Tuesday 27 June 2017

Kenny's adviser spend is almost half Cowen's bill

Anne-Marie Walsh

FORMER Taoiseach Brian Cowen spent almost twice as much on advice as Enda Kenny.

It has been revealed that the former Fianna Fail leader was a big spender when it came to special advisers, clocking up a bill of €974,496 last year.

This is just under €400,000 more than his successor's bill, which will total €576,153 a year.

Mr Kenny has appointed five special advisers -- four personal advisers and an adviser to the Chief Whip -- since March. In comparison, Mr Cowen had appointed seven special advisers by January last year.

New figures show Mr Kenny's chief of staff Mark Kennelly and his special adviser Andrew McDowell are paid €168,000 each.

His lowest paid advisers, Paul O'Brien and Angela Flanagan, get annual wages of €80,051. In addition to having higher numbers, Mr Cowen's advisers enjoyed much higher pay and pensions than the Fine Gael leader's closest staff.

His programme manager Joe Lennon was the highest paid, on €188,640 a year; while his special adviser Peter Clinch's salary was only slightly lower at €181,243.

The figures were revealed as it emerged that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has one of the highest allocations of ministerial staff, with 14 extra staff. A spokesperson said this was due to the fact that the department had three ministers. If other departments had fewer staff it was because they had fewer ministers or their cabinet minister had a garda driver so no civilian drivers were needed.

Irish Independent

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