No comment on cut to wage from mayor of Limerick

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

MAYOR of Limerick, Cllr Gerry McLoughlin has refused to comment on a call by Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon to half his wage by 50 per cent.

MAYOR of Limerick, Cllr Gerry McLoughlin has refused to comment on a call by Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon to half his wage by 50 per cent.

The mayor receives more than €50,000 for their year in office, and Cllr O’Hanlon feels at a time of austerity this is not appropriate.

The Fianna Fail city east councillor first made the comments in the Limerick Leader two weeks ago in the wake of the news that City Council was going to see its budgets cut by almost €1m because of a low collection of the household tax.

Cllr O’Hanlon also believes payments made to chairs of various Strategic Policy Committees should be cut entirely, and that civic receptions should become a thing of the past.

The former mayor also called on the €4,700 conference allowance to be cut.

“This is an opportunity for the councillors to lead by example: volunteer to either forego the €4,700 annually they receive for attending conferences or accept half that amount. I have no qualms in asking the mayor to reduce his salary by half.”

There are fears for essential council services following the cuts, which the government has said are necessary because only six in every ten person in the city has paid the controversial €100 charge.

Funding could be reinstated in part if more people pay the household charge. But the news has left members angry, because the household charge was designed to supplement any capital funding.

Instead, it appears to be returning to Dublin.

There are fears that street lights will remain unfixed, streets will not be cleaned at weekends, while grants for the elderly will be cut.

Mayor McLoughlin has asked the incoming city manager Conn Murray to prepare a report on where savings can be made - and that the council should consider the measures as soon as possible.

Financial director Pat Murnane said it is too early to ascertain what, if any, cuts will be made.