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Abandoning the working wage? Sinn Féin raises salaries for all elected representatives

In introducing the €2,500 pay rise the party appears to be finally abandoning its ‘working wage’ pay strategy.

mary lou Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty of Sinn Féin Source: Rollingnews.ie

SINN FÉIN HAS introduced an across-the-board wage increase for its elected representatives.

The pay hike of €2,500 had been mooted for some time with the mood in the party over the past year suggesting that its policy of paying all members the national living wage was no longer sustainable.

A review of the policy was discussed and agreed at a meeting of the party’s Ard Comhairle in December. A further review of pay within the party is expected to be conducted before the end of the year.

Pay within Sinn Féin is now to be divided into salary bands. It’s understood those bands range from the lowest level of €23,000 to €39,500 for elected representatives.

This represents a €2,500 increase on the average industrial wage of €37,000 previously paid to the party’s TDs.

All of Sinn féin’s TDs currently receive the standard public sector wage for a member of Dáil Éireann of €87,000 (€65,000 for Senators).

“Sinn Féin routinely review party policy and update based on best practice,” party finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said of the pay review.

There was a recognition that the one set-wage policy needed to be reviewed. The new system allows for increments to be introduced in recognition of skills, experience, and levels of responsibility.

Pay restoration

Last November Sinn Féin led a charge against a hike (really pay restoration under the Haddington Road Agreement) of €5,000 in a TD’s salary.

The party’s motion, which Waterford representative David Cullinane sad was in the interests of “fairness”, was defeated however via opposition from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Those pay increases for TDs will be introduced in two tranches – one in April of this year and the next in January 2018. However, the increases have been forfeited by ministers and junior ministers.

Until now Sinn Féin TDs have diverted all earnings above the €37,000 cutoff towards paying the salaries of constituency workers, with a “small sum” also donated to the party.

A party review last August had recommended that the party’s practice of paying its representatives the average wage be concluded.

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

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