The white smoke has emerged from Lansdowne House where unions and the Government were renegotiating the so-called Croke Park Agreement governing pay and conditions for Ireland’s near 300,000 public sector workers.
The headlines are available from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform here. The cut that will probably attract most immediate attention is the direct cut to gross salary for those earning in excess of €65,000 in pay and allowances each year. Although there has been no announcement yet, it is being assumed here that the cuts will affect politicians who are supposed to be part of the public sector.
That being the case, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s salary will fall from €200,000 to €185,350, with the calculation of the cut shown below.
When An Taoiseach came to office in March 2011, one of his first acts was to cut his pay and that of An Tanaiste, ministers and ministers of state by 6.6%, so An Taoiseach’s salary went from €214, 187 to €200,000 which was a gesture of sorts, but nothing like the €82,000 cut to the French president’s salary introduced by Francois Hollande in 2012 which brought the salary for that post down from €253,000 to €171,000.
And after today’s decline, An Taoiseach will still earn more than his counterpart in the UK, Sweden, Holland, France and Finland. Bigger economies, which are presently bailing us out. And An Taoiseach will still be earning more than double the salary of the prime minister of Spain, which is subject to a bailout of sorts, but which has an economy 10 times bigger than ours and a population 8 times greater.