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Department of Health confirms Robert Watt is now in receipt of full €292,000 salary

The Secretary General had temporarily waived an €81,000 pay rise.

Watt was waiving the pay increase
Watt was waiving the pay increase "until the economy begins to recover".
Image: Oireachtas TV

THE DEPARTMENT OF Health has confirmed that the department’s Secretary General is now in receipt of his full salary including an €81,000 pay hike.

Robert Watt previously secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, where he earned €211,000. In his new current role in the Department of Health he was to received an increased a salary of €292,000.

In a statement accompanying the government’s announcement of his appointment in April 2020, Watt said he would temporarily waive the €81,000 salary increase “until the economy begins to recover and unemployment falls”.

Questions had been raised in the past week about whether has now accepted the pay increase, with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar saying yesterday that this was a “private matter”

In a statement today, the department said: “The Secretary General has confirmed that he is in receipt of the full salary for his role.”

Opposition TDs criticised the decision to appoint Watt last year, highlighting the temporary waiving of the €81,000 pay increase . 

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Social Democrats co-leader, and Public Accounts Committee Vice Chair, Catherine Murphy TD had said that she welcomed Watt’s decision to waive the increase, but said it should be made permanent.

- With reporting by Christina Finn

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Rónán Duffy

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