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Adams challenges Taoiseach on pay of special advisors

4 October, 2011 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today challenged the Taoiseach on the salaries being paid by the government to two special advisers in the Taoiseach’s department.

In July the Department of Finance published its guidelines which stated that the pay cap for special advisers should be brought into line with the first point of the salary scale applying to Principal Officer positions in the Civil Service. This salary scale ranges from €80,051 to €92,672.
Speaking during Leaders Questions the Sinn Féin leader pointed out that on coming into office the Government talked about the need for leadership to be shown by those who hold high office in the Public Sector

However, two of the five Special Advisers employed in the Taoiseach’s Department earn a salary of €168,000, nearly five times the Average Industrial Wage!

Speaking after Leaders Questions Mr. Adams said:

“The government is living in a bubble – cut-off from the social consequences of the decisions it takes. Last week the Taoiseach refused to give a commitment not to break the pay cap for the next CEO of the Allied Irish Bank. We discovered at the weekend why.

“The half a million salary will be inflated to almost one million by all sorts of devious devices – the sort of financial sleight of hand that got us into the current economic mess.

“But Mr. Kenny was prepared to definitively rule out any reversal of the cuts to pensioners’ fuel allowance and is prepared to ignore the hurt caused by family stealth taxes, the universal social charge and the household charges.

“Does the government really believe paying out these exorbitant salaries to government appointees and imposing harsh financial cuts on families and communities, is providing the kind of leadership the state needs at a time of severe economic distress? When people are struggling to hold onto their homes and put food on the table for their children?

“The fact is that the pay scale set by the Department of Finance has been broken and not just by the Taoiseach’s department. There are at least 5 other special advisers in various government departments earning more than the Department of Finance scale allows for. This is unacceptable.”

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