Meetings, phones, travel and a base rate of €16,700

COUNCILLORS are paid an annual salary or representational payment of about €16,700.

They also receive an annual allowance of between €2,500 and €9,000 for attending meetings, including travel costs.

The chair and vice chair of each council are also entitled to a further allowance. Last year’s mayoral payments varied from €10,500 in Cavan County Council to €34,500 in Dublin City Council.

Councillors are also entitled to claim a maximum of €4,700 a year for attending conferences.

Mobile phone charges, with an upper limit of €600, as well as broadband costs, are covered in some cases.

On retirement, a councillor receives a lump sum payment dependent on the number of years they have worked, with a minimum of two years as a requirement and a maximum of 20 years.

Councillors can significantly increase their expenses by sitting on boards. For example, chairs of strategic policy committees or county development boards receive payments up to €6,000, tax-free.

Councillors who sit on VECs, local health forums, universities, institutes of technology or other boards may also receive expenses and payments worth hundreds of euro per meeting.

While salaries are taxed, some of the other payments, such as mileage, are tax-free. However, this year, for the first time, councillors are liable to pay PRSI.

In 2009, councillors took home more than €31 million. However, €4.76m of this was accounted for by gratuity payments for retiring or defeated candidates.

Earlier this year, Environment Minister Phil Hogan created an implementation group to asses the efficiency of local government.

The report is due to be published in the autumn.


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