Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has welcomed the fact that the Finance Committee is to scrutinise Statutory Instrument 27 which awards a Junior Minister an extra €17,205 per year on top of the basic salary of over €130,000.
His party were amongst the most vocal when news emerged of the increase Jan O’Sullivan was to get to her salary following her promotion to Junior Minister with responsibility for Housing before Christmas. The Limerick TD is to receive the bonus because of the fact she is entitled to attend Cabinet meetings.
Commenting on the matter, Deputy Doherty said: “I have proposed that the committee scrutinise this extra payment to the Junior Minister for Housing and I welcome the fact that this will now take place at next Wednesday’s sitting of the Finance Committee.
“The committee will hear from an official within the Department of Finance as to the rationale for awarding an additional €17,205 to the Junior Minister as a result of her attendance at cabinet meetings. It will also be an opportunity for members of the committee to object to this allowance being awarded.
“Enda Kenny signed the statutory instrument on the 31st of January which also continued an allowance for the same amount for the Chief Whip Paul Kehoe.
“The Finance Committee can scrutinise any statutory instrument within 21 days of it being signed and recommend having it revoked.
“The extra payment attached to the position, which is €326 per week on top of a minister’s salary of €130,000 per year, is because the super junior minister attends cabinet meetings.
“This allowance is unacceptable particularly in light of the dire circumstances that many people find themselves in due to cuts and austerity measures.
“The committee will also, on my proposal, scrutinise Statutory Instrument 37 which expands the areas in which Oireachtas members can claim for expenses without any proper public accountability.
“I am glad that the committee has taken my recommendation on board and hope that we can come to a quick resolution.”