The Sinn Féin Tiobraid Árann council team are furious at the rejection by Tipperary TDs of a Sinn Féin Dáil motion last week. The motion was to stop TDs getting a €5000 wage increase over the next two years. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are very much in alliance in councils across the country and more strikingly in the Oireachtas. This latest example of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil joining forces to defeat a motion is further proof that there is only one real opposition voice in the Dáil and that is Gerry Adams and the Sinn Féin Dáil team. Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill voted with the government against the motion. Even in opposition Alan Kelly and his Labour colleagues voted for a pay increase as did Michael Lowry TD. Mattie McGrath TD was absent from the vote but has put on record that he would have voted against the motion had he been present.
The Sinn Féin council team cannot see any justification for TDs voting to increase their own income when Tipperary people are suffering on a continuous basis from the mismanagement of the country by this and former governments. Instead Sinn Féin believe that the use of Dáil time and state funds should be used to address more important issues. There are industrial disputes ongoing with the Gardaí and teachers and Sinn Féin believes that the Landsdown Road agreement is now finished and a new policy must be agreed with all stakeholders. In Tipperary at the moment there is a health crisis, a mental health crisis, a housing crisis, unemployment and youth unemployment levels are very high and economic emigration continues across our towns and villages. These are the real issues.
A joint statement from Sinn Féin Tiobraid Árann Councillors:
“This is an issue of fairness. We are still witnessing a two-tier recovery. The legacy of cuts to pay and public services continues to place enormous pressure on ordinary people and households.
The Lansdowne Road Agreement failed to address the issue of pay inequality for post-2011 entrants, while giving partial pay restoration to those on wages over €65,000.
In this context is it wrong for TDs to jump the queue. The fact that the first repayment to TDs and senators will take place on 1 April 2017 is a joke in very poor taste. Sinn Féin opposed the terms and conditions of the various FEMPI acts. When the legislation was first brought to the House we put forward amendments to reduce Deputies’ pay to €75,000. This was rejected of course, and TDs continue to be very-well paid.
Currently, a public sector worker on an average salary of between €35,000 and €40,000 per annum will receive a less than €20 a week increase or restoration, yet TDs who are on over €87,258, will see their salary rise to €92,672. We do not believe that is justified.
It is unfair that somebody on €30,000 or €40,000 per year, an average wage in the public sector, is getting pay restoration of under €20 while Deputies are expected to take over €100 a week.
Sinn Féin TDs will not take this pay increase even though our motion was not successful.”