McDonald: Number of Government advisors shows how 'out of touch' it is

McDonald: Number of Government advisors shows how 'out of touch' it is

Opposition politicians have slammed the decision which was taken the same week as cutting the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). Picture:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Mary Lou McDonald says the number of advisors being hired by the government represents how "out of touch" it is.

It emerged on Tuesday that the government had approved ministerial advisors for 10 junior ministers. In the last Dáil, the pay-scale for those advising Ministers of State started at around €67,000 a year.

Opposition politicians have slammed the decision which was taken the same week as cutting the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

"I think all of us accept people in government need to have good advice and therefore need advisors," she said on Newstalk Breakfast.

"I think what has raised eyebrows, in terms of this government is the number of advisors so we know for example that between the three party leaders, alone they have 17 advisors, and that's before you count media people. That to me is excessive.

"Good advice is necessary, but also so is value for money.

"It should be borne in mind that people in government have the entire apparatus of the state, the civil service, the public service, all of whom are working to keep the show on the road. So many of whom have incredible levels of expertise and are available to all who take on a governmental role.

"I think the day on which this decision was made demonstrates just how out of touch this government is."

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

Ms McDonald went on to "FactCheck" the Taoiseach on social media.

"He said that I was some kind of Chief advocate for special advisors," she said.

"The entire executive, not just Sinn Féin but all of the five parties to the executive, employ 14 advisors, they have a capacity to employ a maximum of 16 for the whole of government.

"It seems to me that they have acquired just an incredible number of people."

Labour leader Alan Kelly has echoed Ms McDonald statements saying that advisors for junior ministers are unnecessary.

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