Fianna Fáil councillor Tim Brosnan has revealed he will not support the next city council Budget — unless it includes a serious reduction to the pay of the Lord Mayor of Cork.
The Cork North East representative would run the risk of losing the whip of Fianna Fáil in City Hall if he did support the annual estimates in December— a fate which befell party colleague Ken O’Flynn last year.
Cllr Brosnan said: “The salary is just off the wall. They say the position of the Lord Mayor is the same as a TD. But I feel it is in fact above a TD’s — but that does not mean the salary should be. It should be seen as an honour and not a way to make a livelihood. It should be reduced to the average industrial wage. When it comes to his salary the Lord Mayor should be seen as the first among equals.”
Cllr Brosnan said he feels so strongly on the issue that he will not support the next budget unless the salary is tackled. With Cllr O’Flynn also likely to vote down the next Budget — unless issues such as the Lord Mayor’s wage are addressed — that would put two Fianna Fáil councillors at odds with the other members of the party in City Hall.
“I will be voting with my conscience. A reduction in the salary is something I have long called for. It should not just be the Lord Mayor, but all the TDs and general secretaries that take a big cut. There is a ruling elite that is out of touch with reality — they are a bunch of grab-alls taking everything they can get their hands on.
“Whatever happens I will remain sitting in the middle of the chamber where I always have been. Ken O’Flynn is on the national executive of Fianna Fáil, making national policy. You could argue that it is the local Fianna Fáil branch in Cork city that is outside the fold, and not the other way around.”
Under Cllr Brosnan’s proposals, the payment of the average industrial wage to the Lord Mayor would be on top of the €16,700 payment also made to councillors as that is set by the Department of Environment.
He said he would be recommending this idea as an alternative to a motion Cllr Ken O’Flynn is putting forward. The Cork North Central representative is to call for a vote in September on his motion for the Mayor’s salary to be cut to €66,000 a year, working out at twice the average industrial wage.
Cllr O’Flynn said: “I believe there is support now across the chamber in all parties for the salary to be reduced. There is no way you can defend the indefensible — €120,000 a year is outrageous. If my motion is supported it would still be twice the average industrial wage so it would still be a good salary.”