Varadkar: Politicians have taken their share of cuts, and (then) some

The Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has defended government pay levels, saying politicians have taken significant pay cuts.

His comments come as talks between government representatives and public sector unions on an extension to the Croke Park agreement reach a critical point today.

Today's discussions are centred on increasing the working week to 37 hours from 35 hours and placing a freeze on incremental pay increases for three years for public sector workers.

Leo Varadkar said the Taoiseach, ministers and TDs have all faced pay cuts despite what people may think.

"Since 2007/2008 when the last Government took office, the Taoiseach's salary has been cut by 40% and Ministers' and TDs' salaries have been cut by 30%-35%," he said.

"Nobody likes pay cuts but I think we're all, in politics, happy to accept them.

The Minister also said that politicians, including ministers, were going to face more cuts, and that it was right that they should face more cuts.

"What is a bit frustrating is the misinformation out there that would have people believe that somehow we haven’t taken our share of cuts. Actually, we've taken our share, and (then) some."

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