Sinn Féin to give pay rise to all of its elected representatives
Pearse Doherty denies the planned €2,500 increase is a major shift in party policy
Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty were part of Sinn Féin’s internal review of its average industrial wage policy. Photograph: Eric Luke
Sinn Féin has introduced a €2,500 rise for all elected representatives, with a further review of pay to be carried out at the end of the year.
The party conducted an internal review of its average industrial wage policy after a number of members raised concerns. The final report was discussed and agreed at a meeting of the party’s ardcomhairle in December.
It will now see a banded wage system introduced across the party with grades introduced.
A grade one gross salary of €23,000 will be paid to junior members of staff with low levels of responsibility. The highest grade is level five with gross salaries of €39,500 to be paid to elected representatives and senior figures within the party.
All TDs and Senators take the full wage from the State but claim to draw down the average industrial wage of €37,000.
The party says the rest of the money is used to hire additional staff or to open extra offices. They do not have to explain where their money is spent.
The internal committee was established last April after a number of staff raised concerns about rates of pay. It was headed by Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald with finance spokesman and party treasurer Pearse Doherty also participating in the discussions.
Mr Doherty denied this was a major shift in party policy and insisted it was a routine exercise that has been carried out by the party on a number of occasions.
“This is a fairer system that allows for increments to be introduced at a future date if deemed appropriate,” he said. “There was a recognition that the one-set wage policy was not working. The notion that everyone despite their experience and responsibility was being paid the same amount was not working. There needed to be an incremental recognition of people, their skills and their levels of responsibilty.”
Staff funded by the party were notified by Sinn Féin’s headquarters their pay would increase and it would take effect in the first week in January.
Elected TDs, Senators, MLAs and MEPs were also informed they could retain that amount but must work out themselves if there are additional tax liabilities.
The position will be reviewed at the end of the year to see if further pay increases are warranted.
The change in policy has been criticised by Anti-Austerity Alliance and People before Profit TDs.
Sinn Féin had used its private members time to encourage the Government to block next year’s salary increase for politicians due under the Lansdowne Road agreement.