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Government has credibility problem around top-ups scandal — Adams

3 December, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams TD has called for a full, independent inquiry into the scandal of ‘top ups’ for senior executives in the health services and the use of charitable donations to line the pockets of already highly paid individuals. Mr Adams also said that the Government has a “credibility problem” in relation to the scandal.

Addressing the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore in the Dáil, Gerry Adams said that at a time of widespread service cutbacks it was “grossly unacceptable” that money donated for charity was used to line the pockets of already highly paid executives.

Gerry Adams said:

“There is now a crisis of confidence about how charitable donations are used. Ninety-five-per-cent of the charities that do a great service in plugging gaps left by your Government’s austerity policies are not affected by this issue.

“Charities still need our help. They also need to be regulated and the Government must move with all speed to create the Regulatory Authority as promised in July.

Saying that the Government must be alert to the possibility that the scandal may not be confined to the CRC he added that there is an onus on it to establish a full, independent Inquiry into all HSE-funded health agencies to get the full facts of the scandal.

Mr Adams said there is a culture of privilege, which the Government has encouraged by breaching the pay caps of its own Ministerial Advisers:

“This government has a credibility problem when you come to addressing the CRC and the controversy of top-ups for senior executives in the health service. In late 2011, Minister Howlin cleared Minister Reilly to pay a salary of up to €195,000 to the then acting chief executive of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, to take over HSE hospitals in the west of Ireland.

“So, not only do we have Ministers breaching pay caps for their own advisers, we also have two Ministers approving one of these top-ups.

“Tánaiste, is this why you won’t agree to a full, independent inquiry into this scandal?” he said.

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