FÉIN IS likely to end its practice of paying representatives the average wage of €35,000, after a party review recommended its conclusion.

Under party policy, Sinn Féin staff and public representatives, including TDs, Senators and MEPs, can only claim the “average industrial wage”.

In the Republic of Ireland this has been set at the level of the average earnings, around €36,815.50 a year according to the latest CSO statistics.

Until now, the party’s TDs, who earn €87,000 a year, have diverted all earnings above the €36,815 limit towards paying the salaries of constituency workers, with a “small sum” also donated to the party.

The review, which began earlier this year, has been completed but needs to be ratified in the coming weeks, a Sinn Féin spokeswoman confirmed to TheJournal.ie.

Members will be asked to ratify the change at the party’s Ard Comhairle, which is due to meet in September, at a date to be confirmed.

Irish parliament sits Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald. Source: Niall Carson/PA

Living in Dublin

But it’s understood that living and childcare costs in Dublin, as well as retaining key staff, has brought the policy under pressure.

A spokeswoman for Sinn Féin would not be drawn on the implications of the review when contacted by TheJournal.ie.

“The recommendations will be considered by the Ard Comhairle,” she said.

The term “average industrial wage” is no longer used by the Central Statistics Office due to the fact that more workers are now employed in services than manufacturing.

According to the CSO, the average earnings in the manufacturing sector is €44,572.

Haddington Road

Like other parties, Sinn Féin’s 23 TDs are each entitled to €87,258 a year – compared to €92,672 prior to the implementation of the Haddington Road Agreement in 2015.

Each of the party’s seven senators currently earns €65,000, with again no more than €36,815 taken by the senator.

Last April, deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the “realities of life” were the cause of the review on party pay.

“It keeps us rooted, it keeps us real. But we live in the real world and these things have to be reviewed. We will decide on it democratically.”

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