Minister confirms he won’t take pay restoration due to TDs

A TD’s salary stands at €98,113 and this is set to increase to €100,191 - back to 2008 levels - by July

It is up to every TD to decide whether or not to accept a pay restoration increase that will see their salaries top €100,000 in the coming months, Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath has said.

Mr McGrath said he won’t be accepting the increase he would be due to get and that he understood the “optics” of the pay restoration happening at this time.

A TD’s salary stands at €98,113 and this is set to increase to €100,191 - back to 2008 levels - by July.

Senior ministers are paid €158,129 - 10 per cent less than the salary on offer to such officeholders - after the new government took the decision take the reduced rate.


Mr McGrath would be due the pay restoration for the TD portion of his salary - in line with pay restoration across the public sector - but he said he is not taking it.

During an interview with Highland Radio, Mr McGrath said the background to the issue of TDs’ salaries is 2017 legislation that set out a timeline for the unwinding of public sector pay cuts brought in after the last economic crisis.

He said that by October last year every public servant earning up to €70,000 had their pay restoration fully complete and that in July this year those earning between €70,000 and €150,000 are due to have their pay restored.

Mr McGrath said: “I did seek legal advice when I came into office in relation to that legislation. And the legal advice was clear in relation to what the options are as to whether or not we could push that out further.

“But look it’s a matter for every TD to decide whether or not they wish to accept that restoration. I’ve made it clear that I won’t be accepting it.

“As you know members of Government when we came into office took a 10 per cent pay cut.

“We also did not accept a 2 per cent increase under the Public Service Stability pay deal last October.

“And I’ve indicated that I won’t be accepting restoration either.”

He said that another “important point” is that under the new public service pay deal “anyone benefitting from pay restoration such as TDs - should they choose to accept it - will not also in that same year benefit from any pay improvements, albeit very modest ones provided for in the pay deal.”

He said: “It will be a matter for individual TDs to decide what they do for themselves.”

A Department of Public Expenditure spokeswoman said: “Section 19 of the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 states that the Minister, by order, shall provide for completion of pay restoration to public servants paid an annual basic salary of €150,000 or less by 1 July 2021. This will include TDs.”

The same Act excludes ministers and other officeholders from benefitting from the further unwinding of pay cuts provided in that Act for other public servants in 2021-2022.

She said that TDs’ salaries will be fully restored to 2008 levels by July.

TDs that take this pay restoration increase will not be eligible for a wider 1 per cent pay increase due to public servants this October.

They will be eligible for a 1 per cent public service increase due in October 2022.

The department spokeswoman said: “Minister McGrath will not be accepting any increases above his present pay.”

Some TDs have waived salary increases due to them in recent years.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald posted a picture on Twitter earlier this month of a form she filled out to return the just over €10,200 pay increase due to her.

She wrote at the time: “This is a time of crisis. Workers and families are struggling. More money for TDs is just wrong.”

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times