Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Don't be fooled by McDonnell's salaries apology

If ever proof was needed that the SDLP party is out of touch, it is surely illustrated in its leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell's call for substantial pay rises for MLAs.

During this time of severe austerity when genuine hardship is the lot of many citizens, his call for remuneration enhancement for politicians is at best crass and insensitive and at worst, misguided and avaricious.

If Dr McDonnell genuinely feels that a salary in excess of £43,000 per annum is akin to "starvation wages" then I suggest that he should try to survive for a year on the minimum wage or perhaps in the situation where many people find themselves, having been previously self employed, and not even entitled to benefits despite there being no work available.

In case any of your readers are fooled by the post foot-in-mouth bleating of a politician being "quoted out of context" or the cobbling together of a hastily prepared apology, I suggest they study Dr McDonnell's recent words in relation to the SDLP's filling of positions in the current Assembly going forward when he talked about "dividing the cake".

I kid you not!

No, he did not speak of bringing a broader range of experience to the positions or fresh ideas to the table as it were, but rather a division of the spoils among the preferred.

Now who was it when told that the peasants had no bread replied "let them eat cake"? Marie Antoinette, I believe. We all know what happened to her. The SDLP might do the decent thing, but somehow I doubt it.



PAT HEALY

Portaferry

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