Amendments to Councillors’ Conditions: Statements
Senator Robbie Gallagher: Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire go dtí an Teach. “Respect” and “fairness” are two words that should be central to any debate on councillors’ remuneration. Having been a county councillor for 18 years, I have no doubt that being a county councillor is a full-time job. The workload has increased and is now unrecognisable. Unfortunately, the salary available to councillors does not reflect the fact that they perform a full-time role. I challenge anybody to live on €16,000 per year yet still afford to run a car or pay a mortgage. This package will chase people out of local government at a time when we should be encouraging them to become a councillor. We are fortunate to have dedicated people working as councillors. They are definitely not in it for the money. God save us and bless us, if they were in it for the money then they chose the wrong job. The councillors are dedicated and want to help the communities in which they live. No-one should be scared to raise his or her hand and fly the flag or colours for councillors’ terms and conditions. All they seek is fairness and respect, which they deserve.