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SF condemns €17,205 pay boost for Labour junior minister

The government has given Jan O’Sullivan a pay raise in line with her status as a ‘super-junior’ minister with a seat at Cabinet.

Junior minister Jan O'Sullivan receives an extra €17,205 payment because of her role as a 'super-junior' minister.
Junior minister Jan O'Sullivan receives an extra €17,205 payment because of her role as a 'super-junior' minister.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

SINN FÉIN has condemned the government’s decision to sign off on a pay raise worth more than €17,000 to the newest member of the Cabinet.

A government order signed on January 31, which came to light earlier this week, gives Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan an extra allowance of €17,205 per year, in line with her status as a ‘super-junior’ minister with a seat at the Cabinet table.

O’Sullivan, who was already a junior minister with responsibility for international aid, was transferred to the Department of the Environment where she took up the housing portfolio on December 20.

That job comes with a seat at the Cabinet table – and an extra €17,205, on top of a junior minister’s annual salary of €130,042.

A similar sum is paid to the government chief whip, Paul Kehoe, who also sits at Cabinet meetings. O’Sullivan’s predecessor in the housing brief, Willie Penrose, received a similar payment for the eight months he held the role.

Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman condemned the payment in the Dáil, telling social protection minister Joan Burton that the payment came while the public were “struggling with the results of the Budget you have introduced”.

Burton, in response, remarked that Sinn Féin’s members of the House of Commons had claimed an accumulated total of around £5 million “in terms of staffing and other supports”.

The statutory instrument which certifies O’Sullivan’s extra pay has not yet been published. The government is entitled to make extra payments to two ‘super-junior’ ministers attending Cabinet meetings under laws passed in 2001.

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Gavan Reilly

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