President Higgins to continue taking voluntary pay cut

TDs and Senators are under pressure to forego proposed pay rises owed to them

In November 2011, President Michael D. Higgins advised the Government of his intention to donate 23.5 per cent of his salary to the state. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

In November 2011, President Michael D. Higgins advised the Government of his intention to donate 23.5 per cent of his salary to the state. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

 

President Michael D. Higgins has confirmed he will continue to waive a quarter of his salary for the remainder of his term in office.

In November 2011, the President advised the Government of his intention to donate 23.5 per cent of his salary to the state.

A spokesman for Mr Higgins said the situation remained unchanged, and there was no plan to roll back on this voluntary donation.

The 2011 decision brought the President’s salary to the current figure of €249,014 per annum which has been maintained over the intervening years.

The move was legislated for in the Oireachtas, and will apply to the next holder of the office.

TDs and senators are under pressure from some political parties including Sinn Féin and the Social Democrats to forego proposed pay rises due as part of the restoration of public service pay cuts.

Government Ministers have already agreed not to take the extra €3,900 due to be paid to them on April 1st next year, and also to forego the same amount due in each of the following two years, which would have brought their salaries back from €157,540 to €169,275.

TDs will receive €2,700 on April 1st and the same again in 2018, increasing salaries from €87,258 to €92,658.

The payment are due to all public servants who fall under the auspices of the Lansdowne Road deal.

The President, who is paid by a different mechanism to other public servants, took a €76,493 cut against a base-line salary of €325,507 five years ago.

His predecessor Mary McAleese took a similar pay cut when the financial crisis broke.

The President also donates his Oireachtas pension entitlement to the state. During his term in office, he pledged not to draw down any pension entitlements arising from his previous service as a member of the Oireachtas or as a Government minister.