JUST half the country’s judges have so far agreed to take voluntary pay cuts to help ease the financial pressure on the state.
Latest figures show just 72 of the 144 judges have signed up to a scheme allowing them to pay the public service pension levy.
The levy was introduced by the Government in February in a bid to cut the public sector pay bill.
But the Government could not apply the levy to the judiciary because of the constitutional clause which states that judges’ pay “shall not be reduced”.
As a result, the judges – who earn between €147,000 and €296,000 a year – came under significant pressure to volunteer pay cuts instead.
In April it was announced that a deal had been agreed with the Revenue Commissioners to allow them voluntarily pay the pension levy if they so wished.
But almost six months on, just half of the country’s 144 judges have either paid or made arrangements to pay.
“To date, 72 judges have paid or made arrangements to make voluntary payments under arrangements made by the judiciary with the Revenue Commissioners in the context of the pension levy,” the Revenue said.
“Payments amounting to €329,800 have been received to date. In addition, commitments... which amount to €46,400 per month, have been given.”
But Revenue stressed that more judges could yet sign up, saying there was “ample time” for them to do so.
“These voluntary payments can be made at any time and at varying frequencies – monthly, quarterly, annually. There is no single specific ‘due date’ by which payments must be made.”
Salaries range from €295,915 for the Chief Justice to €147,961 for a District Court judge.
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