Giving “super junior ministers” a pay rise when thousands of people have lost their jobs during the pandemic sends out the wrong signal, a Sinn Fein TD has said.
Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath has moved to ensure that three “super junior ministers” who sit at the Cabinet table get an additional allowance worth more than 16,000 euro.
The recipients are Climate Change and Transport Minister Hildegarde Naughton, Government Chief Whip Jack Chambers and Agriculture Minister Pippa Hackett.
Sinn Fein TD Mairead Farrell said that unless the “super junior ministers” have “superpowers”, they do not need such an increase.
Speaking in the Dail on Thursday, she said: “An increase of 16,000 euro is massive. Are these ministers called super juniors because they have some kind of superpowers? Because, unless they do, I don’t see why the Department thinks they need 16,000 euro extra in income.”
Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty called on Mr McGrath to explain to the public why the pay increases are justified.
Sinn FÃ©in's Pearse Doherty says the Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath should be in the DÃ¡il for the motion on Revised Estimates and says his absence is an "insult to the DÃ¡il."— Ãine McMahon (@AineMcMahon) July 23, 2020
Mr Doherty said: “How in the name of God is it appropriate at this time to actually increase the salary of a junior minister who is already on more than 100,000 euro?
“Sixteen thousand euro is a huge amount of money and it sends out all the wrong signals. It is something that was opposed by Fianna Fail when they were in opposition a few years ago.”
Mr McGrath was unable to attend the Dail due to his attendance at a Cabinet meeting so could not reply in person.
Mr Doherty described his absence as an “insult to the Dail”.