€90,000 Salary Increase for Dept of Health Secretary General Jaw Dropping in This time of Crisis – TóibínSpeaking at the Finance Committee Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD stated that the €90,000 increase in salary for the new Health Secretary General resulted in jaws dropping around the country. He stated;
“The Secretary of Health in the USA is paid less than €200,000 a year. The British Prime Minister receives a salary of just over £150,000. The Director General of the World Health Organisation earns less than €200,000. Yet FF and FG think its good enough to pay a senior civil servant in Ireland a salary of €290,000 at this time”.
“At the same time Healthcare Assistants get paid €24,000 a year. If you are a family member and work as a Carer you receive an €11,000 allowance from the State. If you are a Student Nurse you don’t get paid at all. You mention, Minister, the need for a proper salary for the Sec Gen, do other health care professionals not deserve a proper salary”?
“The timing of this is incredibly poor. Hundreds of thousands of people have been made unemployed. Hundreds of thousands of workers and businesses have had their ability to earn a salary deleted. They have had their income radically reduced. Many have been pushed into poverty. There is a massive chasm between the people who are being hammered in this crisis and those who see their income continue to increase.
“The Budget Deficit for last year is expected to be €19 billion. Our National Debt will rise by €35 billion this year to €239 billion. This works out at €47,700 per man, woman and child. Ireland is already an extremely heavily indebted country which radically exposes us to future shocks. When this crisis subsides the Budget Deficit will have to be reduced. My worry is that FF and FG will do what they always do and reduce it with massive cuts in public service spending such as Health and increase taxes on low and middle income earners. Its absolutely amazing that in all of the documentation that I have seen on this decision, there no discussion in relation to the financial crisis we are in.
There is also a danger here that this massive jump in salary will now pull will pull up salaries of people in similar positions across the higher echelons of the civil service.