PAC could investigate controversial pay increase for super junior ministers, chairman says

PAC could investigate controversial pay increase for super junior ministers, chairman says

Sinn Féin TD's Brian Stanley, PAt Buckley Eoin O Broin during a session of Dail Eireann at the Convention Centre, Dublin Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Public Accounts Committee may investigate the controversial pay-increase for some ministers of state.

Last week the Dáil approved legislation giving a €16,000 allowance to three super junior ministers, on top of their €124,000 salary.

It was also reported yesterday that Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has two chiefs of staff and will have up to six more special advisors.

The new chairman of the PAC, Sinn Féin's Brian Stanley, said the Government's spending is out of control.

"I certainly will suggest to the committee that we look at this matter," he said.

"It sends out an awful signal why they're appointing all these advisors and chiefs of staff and shifts in Cabinet and whatever else.

"Twenty junior ministers, 17-18 it looks like it could run over 20 special advisors, super-junior ministers being jacked up €16,500 to €140,000 and the very very same week they come in and cut payment for those unfortunate people who have lost their jobs."

Yesterday, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe accepted the €16,000 top-up allowance for super junior ministers “has caused a great deal of annoyance” to people, but defended their introduction.

Speaking on Sunday, Mr Donohoe said the decision to introduce the top-up for super junior ministers on top of their €124,000 salary is to create a situation that all ministers were being paid the same. 

In the last government, because of the rules, two additional junior ministers sat at the Cabinet table but were paid less than others.

“Well we were dealing with a specific matter. We have a number of ministers of state who sit around the cabinet table that were being paid differently. We were looking to get to a point that if they were all doing the same work, that they were paid the same,” he said.

“But all that being said, I do accept that this is causing a grave annoyance and anger for some who are listening to this at the moment, but I have asked them just to place this in the context of a huge, huge variety of different measures that we announced last week that are all about getting people back to work on all about growing incomes again,” Mr Donohoe, a Dublin-Central TD said.

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