Seanad debates

Monday, 22 February 2021

10:30 am

Ollie Crowe (Fianna Fail)

I welcome the Minister of State to the House.Since 2014, there has been a 40% reduction in the number councillors, electoral areas have significantly increased and additional duties involving local community development committees, LCDCs, climate action committees, the local property tax, LPT, the setting of rates, etc. have been introduced. If one wants to know the life of a councillor, then one must walk in his or her shoes. For 11 years until last year, I was a councillor and was very proud to be one. During my time in the council, many city and county council colleagues left public life due to the inadequate standards of pay and conditions, and pressures of being in public life. I find democracy is being greatly impacted by this. Councils need to be reflective of the people they serve. That is a necessity.

As far as I am concerned, €17,500 is not acceptable as a salary for a public representative. This amount must be increased significantly. As Members of the House have said, the time for talking is over. I take this opportunity to commend the president of the Association of Irish Local Government, AILG, Councillor Mary Hoade, and Tommy Moylan of AILG, and Micheál Anglim and his colleagues in the Local Authority Members Association, LAMA, on supporting every councillor across the country and raising many issues in their quest for the improvement of conditions for councillors.

The Government has been in place since last June. I am extremely confident that this motion will be brought to Cabinet for approval in the coming weeks. This will significantly improve the pay and conditions of the 949 city and county councillors across the country, as per the programme for Government commitment.

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