€81,000 pay increase to Health Secretary General “Stinks to High Heavens” – Matt Carthy TD
The government decision to increase the pay of the Secretary General in the Department of Health by €81,000 per annum “stinks to the high heavens”. That was according to Cavan Monaghan TD, Matt Carthy, when he spoke at the Public Accounts Committee last Friday.
The Sinn Féin representative said that cabinet Ministers still had to answer questions as to how they signed off on such an extravagant salary hike at a time when many families were struggling to cope with the financial implications of the pandemic.
Speaking during a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, Deputy Carthy said in relation to the pay hike:
“This stinks to high heaven. There is no other way of describing it.
“Essentially, a job is teed up for a former Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, who is now moving into a new Department. There are so many questions regarding the role of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in the first instance.
“Regarding the governmental impact of it, it is clearly a source of concern for many that this would lead to a situation whereby other high-level public servants would seek significant pay increases in line with what has been proposed for the Secretary General of the Department of Health. There is no rationale, economic or political, for this decision. The silence has been deafening in the official response to the issue.
“Anybody looking at the remit of the Committee of Public Accounts would have to say that we have an obligation, let alone a right, to delve into how this matter was addressed. I ask whether there is a remit to ensure that this decision is reversed, because it sends out all the wrong signals. Public servants are on a two-tier pay scale where newer entrants are operating under worse conditions than their colleagues working alongside them, whether it be in schools or other public services.
“We must tackle this issue in a robust manner to ensure full transparency in respect of what happened but also so that there is accountability on why the decision was made and whether it can be reversed”.