An advocate of the elderly in Cork has condemned a rise in Dáil deputies’ salaries under a new public sector pay deal negotiated by the Government.
Paddy O’Brien said that the increase in their salaries by more than €6,500 to nearly €108,000 a year under the new public sector pay deal is “absolutely appalling”.
A TD is currently paid €101,193. This would rise to nearly €108,000 a year, but some TDs have chosen to forgo recent rises.
A senator is paid €70,870 a year for shorter hours and longer periods in recess compared to a TD. Their salaries would rise to €75,476.
The deal has yet to be ratified, after being agreed upon late last month, and will go to a union ballot.
Speaking to, Mr O’Brien said: “There are elderly people and people on very low income trying to exist from day to day.
“They don't have enough food; they don't have enough heating. Elderly people are skimping and trying to exist for the last couple of years.
“There are children going back to school who do not have the proper clothing or books.
“There are people who are struggling, people who are experiencing poverty for the first time in their lives, and people who never ran up bills before and now they can’t pay the bills.”
Mr O’Brien said that the increase would see a TD take home an additional €135 per week.
“And there I am pleading with the Government for the last few months for €20 for elderly people who are struggling.
“There’s no excuse and there’s no regard for the people who are suffering,” he said.