Updated: 04/10/17 : 13:19:07
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How much is a Taoiseach worth?

An Opinion piece by Nigel Gallagher

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The salary for the Taoiseach is set to soar by €21,000 over the next three years and reach €211,588.

This is an obscene salary for a country where real wage levels are being pushed down.  One third of Irish households now have a gross income of less than €30,000.

How can someone who earns seven times that figure know what it feels like to suffer austerity measures?

Leo Varadkar’s spin machine is aware that his super-salary causes anger in the population. So he pretends to be caring and let it be known that he will not be taking all of the salary and has already waived a €4,833 increase.

But that will still leave him earning much more than many other states leaders.

The Chinese President and the Indian Prime Minister earn , respectively, €22,000 and €30,000 respectively. The Prime Minister of Italy earns €135,000 but the Spanish Prime Minister earns only €78,185.

Yet the Irish Taoiseach soars way above them – even though he has a fraction of the population.

The huge salary is a reflection of the instinctive snobbery that has taken hold of the political class. They have a huge sense of entitlement and believe that those earning below their astronomical salaries could not be ‘fit for purpose’.

The reality is, of course, the opposite.

Those who are motivated by genuine public service do not seek to grab as much money as they can. They make sacrifices and understand that money is not the sole motivation in life.

The Irish political class, however, totally lacks that understanding of public service. They have been used too long to thinking of it as an ATM machine that feeds largesse to themselves and their cronies. 

Nigel Gallagher is the Area Representative for People Before Profit Sligo