MINISTER for Transport Leo Varadkar said he won’t “kick sand” in his Fine Gael colleague Alan Shatter’s face as he faces pressure to waive his €70,000 severance.
As a former justice minister, Mr Shatter is entitled to accept the payment as the law hadn’t been enforced at the time of his resignation.
This morning, Taoiseach Enda Kenny called on Mr Shatter to reject the payment.
The Taoiseach repeated his expectations that Mr Shatter would reject the perk as he “was obviously at the Cabinet table when we approved this”, he told MidWest Radio this morning.
“The intent and the principle and the law was to eliminate severance pay for all ministers. And while I can’t force any individual, I do hope that the former Minister for justice will comply with that intent,” said Mr Kenny.
However, Minister Varadkar said he wouldn’t be pushing his Fine Gael colleague to make a commitment at this point.
“Legislation was passed by the government and by the Oireachtas and he voted for that. So it would stand to reason that he wouldn’t take it,” he said.
“But bare in mind the Alan is somebody who did work very hard for a very long time to become Minister for Justice and he had to resign in very difficult circumstances.
“I don’t want to kick him when he’s down,” he added. “He has been through a very rough time in the last couple of weeks and I don’t want to be the kind of person who will kick sand in a man’s face.”
Mr Varadkar told Morning Ireland that the Government hope to have it signed into law before the upcoming reshuffle.