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  • 12-02-2023 6:37pm
    Registered Users Posts: 20,418 ✭✭✭✭kneemos

    Ever wonder what motivates TD's to do what they do? A lot of them are highly qualified or have their own business,the hundred grand is loose change.

    Not for the money in a lot of cases,maybe they're genuinely in it to do good?



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,649 ✭✭✭Allinall

    The majority of them are doing is for the right reason. Public service.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,867 ✭✭✭bmc58

    Some are doing it to secure their retirment,some are doing it for their ego,some are doing it for money,some are doing it becaust their grand parents and fathers have done it and a few of them are doing it for the people and for a fair distrubition of the wealth of our country.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,695 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    Ever wonder what motivates TD's to do what they do?

    Nope, being well paid for doing fcukall seems as good an explanation of their motivations as anything else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,604 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    I suspect they do it for the same wide variety of reasons anybody does any job or gets involved in any organisation. There's no way you could generalise about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,515 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Salary isn't particularly high and its closer to a 100 hour a week job than "**** all", particularly if you want to get re-elected.

    Pay less and you're only going to get those who are already wealthy doing it as a side job, like lots of the UK MPs are.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,695 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    While that’s all true, the point of my post was simply to answer the question as to whether I ever wondered what motivates TDs. The reason I don’t wonder is because the explanation I provided is as good a reason for their motivations as anything else.

    It’s an extraordinary salary for a role which requires no qualifications, that literally anyone who is of a mind to do so can put themselves forward for, and their election prospects are based upon their popularity amongst their constituents.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,362 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    The salary of a backbencher (which are the majority of TDs) is €105k. While this is a decent enough salary it is not something that is going to make you rich. There is also no job security and you are thrust into the public eye and are a target for many. The majority of them are very busy at their roles* so claims that they do FA are either from a place of ignorance or disingenuous.

    Given that the average salary at a place like Google is €133k without any of the public hate I would rather that sort of job than being a TD.

    *although I think a lot of them get involved in things that they shouldn't be involved in as they always need to keep one eye on reelection.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,418 ✭✭✭✭kneemos

    I've never heard of one of them going on the Dole after losing an election. I wonder how many of them don't have a day job?

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,195 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    ....conditions sound like the worst conditions of any job ive heard, not a chance id do it, i have met support staff before, some really do these type of hours, and add the level of abuse they get, fcuk that, lifes too short!

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,922 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    It wouldn't be prudent to expect a 40 year career, only Willie O'Dea and Richard Bruton have currently achieved that. And there have only been around 1,300 people who got the job since the foundation of the state, so it is not a career path that would be recommended by careers advisers. Competition is fierce, despite the dismal career prospects.

    The best approach would be to stand for County Councillor, which can be a path to Leinster House for some. There are often less than 2 candidates per seat in those local elections.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,200 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    They might go into it with good intentions but soon after they're elected all they do is preside over a system that makes busy fools out of all of us

    They encourage high house prices, utility bills, get people to spend money on insurances and the new car buying scene so that money keeps changing hands at the fastest rate possible to keep the tax take high and the economy going. Perhaps when they get elected they see that it's too hard to change the system or go against the grain so they just ensure the system's survival until the next election. Keep us all busy and spending money that is what it's all about

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,515 ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Paul Gogarty, albeit I can't find the reference now.

    Most others would find some other form of employment quickly, but those known to be odd/hotheaded/etc would not. There is an equivalent to redundancy money that gives you time to find something.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,102 ✭✭✭Padre_Pio

    The point of elected officials is that anyone can get elected.

    It would be undemocratic to put requirements on the role. If you have an issue with TDs being unqualified, then don't vote for them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,695 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    I don’t have any issue with TD’s being qualified or unqualified, there isn’t any qualifications necessary, the whole point was that it’s an extraordinary salary for a role that doesn’t require any qualifications.

    Choosing not to vote wouldn’t change that, it would only make it less likely that a TD who reflects my views and opinions and the ideas I support would be likely to be elected is all, seeing as I have no motivation to enter politics myself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,695 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    Ahh the support staff aren’t the same as TDs though. Certainly nobody should be subjected to abuse, they’re not being paid on the basis of the amount of abuse they can take, they’re being paid on the basis of being a member of the Dáil and representing the nation’s interests.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,922 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    It is only 160 jobs so the salary is not costing the country much. If the whole thing was done away with, it would probably only save one days worth of Social Welfare payments in a year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33 DirectorKrennic

