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Fine Gael TD appointed wife as parliamentary assistant to €38,000-a-year job

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 John Perry: pursued for €2.5m

John Perry: pursued for €2.5m

John Perry: pursued for €2.5m

A Fine Gael TD appointed his wife to a €38,000-a-year job after he lost his own job as minister for small business in a Government reshuffle.

John Perry’s wife Marie Perry was given a job as parliamentary assistant on January 2 last, the RTÉ Investigations Unit has reported.

The salary scale for the role falls between €38,760 and €49,035 a year. Overtime payments of an extra 20pc are also available.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has previously said it is "not good" practice for TDs or ministers to hire family members in their staff.

"I've made a point of saying that it's not good practice to appoint family members," Mr Kenny said in 2011.

A representative from Mr Perry’s constituency office said “no comment” in relation to the hiring of Ms Perry.

Speaking about the issue, transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said: "I do believe myself that family members should not be appointed to do that work and that it's more appropriate to appoint people who are not related to you in order to fulfil important work within the Dail."

The Minister was also asked whether he would call on Marie Perry to resign.

"That's very much a matter for Deputy Perry," he said.

"Deputy Perry obviously made the appointment because that person is able to perform important work for him.

"My own belief is that individual TDs or members of government should not be appointing family members to work for them."

"These are all important roles and while I recognise and respect the right of Deputy Perry to choose people to work for him, I believe it is more appropriate that family members are not appointed to these roles," he added.

"In relation to the perception that people will have of us, people will obviously consider many factors in deciding how to vote in the next general election" he said.

Mr Perry, who is a Fine Gael TD for Sligo/North Leitrim since 1997, lost his position as Minister for State for Small Businesses in last year's ministerial reshuffle, a position to which he was appointed when the coalition took office in 2011.

Last July, the former small business minister and his wife had their names published in the debtors' listing magazine Stubbs Gazette over a €2.47m judgment they had to pay.

Mr Perry and his wife consented to a judgement in the Commercial Court for €2.47 million and agreed a programme of debt repayments with Danske Bank.

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