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15.17 28 Jul 2020


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The three super junior ministers have agreed to give back the almost €16,000 in extra salary the Dáil approved for them last week.

Instead Jack Chambers, Hildegarde Naughton and Pippa Hackett will split the two existing allowances and will get a wage increase of a little over €10,000 each.

Ministers have also agreed to take an across the board 10% pay cut.

However, many will still earn slightly more than the last government which had turned down incremental increases in their wages.

Minister Eamon Ryan earlier denied that the pay cut amounted to tokenism - saying it was instead a “very real” gesture from Cabinet ministers.

He said: “The previous Government had a scheme where they gave back 10% of their salary and this Government yesterday decided to do the same.

“It is the first time I have been asked to do that and I was happy to do it.

“It is giving back the money and that is what we agreed collectively to do. It is giving back the money.

"It is not tokenistic; it is very real and it is a statement by the Cabinet recognising that we are in difficult times.”

However, opposition parties have criticised the move.

Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty told The Pat Kenny Show: "Honest to God, three stars for the spin doctors in Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens.

"To go out and announce at a press conference, with a straight face, to say the Cabinet agreed a pay cut - yet the Taoiseach will earn more than the previous Taoiseach earned just four weeks ago, the Tánaiste will earn more than the previous Tánaiste earned just four weeks ago, and each of the senior ministers will earn more than the previous ministers earned just four weeks ago - is absolutely ridiculous.

"Do they think that the public are that silly, are that gullible that we would swallow some of this kind of guff coming from Government?"

Reporting by Sean Defoe, Stephen McNeice and Jack Quann
Main image: File photo of Chief Whip Jack Chambers. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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