Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Ceisteanna (541)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

541. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the estimated cost in a full financial year of increasing the representational allowance for local councillors to €30,000, €35,000 and €40,000, respectively, per year. [38356/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Representational Payment that the 949 elected members of local authorities receive has a statutory link to the basic salary of a Senator and is adjusted in proportion to any adjustments made to a Senator's salary. With effect from 1 September 2019 the Representational Payment is €17,359 per annum.

Based on a simple flat rate calculation of stand alone increases to the Representational Payment and assuming there are no corresponding restructuring to other supports or to the role of councillors themselves, the per annum estimated costs of increasing the Representational Payment to the amounts stated are set out in the following table:

Amount

Additional Cost per Annum

Total Cost Per Annum

€17,359

€0

€16,473,691

€30,000

€11,996,309

€28,470,000

€35,000

€16,741,309

€33,215,000

€40,000

€21,486,309

€37,960,000

Councillors currently receive a range of other payments and expenses allowances, in addition to the Representational Payment. Based on data from local authorities, my Department has estimated that the total cost of these other payments and expenses allowances was approximately €11.8 million in 2018.

Taking account of feedback from councillors and their representative bodies regarding their current remuneration regime, my colleague, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, and I agreed to the appointment of Ms Sara Moorhead SC to carry out a review of the role and remuneration of local authority elected members.

The Review is at a very advanced stage of completion and once finalised will be the subject of discussion between my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform prior to consideration by Government. The overall aim of the Review is to ensure that the remuneration of councillors are commensurate with their evolving role as public representatives with responsibility for the carrying out of important local functions.