Health, Department Of Health

Health, Department Of Health

Cabinet 'did not decide on' €81k salary increase

Cabinet 'did not decide on' €81k salary increase for top health job - Harris

18/01/2021 18:59:00

Cabinet 'did not decide on' €81k salary increase for top health job - Harris

A government minister has said that the Cabinet did not decide on the controversial €81,000 salary increase for the new head of the Department of Health .

The position of Secretary General at the Department of Health has been advertised with a salary of €292,000 - up from €211,000.Sinn Féin has described the pay rise as "excessive" while the Dáil spending watchdog - the Public Accounts Committee is examining the salary.

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Mr Harris said today that the Cabinet was informed of the reassignments of secretary generals to certain government departments.Asked whether the salary increase was agreed by Cabinet, he said that it was not.A government spokesperson said today that the Cabinet was informed that the process for the role was about to begin and because of highly complex and challenging nature of the role it would attract improved terms.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) has said that Minister Michael McGrath had responsibility for signing off on the salary and that it was agreed with the Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and secretary general to the government Martin Fraser.

Yesterday, Mr Donnelly defended the salary increase saying it was for the role and not for any particular person.He said that it reflected the very significant additional workload in a Department with a budget of €22 billion."On top of that we are in the middle of the pandemic and on top of that we have a very, very ambitious reform programme that we need to roll out, with Sláintecare and universal healthcare."

The Public Accounts Committee has agreed to examine the salary and has tabled several questions to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.Committee chair Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley said the public was entitled to know why there was a substantial deviation on salary.

"It sends out an awful message to the public when people are on reduced PUP and student nurses have been offered €100."He said there was an air of unreality around the salary and that it was ok because it was a big spending department.A former secretary general at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER), Robert Watt, has been moved to the Department of Health on a temporary basis as Acting Secretary General.

He is being paid his existing salary.DPER has confirmed that Mr Watt had no input into the sanctioning of the terms and conditions of the competition, including the €292,000 salary. Read more: RTÉ News »

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So who did give the thumbs up for this pay rise? Ridiculous already in ‘normal’ times but in the current situation? Typical politicians. Who made the decision? All running for cover now that it has received negative feedback. So who did? Robert Watt was in the Department of Public Expenditure. The same Department that cut the PUP Payments for thousands of people. So what he saved in the cuts he gave to himself. Simple.

Parasite 81k salary increase but I will fine solo walkers €100 for wanting to exercise somewhere more scenic outside their 5km Did they accept it reluctantly or something? Cannot be justified....the reality is there should be no pay taxes....emergency taxes should be taken at source from high paid workers...And the ordinary people still need to pay their due taxes to keep the status quo

Ah stop the nonsense and start accepting responsibility. Even if you didn’t directly agree on the amount, you agreed the process that arrived at the figure. and of course the thick plastic paddies the usual life long FG and FF voters with friends and family in both parties will still tell us these leeches actually care about our health and well being

Terrible, as tax bills have been send to people suffering an increase of such a sun is indecent beyond belief. Who did them