O’Dea to gain ‘10 times more’ from budget than friend

Fianna Fáil TD compares financial benefit he receives to that of man on social welfare

Limerick TD Willie O’Dea said he would benefit by more than €900 a year on his “very well paid job earning €87,500 a year, €1,700 a week gross”. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Limerick TD Willie O’Dea said he would benefit by more than €900 a year on his “very well paid job earning €87,500 a year, €1,700 a week gross”. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

A Fianna Fáil TD has described how he will gain 10 times as much on his €87,500 salary from the budget as a friend of his on social welfare of €188.

Limerick TD Willie O’Dea said he would benefit by more than €900 a year on his “very well paid job earning €87,500 a year, €1,700 a week gross”.

Mr O’Dea said that as a TD he was set to benefit by a further €1,000 in January when the Lansdowne Road agreement kicked in.

The Fianna Fáil social protection spokesman said his friend lost his job when a business closed down 2½ years ago and after periods of part-time employment he was unemployed again, receiving €188 in social protection as a single man and paying rent to the local authority.

Mr O’Dea said he would benefit by €95 a year, “approximately one tenth of what I gain as a highly paid TD”.

Huge differential

Before the budget there was a huge differential in their incomes and now it would increase by a further €1,800 he said, describing the budget as “regressive”.

He added that an unemployed couple would gain €157 a year where as a couple with a gross income of €125,000 will gain more than nine times as much, €1,408 a year.

Mr O’Dea was speaking during a debate on the Social Welfare Bill which gives effect to the provisions announced in the budget.

Introducing the Bill, Tánaiste Joan Burton described the budget as a “carefully designed, responsible, interlocking budget” forming an overall picture of a country moving in the right direction “with living standards being gradually raised in every home”.

Ms Burton said social impact assessment of the budget had shown average household incomes would increase by €14.30 a week.