WEST Cork TD, Michael Collins, is refusing to take a €3,600 increase in his salary in 2018.
The Independent TD first took a stand on the issue of wage increases in April 2017 when, under the Lansdowne Road Agreement, he was offered, and declined, a wage hike of €2,700.
He described the increases – plus a further wage increase which is due to be implemented in October 2018 – to the TD’s basic salary of around €87,000 as ‘excessive and unnecessary.’
Deputy Collins told The Southern Star: ‘There is something outrageous about such high increases being paid to public representatives, especially at a time when our health service is at breaking point.’
The TD said he was alarmed by the fact ‘you can’t open a newspaper, or turn on the TV, or radio, without hearing about our growing homeless crisis.
‘Farmers are also facing a fodder crisis that will seriously impact their incomes, and all of these issues would make me ashamed to take such an increase at a time when so many people are suffering.
‘For TDs to take another pay rise would be wrong and unacceptable, because it is totally unjust that those on social welfare payments are to get an extra €260 a year while TDs would be entitled to annual increases of more than €6,000.’
The West Cork TD has called on his colleagues in Dáil Éireann to ‘forgo this salary increase and focus instead on providing people with better services.’