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Leo Varadkar Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Pay Cap

Varadkar under fire after requesting €135k salary for adviser

Sinn Féin representative Paul Donnelly called the figure “an absolute disgrace”.

MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT Leo Varadkar has been heavily criticised after reportedly requesting an annual salary of €135,000 for a ministerial adviser.

Sinn Féin representative Paul Donnelly labelled Varadkar’s request “an absolute disgrace”, saying that the salary would work out at more than €2,600 a week at a time when many organisations are facing cuts. He said:

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has sought to overturn his own party’s commitment to limit special advisers’ pay. This is at a time when the ordinary citizen of this state is being asked to pay more and more from their salaries through charges and cuts.

The official pay scale for ministerial advisers sets their maximum pay at €92,672 – roughly €42,000 less than the amount sought by Varadkar.

“This attempt to secure this disgraceful salary at the taxpayer’s expense shows that only one year into this government’s five year term, they are starting to lose touch with reality,” said Donnelly, who contested a Dáil seat in Varadkar’s Dublin West constituency.

Mary Minihan reports in the Irish Times that a ‘compromise’ salary of €105,837 was agreed for Varadkar’s advisor Brian Murphy after Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin rejected the initial request.

Special adviser’s €130,000 salary ‘shows utter hypocrisy of cost-cutting’>

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