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€90,000 Salary Increase for Dept of Health Secretary General Jaw Dropping in This time of Crisis – Tóibín

Speaking 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.
By Aontú Press | 2 February, 2021

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The Irish political system is radically broken

In Ireland the vast majority of elected representatives put a finger in the air to check which way the political wind is blowing. They have one eye on their leaders – seeking brownie points – and another eye keeping their seat safe. If elected reps shut up and do as they’re told, they are promoted; if they stand up for what they believe in, they are demoted. No wonder we have the political class we have. No wonder one point one billion euro is being buried in a hole under the National Children’s Hospital and that Stormont is in stalemate.

Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics. Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.

Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.