Micheál Martin questioned over number of special advisor appointments

Micheál Martin questioned over number of special advisor appointments
Micheál Martin has suggested he may try to change the law to allow the three super junior Ministers to get salary increases. Picture: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and the leader of the Green Party may have 17 special advisors between them.

There have also been questions about whether the other 17 junior ministers will also be each allowed to appoint an adviser.

Labour leader Alan Kelly has queried why such a big spend is needed on special advisers and heavily criticised the decision to provide the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, a State car and Garda driver. 

Mr Kelly said: "There seems to be an incredible amount of advisors potentially here, the idea that you have got three people in the office of An Taoiseach and the Tánaiste's office as well. 

"Let me just say this straight up here, it is also frankly a joke that the Minister for Foreign Affairs is going to cost the taxpayer €200,000, because of all things, he wants a Head of Protocol, a Garda car and a Garda driver." 

Micheál Martin has also suggested he may try to change the law to allow the three super junior ministers to get salary increases.

Under current legislation, only two of the three can get the €16,000 top up.

The Taoiseach has said there should be equality between Hildegarde Naughten, Pippa Hackett and Dara Calleary.

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