Tánaiste faces no confidence motion over Pensions Authority appointment

The Independent Alliance has accused her of "blatant cronyism"

Joan Burton, motion of no confidence, Pensions Authority, David Begg, Independent Alliance

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton (centre) | Image: Rollingnews.ie

A government minister says it is Shane Ross and Shane Ross alone who has a problem with the Tánaiste Joan Burton's appointment of David Begg to the Pensions Authority.

Joan Burton is facing a motion of no confidence from the Independent Alliance, who claim that she did not follow government guidelines for appointments when she made Mr Begg chairman of the authority.

They claim that the position was not even advertised, and have labelled it "blatant cronyism".

Minister Brendan Howlin - who drafted the guidelines - says Ms Burton was within her remit to make the appointment.

Mr Begg will serve a five-year term in a post worth over €20,000 a year.

The former general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) was appointed as chairman of the State board without going through the new process for State appointments.

However, a spokesman said this was permitted under the new guidelines as long as the minister was satisfied with the appointee's credentials.

Waterford TD John Halligan - who is proposing the motion - says the Ms Burton's position has changed since Labour was in opposition.

And Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney says he is sure she followed correct procedure.