As city and county councillors prepare to take their seats in Council chambers across the country, it is timely that we address the issue of poor pay for councillors.

That’s according to Senator Victor Boyhan, a longtime advocate for councillors’ pay and conditions and a member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Local Government.

He is calling for councillors to get a fairer crack of the whip, wage wise.

He said: “The basic rate of councillor pay is €17,000 per year, subject to standard income tax, USC and PRSI contributions.”

He acknowledged that the Government appointed Senior Counsel Sara Moorhead in June 2018 to conduct an independent review of the role and remuneration of councillors, however he said to date no report or offer of a substantial pay increase has been made.

Boyhan a former county councillor himself said councillors face many challenges and tasks in their community as well as a substantial work-load within their council.

He said: “Despite many political promises on councillors’ pay, no concrete offer has been forthcoming, and that is simply unfair and needs to be addressed”.

“In Ms Moorhead’s interim report she stated that the issue is “extremely complex” and that a “considerable amount of work remains to be undertaken” including an online survey of councillors to determine their current workload.”

Senator Boyhan said that councillors and their representative bodies have actively engaged with Ms Moorehead on the issue of pay and allowances.

“I have raised this matter with the Taoiseach and the Minister for Housing, Planning Local Government on many occasions over the last three years.

“I understand that a final Moorehead report on the councillors’ pay is expected to be given to the Government very shortly.”