Written answers

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Mayoral Election

Photo of Catherine MartinCatherine Martin (Dublin Rathdown, Green Party)
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505. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the annual cost of the Lord Mayor of Cork, including salary, office, assistant staff, driver and pensions; the difference between the current cost and the expected annual cost under the proposal for a directly elected Lord Mayor of Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20751/19]

Photo of John Paul PhelanJohn Paul Phelan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
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On 24 May 2019, the electors of the expanded administrative area of Cork City Council will be asked to vote in a plebiscite on the Government’s proposal for a Lord Mayor with executive functions to be directly elected by the people.

An independent Committee, has been put in place to facilitate and oversee the provision of impartial and factual information about the plebiscites to the electorate. The Committee is chaired by Henry Abbott, a retired judge of the High Court, and includes representatives from the three local authorities, my Department, the Local Government Management Agency as well as an independent legal adviser.

The Committee has estimated in its guide for voters that "while the full costs are unknown, the additional costs of the Government's proposals to establish an office of directly elected Mayor with executive functions could range from around €313,000 to €450,000". In the case of Cork City Council, the costs could be broken down as per the table below.

Pension-related costs for a directly elected Lord Mayor are not considered in the Government's proposals. The Committee advises that the costs of an office for directly elected Lord Mayor would be a matter for the Oireachtas in any future legislation and for the Council itself in agreeing the annual budget and staffing arrangements for the office of directly elected Lord Mayor.

Existing annual costs of office of Lord Mayor:
Lord Mayor's allowance30,000
Salaries and employer's PRSI of administrative staff (Grade 4 + 50% Clerical Officer)69,725
Contract driver47,000
Overheads apportioned (based on sector norms)26,388
Total173,113
Estimated annual costs of an office of directly elected Lord Mayor with executive functions:
Proposed salary of directly elected Lord Mayor (as per Government proposal)129,854
Proposed vouched mayoral expenses (as per Government proposal)16,000
Proposed salaries including Employer's PRSI of 2 advisors (as per Government proposal)148,098
Proposed salary and PRSI costs of Mayor's driver (as per Government proposal)38,367
Possible salaries and Employer's PRSI of administrative staff (Grade 5 and Grade 3)82,553
Estimated overheads (based on sector norms)103,434
Total518,306
Difference between existing costs and possible costs of an office of directly elected Lord Mayor with executive functions345,193

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