Taoiseach defends salary breaches
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny yesterday defended the decision to breach the standard special advisers' pay rate by awarding two of his own staff salaries of €168,000 each.
His Government pledged to reduce the cost of special advisers and set a standard pay rate of around €92,000.
But two of Mr Kenny's advisers, chef de cabinet Mark Keneally and economic adviser Andrew McDowell, are now on salaries of €168,000 each after getting permission from Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin.
Mr Kenny defended the move yesterday after Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said the salaries were "five times the average industrial wage".
"The salary scales on which these people are employed are substantially lower than their predecessors," Mr Kenny said.
The Government has reduced the number of special advisers and the pay rates are lower than the previous high of €188,000 paid to former Taoiseach Brian Cowen's programme manager Joe Lennon.