THE THREE junior ministers who were the centre of controversy earlier in the week after the Government voted to give each of them a €16,000 pay rise have decided to return one lump sum.
Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party TDs voted last weekend to give three 'super junior' ministers a €16,000 earnings boost on top of their €124,000 salary for serving as a Minister of State, sparking an enormous backlash from both the public and opposition parties.
The vote was taken as usually only two 'super junior' ministers are entitled to the massive pay rise, however the three-party coalition has three junior ministers.
Now however, Fianna Fáil chief whip Jack Chambers, Fine Gael Minister of State for Roads Hildegarde Naughton, and Green Party senator Pippa Hackett, a junior minister in the Department of Agriculture, announced they will return one of the payrises and instead split the remaining €32,000 between them.
Instead of receiving €16,000 each, the three 'super junior' ministers will instead receive an extra €10,000.
In a statement yesterday, the Government confirmed that the "three Junior Ministers who sit at Cabinet, Minister Jack Chambers TD, Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD and Minister Pippa Hackett have decided to waive and gift back to the State the increased allocation which was approved by the Dáil last week.”
“This is in addition to the 10 per cent pay cut for all Ministers, which was collectively agreed by Cabinet yesterday.”
The 10% pay cut referenced by the statement, which was announced on Monday, is essentially a renewal of the voluntary cuts taken by the former government which lapsed when the new government was formed.
Despite the 'pay cut', Ministers in the current Government are in fact paid more than the previous government-- you can read more here.