Government to seek legal advice on long-service payments

The Taoiseach has reportedly said the Government will seek legal advice on how it might force sitting TDs and Senators to give up their long-service payments.

At present, 66 TDs get an additional €6,400 annually because they have been in the Dáil for more than 10 years.

Another six receive around €3,200 because they have seven years' service.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan announced in last week's Budget that Oireachtas members would no longer receive the bonus payments.

However, it emerged yesterday said the cutback would not affect politicians who already receive the money and would only be applied to TDs who become eligible in the future.

Reports this morning say Brian Cowen indicated last night that the Government would seek legal advice from the Attorney General on how to enact the cutback retrospectively.

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