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Fine Gael and Labour continuing Fianna Fáil tradition of political cronyism – McDonald

4 December, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD has this afternoon accused Fine Gael and Labour of embracing political cronyism in government just like Fianna Fáil did before them.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Struggling families and the vulnerable are facing into yet another devastating budget which will see vital supports cut and charges increased.

“Yet citizens have been bombarded with reports of political cronyism over the weekend detailing excessive special advisor salaries for government party people and failures at the very top of the civil service to work in the best interest of the people.

“The crisis of leadership within the Department of An Taoiseach during the economic crisis has been confirmed in leaked reports of an organisational review of the department.

“Former Secretary General Dermot McCarthy who recently retired on a full pension at just 57 years of age is named as the number one culprit for department’s failure to develop a strategic response to the economic collapse.

“Under Fine Gael and Labour’s watch Dermot McCarthy received a golden handshake worth a whooping €713,000 including an annual pension of €142,000.

“Every time I raise the scandalously high pay and pension arrangements for the top dogs in the public sector Government Ministers blithely respond with the curt retort, ‘because they’re worth it’.

“Paying off failed senior civil servants with bumper pension pots and plum jobs in Europe in an effort to get rid of them is a scandal. Tonight the Taoiseach will tell the people of this state to tighten their belts before overseeing a budget that will push more and more people into poverty and debt.

“Just like successive Fianna Fáil Taoisigh the very same man continues to award massive salaries to government ministers, special advisors, judges, hospital consultants the president and secretaries general. Yet it is clear none of the protected elites are worthy of such scandalously high pay at this time of economic crisis.

“Under this government’s watch the tax take is down, the cost of living is increasing, unemployment is rising and Fine Gael and Labour have just extended the failed banking guarantee. On what planet does Enda Kenny think he’s worth €200,000 a year?” ENDS

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