Belfast Telegraph

Mayor urges longer working hours

Dublin's Lord Mayor has called on workers to take on a 45-hour week for the sake of the country as he opened a major conference on innovation.

Gerry Breen called for people with jobs to do extra hours for at least a year to help drive the country's economic recovery.

But the outspoken Fine Gael councillor and businessman did not reserve his criticism for rank-and-file workers. He also attacked those earning more than 200,000 euro.

The Lord Mayor said his ideas were about "pain-share for gain-share" and called for a progressive tax system where the richer pay more.

"What's wrong with working a 45-hour week for one year or half-day working on a Saturday for the next two years?" he asked delegates.

"What's wrong with a maximum salary? Some of the salaries being paid now are absurd. Who is worth more than 200,000 euro? I don't think anyone is worth more than that. It's pure nonsense.

"What's wrong with the directly elected mayor? But you get the local authorities and the parties and the management saying 'maybe it's not the best'?

"What's wrong with a Dail of 100 TDs, and no Senators, and 50 councillors in Dublin? That's innovation."

The Lord Mayor made the call at the City Council offices where the Innovation Dublin 2010 Festival is based until November 21, with most events free and open to the public.

The aim is to showcase, promote and stimulate innovation and creativity in the city.

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