Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Mairéad Farrell TD, has described the ongoing delay in the explanation of the salary increase for the new Secretary General of the Department of Health as an affront to transparency and fiscal probity.
Teachta Farrell said:
“The fact that we are still waiting for Minister for McGrath to explain his department’s role in the setting of this salary of €292,000 is appalling.
“We have already had conflicting accounts from government Ministers on how this process was conducted, and the Taoiseach has said this is a firmly a matter for Minister McGrath.
“Unfortunately at a time when Minister McGrath should be clearing the air, he’s done something of a disappearing act.
“We’ve already had the Finance Committee, the Public Accounts Committee and the Budgetary Oversight Committee write to Minister McGrath seeking answers.
“I myself have sought the correspondence regarding the negotiations through a freedom of information request, as I’m sure have many others.
“I have also called for Minister McGrath to come before the Dáil to explain matters, but to no avail. It is simply not good enough that three weeks on from first hearing about Robert Watt’s appointment and salary increase of €81,000, that we are still in the dark and have been told that we won’t get answers until February.
“If the Minster has nothing to hide then he must stop stalling for time and come before the Dáil to answer questions.”