The Government has released details of a €2m yearly pay package for 23 of its politically appointed special advisers.
Details of the salaries of special advisers appointed by 13 Ministers and Ministers of State have been published this evening, showing they earn between €67,659 and €101,114.
Figures relating to 23 media and policy advisers show their combined yearly earnings will top €2m, with eight of these appointees on salaries of over €100,000.
The salaries exclude pension and other entitlements.
The eight special advisers, or spads as they are known, who are on €101,114 include former journalists Chris Donoghue, Paul Melia and Susan Mitchell.
Both Deborah Sweeney and Ed Brophy, who work for Paschal Donohoe, are on this salary as are Pauric McPhilips, who works for Heather Humphreys; Kevin Barrett, who advises Michael McGrath, and Paul Kenny, who was appointed by Eamon Ryan.
Others on the published list include formerpolitical correspondent Juno McEnroe, who is on €87,325, as is former RTÉ journalist Margaret Ward. Two other advisers who formally worked as journalists are Niall O'Connor and Colette Sexton, who are both earning €94,487 each year.
Former Cork city councillor Laura McGonigle, who now works as an adviser to Simon Coveney, is on €94,487.
However, the figures do not include the salaries of the Government press secretary, Paul Clarkson, who is understood to be on a salary of about €140,000.
Nor does it include the two deputy Government press secretaries, Ian Carey and Nick Miller, who are also political appointments.
Speaking in the Dáil this week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the requirement for specialist policy input and advice was a matter for each individual minister to consider, having regard to the area of responsibility and the support in place in the relevant departments.
Detailing his own team, Mr Martin revealed his chief of staff is on the deputy secretary salary level of €174,688, his deputy chief of staff in on the assistant secretary level of between €135,299 and €154,775.
Three special advisers are at principal officer level, a grade which ranges from €84,752 to €104,202. Finally, Mr Martin has also hired a part-time economic adviser at assistant secretary level.
Mr Martin said: "Where there are parties with different perspectives in Government, and this is a three-party Government, there is a need to make sure that the policy programme, as per the Programme for Government, and the perspectives of parties are brought through."
Publishing the partial list of appointments, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform stated: "The formal appointment of a special adviser requires a Government Order to be made in each instance.
"The process to formally appoint Special Advisers for the 33rd Dáil is being progressed by the relevant ministers at this time."