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Coveney 'did not recall' Cabinet debate on junior ministers' pay


Leinster House (Stock)

Leinster House (Stock)

Leinster House (Stock)

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has said he did not know a Cabinet meeting he attended signed off on legislation that will increase the number of ministers of State who are entitled to a €16,000 allowance.

Mr Coveney said he "did not recall" the Cabinet debate which cleared the way for the Government to pay three rather than two super junior ministers the extra payment.

"I don't know is the answer. That's legislation I haven't seen, I haven't spoken about, haven't debated," he said.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform confirmed Minister Michael McGrath brought the legislation to pave the way for the pay increases to Cabinet yesterday evening. Once passed by the Dáil, ministers of State Hildegarde Naughton and Pippa Hackett, along with Chief Whip Jack Chambers, will all receive the pay increase for juniors who sit at Cabinet. Ms Hackett is a senator while the other two are TDs.

The Green Party did not respond to requests for comment on whether Ms Hackett believed it to be appropriate for a senator to seek an additional pay increase after receiving a €38,000 allowance on being appointed to Cabinet.

Fianna Fáil stopped former higher education minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor from receiving the pay increase in the last Dáil.

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