Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has called on the Government to use emergency legislation to end the practice of excessive salary top-ups for senior managers of voluntary hospitals.
Speaking following an exchange with Tanaiste Eamonn Gilmore in the Dail, Deputy McDonald said:
“Despite all the tough talk about targeting the higher earners, Minister Howlin and Minister Reilly have been very slow to outline exactly when and how they intend to bring this unacceptable situation to an end. Yet on previous occasions Minister Howlin has had no problem rushing through the draconian ‘FEMPI’ (or Financial Emergency in the Public Interest) legislation in order to slash the pay of low paid public sector workers.
“We need him to show the same energy and enthusiasm in pursuit of powers to slash excess pay in the form of top-ups for hospital executives, the total bill for which, in addition to their already very high pay, is €3.2 million.
“Frankly, the Tanaiste’s response falls far short of what is required. Continuing inaction is simply unacceptable at a time when frontline services are creaking under the weight of seven years of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour cuts. What we need now is the requisite resolve to bring these top-ups to an end. I am therefore calling for a clear commitment by the Government to use emergency public interest legislation for this purpose.”