Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Mairéad Farrell TD, has described the €292k salary of the new Secretary General of the Department of Health, as ‘shocking’ and said that the Government has serious questions to answer, after Simon Harris contradicted Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s claims that the Cabinet had approved this €81k pay rise.
Teachta Farrell, who also serves as the Vice Chair of the Budgetary Oversight Committee, said:
“The Tánaiste claimed that the decision to increase Robert Watt’s salary significantly above the top threshold was approved by Cabinet, and yet at the same time Simon Harris has told us that the decision wasn’t brought before Cabinet. So, it seems the claims don’t add up.
“At a time when many PUP recipients are being retrospectively taxed, government Ministers are saying that it’s important that the Oireachtas gets the opportunity to scrutinise the salary of the Secretary General.
“The Taoiseach has already said that this is a matter for Minister McGrath and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Today, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar similarly said this was a matter for Minister McGrath.
“I believe it is high time we got some clarity on this and that Minister McGrath took ownership of this decision. I am calling on him to come before the Dáil and make a statement on the matter.”