Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has criticised the Taoiseach Enda Kenny for introducing a statutory instrument which awards Junior Minister for Housing Jan O’Sullivan €17,205 tax free annually on top of her €130,000 salary for the simple privilege of attending cabinet meetings.
Deputy Doherty said the payment, which is more than one and a half times what social welfare recipients get, is unwarranted and a kick in the teeth to the thousands of people who are struggling to make ends meet.
He said: “Enda Kenny signed the statutory instrument on the 31st of January which also continued an allowance for the same amount for the Chief Whip Paul Kehoe.
“The extra payment attached to the position, which is €326 per week on top of her minister’s salary of €130,000 per year, is because the super junior minister attends cabinet meetings.
“This is beyond a joke. There are thousands of families across the state struggling to get by. Children are going to bed cold and to school hungry as parents struggle with bills and mortgage payments.
“This payment shows how out of touch with reality this government really is. It is a kick in the teeth to the thousands of people who are struggling to make ends meet. It should be withdrawn immediately.”