Sinn Féin may end ‘industrial wage' cap after Dublin TDs voice cost of living concerns

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, vice-president of Sinn Fein Mary Lou McDonald, First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness at the Sinn Fein ard fheis at The Convention Centre in Dublin. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association

SINN Féin is reviewing its policy of capping pay for party representatives and workers.

The salary review was launched after a number of the party's Dublin TDs voiced concerns with the ard chomhairle about the cost of living in the capital.

It is Sinn Féin policy to pay all its members, including ministers and special advisers, what it terms an 'average industrial wage', which in the north is in the region of £26,000 and in the Republic €37,000.

The remainder of the salary is used to employ staff and run constituency offices.

While no party members have publicly voiced disatisfaction with the salary cap, there has been a long-running concern that, among other things, it prevents Sinn Féin from recruiting high calibre policy staff. The industrial wage policy is also being reviewed in light of a recent determination by Stormont's Independent Financial Review Panel, which has tightened the rules around recruitment by political parties.

A new 'human relations' committee, headed by national chairman Declan Kearney, has now been given responsibility for recruitment and remuneration matters across the island.

Sinn Féin's political director in the south Ken O’Connell said the "one size fits all" policy was not working and that it was being looked at as part of an overall review of party employment policy.

A party spokesman told The Irish News: "Sinn Féin is a growing party north and south. We keep these issues under review."

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