Taoiseach rejects criticism of special advisors for junior ministers 

Taoiseach rejects criticism of special advisors for junior ministers 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has rejected criticism from Sinn Féin about the number of advisors hired by this government. File image.

The government has been criticised for approving ministerial advisors for 10 junior ministers.

The original plan would have seen all 17 junior ministers with their own advisors, but the government reduced the number.

In the last Dáil, the pay-scale for those advising Ministers of State started at around €67,000 a year.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald says there's no need for the number of advisors this government has hired. 

In the Dáil this afternoon Ms McDonald said she was "shocked and gobsmacked" at the decision and noted that it was made the same day as the Pandemic Unemployment Payment reduced, "This being done at a time when you're cutting payments for people in real difficulty who have lost their jobs."

In response, Taoiseach Martin said that Sinn Féin employs ministerial advisors in Northern Ireland that are earning "much more" than €67,000. 

"You're one of the original enthusiasts for special advisors," he said. "You've been a long term advocate for personal advisors in politics and you've never shown any disdain towards special advisors and neither has your party. Stop the hypocrisy."

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