‘I’ll reveal pay when I want’ – McDonald, despite ‘openness’ pledge

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‘I’ll reveal pay when I want’ – McDonald, despite ‘openness’ pledge


Mary Lou McDonald (Brian Lawless/PA)
Mary Lou McDonald (Brian Lawless/PA)

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has refused to reveal her take-home pay – despite urging openness last month.

Asked whether she would reveal how much of her Dáil salary of €94,500 she keeps, she replied: “I might do.”

She added: “Of course I will” after it was put to her that her salary is taxpayer-funded.

However, she declined to outline when she would do this, saying only: “When I get a chance. I’ll choose the timing of that myself.”

Sinn Féin moved away from its tradition of elected representatives living on the ‘average industrial wage’ and contributing a portion of their salary to the party and constituency services after a 2016 review of the policy.

Since then, its politicians have faced increasing questions over how much of their salaries they take home.

Last month, Ms McDonald was quoted as saying: “Let’s know what everybody is taking home, let’s all declare what our wages are.”

But when questioned at a press conference on whether other Sinn Féin TDs should reveal the salaries they take, she said: “That’s a matter for themselves.”

Other Sinn Féin politicians remain secretive about how much of their wages they take home. Not one of 30 TDs, senators or MEPs responded to a survey by the Irish Independent on the matter.

The party’s press office also didn’t respond when asked when its politicians will reveal their take-home pay.

The average worker’s gross pay is just under €39,000, according to the Central Statistics Office.

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Sinn Féin said in September: “It is up to each member to decide … how they manage their wage, taking into account their personal circumstances.”

Earlier this year, this newspaper revealed Dublin North-West TD Dessie Ellis made a deal with the party that saw him draw down his entire Dáil salary since 2011. He said he could not afford to live on the average industrial wage.

Irish Independent


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