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cash waive Fine Gael ministers will not accept pay increases due later this year

Gross pay would still be used to calculate their pensions, however


Finance minister Paschal Donohoe (left) and Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath

Finance minister Paschal Donohoe (left) and Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath

Finance minister Paschal Donohoe (left) and Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath

Fine Gael ministers will not accept a pay hike due within the coming months, it has been revealed.

It comes after Fianna Fáil Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath said he plans to waive the increase and expects his government colleagues to adopt the same position.

The 2pc pay rise is due on the TD portion of ministers’ salaries that is also paid to all deputies before July 1.

The increase, which due under a wage restoration process, would bring a TD’s salary of €98,113 up to €100,191.

Ministers’ pay is made up of this TD wage of €98,113 plus a ministerial salary of €81,100 – a total of €179,213.

“Fine Gael ministers have not accepted any pay restoration or any pay increase since restoration began in 2014 and will not be accepting the next restoration in July,” said a party spokesperson.

A Department of Finance spokesperson had also earlier confirmed that Minister Paschal Donohoe will not be availing of the increase.

Speaking during the week, Mr McGrath said he was going to gift the increase back to the State. It is part of a programme of restoration of pay cuts imposed during the financial crisis.

Mr McGrath was speaking about the TD portion of his salary.

Ministers have already waived 12pc of their wages, worth over €21,000, after taking a 10pc pay cut and waiving a 2pc pay rise under the last public sector pay deal.

This means they have an effective salary of approximately €157,707, although their gross pay before waivers would still be used to calculate pensions.

The pay restoration process only impacts on the TD portion of a person’s salary and not on the ministerial portion.

A Department of Public Expenditure and Reform spokesperson confirmed that ministers cannot benefit from restoration of pay cuts under legislation on the ministerial part of their pay.

“The 2017 Act specifically precludes ministerial pay from benefiting from the further unwinding of pay cuts provided in that act for other public servants in 2021-2022,” she said.

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“The TD salary element is subject to restoration in line with the linked grade of principal officer in the civil service.”

However, she said the ministerial portion of their wages will be eligible for a 1pc increase in October this year.

This is due under the new Building Momentum public sector pay deal.

“It will fall to Government to consider, at the appropriate times, whether it wishes to adopt a collective position on these adjustments,” she added.

The increase due by July 1 to public servants on less than €150,000, including TDs, to restore wages will bring their pay back to peak levels in 2008.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that there are no plans to reintroduce higher pay rates for TDs with longer service.

In 2008, TDs used to get what were known as long-service increments after a certain number of years.

This meant at their peak in 2008, a TD’s wages stood at €106,582 after a second long-service increment.

Although the next increase will restore TDs’ pay to 2008 levels, a department spokesperson said the long-service increments would not be reintroduced.

They were abolished for TDs and senators from March 2011.

The Building Momentum process was backed by unions this week and means the country’s 340,000 public servants are in line for increases of up to 3pc by the end of next year.

Union leaders announced this week that members of 13 of 17 Ictu-affiliated unions had voted in favour of the two-year agreement. Building Momentum will cost €906m.

A 1pc pay rise is due on October 1, with another 1pc the same month next year. A third increase worth 1pc is also available to unions who lodge claims on behalf of groups of staff.

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