Saturday 20 January 2018

Taoiseach accused of creating 'golden circle' over pay hikes for government advisors

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD
Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has been accused of creating a “golden circle” and “culture of privilege” after it emerged several Cabinet ministers were granted pay increases for their special advisers

The Irish Independent today revealed how several ministers lobbied Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin to get their special advisers higher salaries.

How ministers lobbied to get their advisers bigger salaries

Speaking in the Dail, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach how he could condone cuts to payments for lone parents while special advisors are getting pay hikes.

“There is no austerity for your Government. You have created a culture of privilege, a golden circle that rivals the old Fianna Fail one, and, meanwhile, you impose cuts on frontline staff and destroy public services,” Mr Adams said.

The Taoiseach said he “didn’t hear” Mr Adams comment on pay increases for special advisers in Northern Ireland.

Mr Kenny also said there were questions over how Sinn Fein raised funds to run the party.

He said some of the pay claims for special advisers were “shot down” by Minister Howlin and those granted were based on experience.

Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin said the cuts to lone parent payments were “Thatcherite”, referring to the former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Changes to lone parent payments are due to come into place in the coming months.

Online Editors

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