Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (149)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

149. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the estimated amount the additional special advisers hired by the Government and pay rises afforded to TDs will cost the taxpayer in 2020. [26810/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The appointment of Special Advisers are subject to Section 11 of the Public Services Management Act 1997. The appointment of Special Advisers to the Ministers of State in question, that the Deputy refers to, was considered by my colleagues and I at the Government meeting of 22 September last with specific regard to the scale and complexity of portfolio, budgetary responsibility and Programme for Government commitments.

Special Advisers to these Ministers of State are to be placed on the Assistant Principal Officer (Standard) PPC scale: currently €67,659 - €74,977 as set out in guidelines for Ministerial Staff Appointments. While appointments should normally be on the first point of the scale, Secretaries General have delegated sanction to appoint to any increment on the Assistant Principal Standard Scale where they are satisfied that this is justified. Overall, the cost of these Special Advisers to these Ministers of State is expected to be broadly consistent with that for the 32nd Dáil and should be in the region of €676,000 to €750,000 per annum.

The pay of politicians is, in line with other Public Servants, subject to the phased pay restoration provisions of the FEMPI Act 2015 and PSPP Act 2017, which includes the 2% increase due on 1 October. However, as the Deputy is aware, it remains open to all members of the Oireachtas to forego pay increases on a voluntary basis and many have been doing so. In this regard, it should be noted that this Government decided that Ministers and Ministers of State, in addition to taking a 10% pay cut, will also forgo the 2% pay increase due in October.

The cost for the remaining 3 months of 2020 if all TDs salaries was increased by 2% is €76,690.

Question No. 150 answered with Question No. 122.