Calls from Cork TD for super juniors ministers to turn down salary top-up

Calls from Cork TD for super juniors ministers to turn down salary top-up
Thomas Gould TD (SF) at Leinster House. Picture: Andy Gibson.

A CORK TD has called on the three Super Junior Ministers to turn down a more than €16,000 top-up to their salaries.

Sinn Féin’s Thomas Gould said it would show solidarity with people who are struggling due to the fallout of Covid-19.

“Perks and pay top-ups are symptomatic of successive governments that are out of touch with ordinary people. This government doesn’t seem to be any different,” Deputy Gould said.

“When doctors, teachers, nurses and many other important frontline workers don’t have pay equality and many are struggling on subpar salaries, it is a disgrace that people who earn over €2000 a week feel they need a pay top-up to be on an equal par with other Cabinet ministers,” he added.

“So many people are suffering financially now because of Covid-19, and many were struggling before the pandemic. The government has shot down or delayed a number of proposals in recent weeks due to a lack of funding but somehow the money can be found for this.

“The Junior Ministers need to take a stand with ordinary people and show some compassion in these difficult times by turning down these ridiculous pay top-ups,” he concluded.

His comments come after Minister for Public Expenditure, Cork South Central’s Michael McGrath, said that it was “fair that the three will be treated equally”.

Two junior ministers or ministers of state are entitled to receive an annual allowance of €16,888 on top of their €124,439 salary.

The current Government has three super junior ministers - minister of state for climate and transport Hildegarde Naughton, Government chief whip Jack Chambers and minister of state for agriculture Pippa Hackett.

Speaking over the weekend, Mr McGrath said that all three have the same level of responsibility and should be treated equally. The Cabinet agreed unanimously this week that all three should be entitled to the top-up.

The decision has been criticised, with many highlighting the unequal pay of teachers.

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