A week back, I wondered about the contradiction between two items I came across online. On the one hand, Kerry TD Brendan Griffin was reported as saying he had handed back half his salary, and would continue to do so. It took just five minutes to do so, he told the Irish Times.
On the other hand, in answer to a Dáil question, public expenditure minister Brendan Howlin said no deputy had requested a pay cut to the level of the average industrial wage.
Regular readers will appreciate I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about TDs and the Average Industrial Wage. So I fired off a tweet and email to Griffin.
He responded within 30 minutes (after midnight on Friday, how’s that for efficiency?) to point out what I realised minutes after I’d written to him. Even on half salary, he was still earning above the average industrial wage.
It’s not the first time a minister has answered precisely the question asked in the Dáil, giving a slightly misleading impression as a result.
Meanwhile, the Sinn Féin TDs and senators I asked about the average industrial wage in October have still to reply to my question.