WEST CORK Deputy Michael Collins has spoken out against the planned pay increases for TDs.
‘For TDs to take a pay rise at this time is totally wrong and unacceptable,’ he said this week. ‘It is totally unjust that those on social welfare payments will only be getting an extra €260 a year while TDs will be getting a €2,700 increase, both this year and next.’
Deputy Collins has said that if the motion to block pay increases for TDs fails when it goes to a vote on Thursday then he will be setting up a trust fund and giving the money to community and voluntary organisations in West Cork.
Collins said that the money allocated for the pay rise will amount to over €1m over the two years and he proposed that this money be ring-fenced for the health services, specifically for home helps and home care packages.
He said that many elderly people are currently being refused home help hours and home care packages despite the promises made by this government.
‘How can we justify increasing our pay when these promises have not been made good on? Let’s stick to our promise and allocate this money to home helps and home care packages and take care of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
This money would be an enormous boost to elder care and go a long way in helping the elderly to stay in their homes for as long as possible,’ he added.
Deputy Collins finished up by saying: ‘That €2,700 a year won’t make a huge difference to the standard of living of our TDs, but €1m over two years will make an enormous difference to the most vulnerable in our society.’ And he urged all TDs to support the motion.