Dep Brian Stanley celebrating his election in 2016.
Laois TD Brian Stanley urged other TDs and Senators to vote against a big pay rise for themselves and instead start with decent increase for lower paid people employed by the State.
Sinn Féin put forward a motion in the Dáil proposing that TD's and Senators refuse the €5,400 wage increase. The Laois SF TD said national politicians could set an example. He said lower paid public servants should be first in line for increases.
"We have a choice between giving leadership and good example and putting more money in our pockets. Those of us who have a good salary should not demand more. We should not jump the queue while low-paid public servants, many of whom depend on family income supplement, wait.
"TD's take home after tax and deductions roughly €45,000-50,000 per year. Public servants...will get an increase of roughly €1,000, while we line up and take over €5,000. While people on the minimum wage will receive an increase of 10 cent per hour in January. That is an injustice."
"Under a previous Fianna Fáil Government, the minimum wage for someone working 39 hours per week was cut, but that has been restored. 10 cent per hour is an insult and should be increased.Only those on middle and low incomes should get an increase. The first in the queue should be clerical officers, manual workers in the public service and what are termed the lower grades.
Concluding Deputy Stanley said: "We need to create a society based on solidarity, not greed. What better place to start than in here? We should take the lead. There is a clear choice here for Deputies. We either want to lead by example or operate by double standards. I appeal to people across the political divide to do the right thing. The money saved, which is a modest amount, could be used for homeless services. Let us not lecture gardaí, young teachers, young nurses and low-paid public service workers. Let us try to create some equality and start with it here."
Labour, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil voted down the motion and it was therefore defeated, 89 votes to 38.