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Citizens demand and expect full accountability from public sector and state agency bosses – McDonald

3 November, 2011

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has called on the government to focus its efforts on demanding full accountability from senior civil servants and State agency Chiefs.

Speaking in the Dáil and Public Accounts Committee today Deputy McDonald said the public deserved and expected transparency and accountability from those who are tasked by government to manage the peoples’ money.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Tax revenues continue to fall. Of particular note is the drop in VAT receipts, a further reflection of the decimation of the domestic economy and peoples’ spending power due to austerity measures directed at middle and low income earners. Tomorrow we expect to see the government's growth projections revised downwards yet again.

“Yesterday the cabinet discussed the Department of Finance revelation that it over-estimated the State debt by €3.6 billion due to an accounting error. Overstating the State’s debt by 2.3% of GDP is one hell of an accounting error. Yet the National Treasury Management Agency and Department of Finance Chiefs are still squabbling about who is ultimately to blame for this blunder.

“Given the massive salaries those in the NTMA with at least 14 senior executives paid more than a quarter of a million euro per annum, and the Department of Finance Secretary General in receipt of a salary worth nearly €200,000 plus generous pension provision the people deserve and expect full accountability.

“When the issue of high pay for public sector bosses is raised with government Sinn Féin is routinely told these people are paid big bucks because they’re worth it. So when errors of this magnitude arise the question must be asked, with whom does the buck stop?”

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