Aontú seek government pay cut during lockdown

An Aontú Bill to Cut TDs Salary by 25% during the Covid 19 economic restrictions has been welcomed by the party's local elected representative. Cllr Sarah O'Reilly said the proposed bill is an important act of solidarity with those whose income have been significantly reduced during the pandemic.

Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD submitted a new Bill to the Dáil that aims to cut the salary of TDs and Seanadóirí by 25% during Level 4 and Level 5 restrictions. At a time when businesses like pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed due to Covid restrictions the Aontú party say the phrase “we are all in this together” need to be more than just words.

“It's good that somebody sees fit to take a hit on their wages in solidarity with everyone else affected by the restrictions,” Cllr O'Reilly said of her party leader's proposal, “What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Deputy Tóibín said the Bill, if adopted, would show the government's appreciation of the situation many people find themselves in: “Hundreds of thousands of workers and businesses have had their ability to earn a salary taken away from them. They have had their income radically reduced. Many have been pushed into poverty. The restrictions have had an enormous cost to so many people throughout the country”.

He continued: “We believe that politicians cannot represent properly if they cannot relate. Its clear that the government do not know what is like for families right around the country. Its time that the body politic in Ireland led by example. The words “We are all in this together” are thrown around like confetti. Its time for TDs to put their money where their mouth is and back the Aontú Bill”.

Cllr O'Reilly explained that she is acutely aware of the way restrictions have impacted families: “My partner Adrian is a publican. He had to close his pub because of the regulations. Even though he was on the PUP the first time it has been reduced this time to €203. It is very difficult to get through to the Social Welfare Department to find out why this is the case.”

Cllr O'Reilly said her partner is not an isolated case: “There are hundreds of people up and down the country in that situation. The first time around he waited six weeks. He is self employed, he has to pay tax, insurance, VAT, PAYE, PRSI and income tax. The government need to know that there are many people in the country whose lives have been changed by the loss of income and they need support.”