Presidents and their Saleries
There is huge difference between political leaders of Ireland and the U.S. Most of us often ask the question why our president is not as involved with politics as the American president. Although both are heads of state, our president has more of a ceremonial role. In many ways it’s easier to compare the American president to our Taoiseach.
In recent time a hot topic of conversation is the salary of our president, Mary Mc Aleese. Many Irish people believe our president is earning way too much money. The latest statistics say the American president is on a salary of over 279,000 euro a year where as the Irish President is on a salary of over 300,000 euro. Many believe these salaries are far too astronomical for our president especially.
I went out onto the streets of Dublin to get some opinions. I was quite surprised with the reaction I received. John from Ballyfermot was not impressed with the figures I gave him.
“I think that’s an absolute joke, the state this country is in, people living off nothing and she’s walking away with that kind of money! It’s a shambles. People need to react and put up a fight to the people who run our country. Stand up and fight, if we don’t, nobody will. Barack Obama is the most powerful person in the world; it’s hard to believe he’s on a smaller salary than Mary.”
Jane from Tallagh had similar thoughts:
“I think she’s a lovely woman but she must be stupid not to see the pain and suffering of her people. I think she should take a pay cut; a lot more people would have respect for her then. We all need to be in this together, to build our country back up again. A lot of politicians need to step up to the mark and take a pay cut”
My general outlook on the street is one of anger and distress. Many were surprised at the fact our president was earning more than the US president. Although I did get a few people who agreed our President was over paid, they also said how we could never get rid of our president’s role due to the fact the position held so much history.
I was lucky enough to also get an interview with a Kildare politician Sean Power, an ex TD. Sean believes that the public are right the president should definitely take a pay cut, but he also believes her role is very important to the Irish people.
“Mary Mc Aleese is a fantastic person who has done, and is still doing a lot for this country. Although her role is mainly to represent the state, nobody could do it better than her. She is an honest, genuine person and her first priority is the Irish people. I hope who ever takes her position next can do our country justice just like she did”
The American president is commonly described as the most powerful person in the world. He is head of state for the most powerful country in the world but I don’t think his bank balance speaks the same tone.
By Aisling Flanagan – MGH2