Saturday August 8, 2020

Colin Murphy: Ministerial raises are a farce that could yet have tragic implications

Political language, wrote George Orwell, ‘is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable’. It is also designed to make pay rises sound like pay cuts

2nd August, 2020
Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar; the language of increments and pay restoration is foreign to most of the workforce. Picture: Julien Behal

In early 2011, as the coalition between Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael and the Labour Party took office, one of the first things on the agenda was a pay cut for the government.

But the cut Kenny took was just 6.5 per cent, and “Kenny still earns more than British PM after pay cut” was the resultant headline in the Irish Independent. The pay cut only served to draw attention to relatively high ministerial salaries,...

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