The salary of the Lord Mayor of Cork is to be slashed by €57,000, while the amount councillors can claim for attending conferences will be hugely reduced.
New rules from Minister Phil Hogan set a maximum salary of €30,000 for the Lord Mayor. This is a major reduction on the current salary of almost €90,000.
For the past 10 years, the salary has been tied to that of a TD, which is €87,258. This is on top of their Councillor’s salary of €17,925.
The Lord Mayor also has use of a car and a driver and an entertainment budget. The salary has attracted criticism as it is more than the prime ministers of Spain and Poland receive.
The pact parties of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour had resisted efforts to reduce the salary.
However, Minister Hogan has issued a circular setting out maximum amounts that can be paid to the mayor of each council, depending on its size. Cork County Council will be allowed to pay its Mayor €50,000.
Minister Hogan has also set a new limit of €1,000 for each councillor to attend conferences.
This is also a significant cut as Cork City Council currently provides the maximum allowable amount in its budget of €4,700.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Terry Shannon said councillors were notified of the changes yesterday. He said they welcomed the Minister’s decision but he felt the €30,000 was too low.
“People take on the role for the honour. Nobody does it for the money, however you have to remember a person becoming Lord Mayor would have to take a year out from work. There is a significant commitment there becoming the city’s First Citizen.”
His party colleague Cllr Tim Brosnan welcomed the cut, saying it was a “long time coming”.
Independent Councillor Mick Finn also welcomed the change and said: “I would be honoured to represent my ward as Lord Mayor of Cork for that kind of salary.”