Senior civil servant receiving full €294,920 salary

Robert Watt, secretary general at the Department of Health, is no longer waiving a €81,000 pay hike.
Senior civil servant receiving full €294,920 salary

By Cate McCurry, PA

The most senior civil servant in the Department of Health has confirmed he is in receipt of the full €294,920 salary for his job.

Robert Watt, secretary general at the department, is no longer waiving the €81,000 hike he got when he was appointed to the senior role in April last year.

The annual salary was set to increase from €211,000 to €292,000.

Following his appointment, Mr Watt said he would forgo the salary hike until the economy “begins to recover and unemployment falls”.

Secretary General of the Department of Health Robert Watt speaks to Health Committee
Secretary general of the Department of Health Robert Watt (Oireacthas TV/PA)

Mr Watt has faced mounting pressure in recent weeks to confirm whether he is in receipt of his full salary.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “The secretary general has confirmed that he is in receipt of the full salary for his role.”

Revised civil service pay scales, which came into effect in October, increased his wage from €292,000 to €294,920.

Mr Watt receives an estimated €12,957 a month.

On Tuesday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar refused to be drawn into the matter, saying it was a personal decision for Mr Watt.

He said that under GDPR rules, Mr Watt does not have to disclose whether he is accepting his full wage.

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