    I'm actually very grateful for the opening post as I think this is a very interesting topic. I'm a middle aged man and I've lived in the same Irish town for most (but not all) of my life. In that time I've got to know 2 of our previous TD's very well. One's motivations were very obvious, he told me he grew up in poverty and wanted to dedicate his life to fighting this cause. Not to sound naive, but I believed him. It was all he ever talked about. The other TD however, fascinated me. I could not figure out his motives. His political ideology was so moderate to the point of being non-existent. Don't get me wrong, I have very moderate views but you meet very right wing people who want to cut taxes, or left wing people who want to raise taxes, social liberals, and conservatives. I'm just not sure what he was about. The reason I found it so fascinating was because his work ethic was the most insane I had ever seen in a human being. He'd be out picking up rubbish, he would attend every charity event in the area, he was always with the council getting paths fixed etc. To this day I don't know. I actually asked him once directly when were alone one time. His answer was vague, he said he was like me and wanted to make the world a better place but it just felt vague. Did he have some sort of mid life crisis and decide to get into politics? Was he bored with his career/life/marriage? Did he like seeing his face in the local newspapers. I honestly never figured him out. Just to add, I think some people get into politics because they are idealistic, or care about a very specific issue. I do think you need to come from a family with a bit of wealth though to get into politics. Getting elected to the council is one thing, but general elections can cost 25k-30k a pop.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33 DirectorKrennic

    Just to add, the guy was completely minted so money wasn't the motivation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,922 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    How many times did he get elected?

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,695 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    What does it matter how many jobs there are? The point is, for the role itself, the salary is extraordinary. I’m not arguing the whole thing should be done away with, or that it should be compared to whatever is spent on social welfare. The whole point of the thread is what motivates TDs, and if the salary weren’t there and only their expenses were covered, it would simply mean that salary couldn’t be considered a motivating factor.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,922 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    The role is to represent all the people in the state, and enact legislation. Overseeing a budget of tens of billions. The top brass in private business, like gambling companies or airlines get paid many multiples of what a TD is on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,695 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    But why are you comparing them? The role of a TD and how anyone qualifies for the role isn’t in any way comparable to the top roles in the private sector. What employers are paying in the private sector is irrelevant as far as what TDs are paid. Completely different roles, only comparable on the basis that TDs responsibility towards the nation is similar to a company’s board members responsibility towards its shareholders.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,207 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    It will make you quite rich.

    If a Dail lasts 4 out of 5 years, your gross salary over that period is 420,000 euros plus expenses, that’s only as a backbencher….So even if you are voted out after 4 you are set up nicely…..

    There are a number of additional salaried allowances which go up to 15,919 extra, government whip, party whip, group leaders, committee chairpersons just to name five which all have additional salaries.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,330 ✭✭✭✭Geuze

    When you say the salary is extraordinary, what do you mean?

    It's not a high salary, for a 24/7/365 job, with no job security, and every move you make is watched, and you are open to abuse on a daily basis.

    Do you mean it's too high, or too low?

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,330 ✭✭✭✭Geuze

    I know plenty of people on wages about 90k approx, they are not rich, they are not "set up nicely".

    OK, a TD makes a bit more, and gets travel expenses, but still.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,362 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    230k net in 4 years is far from rich. It is a decent living assuming you do not have to buy a house but you are no where near what the big earners in this country are on. A decent sized extension will set you back 230k these days.

    There is also the corruption aspect that having a reasonable salary is meant to protect against. You hardly want TDs indebted to people for any reasons

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,200 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    If you are rentin in Dublin or have a heavy mortgage you are only a conduit for money on that wage. Though the TD can expense that part of it

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,102 ✭✭✭Padre_Pio

    It's a job I would never do.

    Constantly on the defensive, constantly being watched and criticised for every move. Can hardly sit and have a quiet pint without people at least staring at you.

    People expecting you to fix issues immediately that are beyond f*cked at this stage.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I wouldn't become a TD for twice the money. Like I believe that we all have a part to play in this nebulous thing called society, but the abuse they get these days is extraordinary.

    I'm a friend of the son of a former TD - people actually calling up to your door on Christmas Day to deal with issues that need to be dealt with by a solicitor.

    There's far easier ways to make 100k (before tax) these days than being a TD.

    It really is a calling of some sort.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,695 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    I mean it’s an extraordinary salary on the basis that the role requires no qualifications whatsoever, hence the reason why I don’t question their motivations when qualifications are no barrier to entry. I genuinely can’t think of any other employment roles which have such a low barrier to entry for such financial reward.

    I don’t particularly care for what TDs are paid, because I would suggest that in performing a public service they should have their expenses covered and the role should be voluntary. I don’t imagine there would be a majority of TDs in favour of such a motion so whether or not their salaries can be justified is a moot point.

    FWIW I don’t think anyone performing a public service should have to tolerate abuse and harassment, or be expected to work 24/7 /365 or that they aren’t entitled to their privacy, entirely separate from their role in public office.