Belfast Telegraph

Ministers face pay cut of thousands

The salaries of Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Tanaiste Mary Coughlan and government ministers are to be cut as part of the Government's Budget measures.

The Taoiseach's annual salary will be reduced by 14,000 euro, with ministers taking a 10,000 euro cut.

Public sector worker pay will be capped at 250,000 euro.

"Only a few office holder posts have salaries above this level at present but there is a larger number in the state agencies," Finance Minister Brian Lenihan told the Dail in his Budget statement.

"While there are issues about the contractual position of incumbent post holders, I think the position of the minister for finance as a shareholder or statutory stakeholder in these companies can be used to enforce the objective of the maximum salary within a reasonable time-frame."

The cap will also apply to judges and the President of Ireland.

Meanwhile, public service pensions above 12,000 euro a year will be reduced by an average of 4% while those under the watershed will be exempted.

Mr Lenihan said the cuts will apply to former political office holders, retired members of the judiciary, and their survivors or dependants.

"Reducing the income of pensioners is an exceptional measure. But these are exceptional times," he said.

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