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Green Party offshoot group asks Pippa Hackett not to accept €16k 'super-junior' pay top-up 

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Promotion: Pippa Hackett (right) with party leader Eamon Ryan at Leinster House earlier this month. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Promotion: Pippa Hackett (right) with party leader Eamon Ryan at Leinster House earlier this month. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Promotion: Pippa Hackett (right) with party leader Eamon Ryan at Leinster House earlier this month. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

THE Green Party's offshoot organisation has written to 'super-junior' minister Pippa Hackett asking her to turn down a salary top-up that was due to be worth around €16,000. 

The government sustained huge criticism when it voted to change the law to allow for the extra pay to be extended to three junior ministers that sit at Cabinet.

Previously it had only been available to two such ministers.

Now the Just Transition Greens organisation has written to Ms Hackett asking her not to take the top-up available to her.

Co-chairs - Green Party councillors Lorna Bogue and Áine Groogan - claimed that supporting the pay increase was "a lapse in judgement from our party colleagues and we hope it will soon be rectified."

They added: "People expect this from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael but the Green Party positions itself as a party that does politics differently.

"When people see figures like €16,000, they think about the difference it could make in their lives.

"They think about the hardship that families, workers and local businesses are enduring now, the sacrifices healthcare workers made during the crisis and their on-going requests for extra pay."

The authors of the letter also referred to what they claimed is "efforts by the government to cut the number of people who qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and to restrict the travel of those on the payment, compared to those who are fortunate enough not to require it."

They argued: "These decisions, seen in the round, add to a perception that the government is one that doesn't treat everyone equally.

"Members of the public would be forgiven for seeing us as out of touch and this perception has harmed the climate movement before."

They added: "It has yet to be confirmed whether you and your fellow junior ministers sitting at Cabinet will be accepting the increased payment or returning it to the exchequer.

"We encourage you to return the additional payment to the exchequer as a small sign of solidarity with low-pay workers and local businesses dependent on Covid-19 payments at this time."

Ms Hackett has been contacted for comment but has not immediately responded.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced last night that ministers will take a "10pc pay cut" across the board, though the Irish Independent revealed today that he and other senior ministers will actually take home more than Cabinet ministers in the last government.

Online Editors