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Public Accounts Committee to examine HSE allowances

In considering the allowances, the committee will compare the Irish system of compensating medical staff with international systems.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS Committee will have its final meeting on the examination of allowances paid in the public sector today with Tony O’Brien, Deputy CEO/Director General Designate of the HSE.

According to the HSE 2011 Appropriation Account, €122.4 million was paid in allowances, €169.9 million in overtime, €256.6 million in night and weekend payments and €49.9 million in on-call payments to employees. The vast majority of all allowances and overtime were paid to staff in clinical roles.

Total pay for HSE staff for 2011 amounted to €5.051 billion and 41,834 staff were in receipt of an allowance of some kind excluding premium payments for nights or weekends.

Details of 41 allowances payable to HSE staff have been supplied to the Public Accounts Committee. Of these, there was no estimated annual cost for two, while seven are on the list of allowances prioritised for early elimination. Business cases were submitted to the Department of Public Expenditure for 20 of these allowances.

Ahead of the meeting Chairman of the Committee, John McGuinness, said: “As part of our review of HSE allowances, members will have a chance to explore the scope of the allowances being paid to HSE staff; examine the business cases that have been provided for 20 allowances; and question why were business cases not submitted to the department for 21 of the 41 allowance.”

“We will also have a chance to consider how the Irish system of compensating medical staff compares with international systems, including the UK.”

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The meeting will begin at 2pm today.

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