Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (58, 732)

Shane Cassells

Question:

58. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to establish an independent reform body to examine the issue of councillors pay in line with a request made to him by a group (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9696/18]

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Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

732. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the proposed local authority remuneration group will be established; if this group will have an independent chairperson appointed; and if the group will report back in time for recommendations to be implemented ahead of the 2019 local elections. [9545/18]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 58 and 732 together.

It is important that appropriate supports are available to councillors to carry out their functions. 

In that regard, I introduced, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, an allowance of €1,000 per annum for members of municipal districts and area committees with effect from 1 July 2017 to reflect their additional workload following the local government reforms of 2014. At the same time, I introduced a new vouched annual expenses allowance of up to €5,000 per annum that councillors may opt for in place of the existing unvouched fixed rate annual allowance of approximately €2,500. In addition, the representational allowance for councillors will increase in line with the reversal of pay cuts under the FEMPI Acts and increases under the Public Service Stability Agreement.

The question of ensuring that supports for councillors are sustainable and appropriate into the future will be considered further.