Councillors’ pay and expenses

 

A chara, – Kitty Holland (Home News, November 2nd) states councillors receive a “basic allowance of €16,645 a year . . .and expenses, which can bring their pay up to about €25,000”.

In fact, the €16,645 is the annual gross salary and is subject to taxes and other payments, like all other salaries. We make a social insurance payment (Category K at 4 per cent) from that sum which does not entitle us to anything. The “expenses” payments are precisely that – they are designed to cover costs including travel and subsistence, telephone, printing, room hire for meetings, etc.

Councillors do not receive any administrative support and all costs to the job are borne by the councillors ourselves. Unlike Oireachtas members, we do not get free postage, for example.

At approximately one councillor for every 5,000 citizens, Ireland has one of the highest ratios of local representatives to citizens in Europe. This also results in a considerable workload. The overwhelming majority of councillors that I know do their work because of a passion for making their communities better places, not for financial reward. That said, it is not unreasonable to expect that the costs of doing the job should be adequately covered. – Is mise,

Cllr MALCOLM BYRNE,

Wexford County Council,

Gorey,

Co Wexford.