Ministers and top civil sevants take a pay cut
The Republic’s most senior civil servants will follow the 15 cabinet members and 20 ministers of state and take a 10% cut in their gross salaries.
But all of their pensions will still be based on the higher salary they earned before yesterday’s pay cut.
When it has no implications for their pensions — among the most generous in the world — the 10% cut in salary will be seen as a scam in the private sector.
Last night, a spokesman for the Department of Finance confirmed that the pensions of the ministers and most senior civil servants would not be affected by their cuts in salary.
There are 30 Secretaries General in the civil service who earn roughly the same as a cabinet minister and they agreed to forego 10% of their salaries at a private meeting last week.
The pay cut will cost the Taoiseach, who earns €285,582, nearly €600 a week; and the Tanaiste, whose salary is €245,296, just short of €500 per week.
The other 13 government ministers, who earn around €230,000, will lose more than €400 a week.
The 20 ministers of state included in the 10% pay cut will lose around €300 a week from their €150,996 annual salaries.
The Government was also concerned about public anger that followed when it increased the number of junior ministers from 17 to 20 after last year’s general election.
And in his Budget speech yesterday, the Finance Minister said he wanted other highly paid public and civil servants to join them and take a pay cut.
Mr Lenihan was looking at judges, the head of the ESB and other state-owned bodies, state agencies and quangos, city and county managers, the DPP and the 1,600 highest earning civil and public servants.
Although none would go on the record, all of those contacted last night said they would not be following the Government’s lead and taking a pay cut.