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Micheal to earn €1.5k more than Leo despite Cabinet's 10pc pay cut

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Tanaiste Leo Varadkar with Taoiseach Micheal Martin

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar with Taoiseach Micheal Martin

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar with Taoiseach Micheal Martin

Micheal Martin will be paid almost €1,500 more as Taoiseach than his predecessor Leo Varadkar despite announcing a 10pc pay cut for himself and Government ministers.

Senior ministers will also be better off to the tune of around €1,100 than their counterparts in the last government under plans to change senior politicians' pay.

Mr Martin announced what he billed as a Government decision "to cut 10pc of its pay across the board".

Waived

The move comes after massive criticism of a plan to extend a €16,000 salary top-up to all three 'super junior' ministers.

The Taoiseach admitted the issue "could have been handled better" as he revealed the Cabinet decision on wider ministerial pay.

However, the 10pc cut to the gross salary on offer to the Taoiseach and his ministers will leave them getting paid more than their counterparts in the previous Fine Gael-led minority government.

That is because ministers in the last government waived pay restoration salary increases that were due under the public service pay agreements.

They voluntarily waived the increases as the country recovered from the last recession.

The most recent reported salary for Mr Varadkar when he was taoiseach was €185,350.

Mr Martin is to be paid €186,831 under the Government's planned changes to pay for Cabinet members and junior ministers.

Senior ministers in the last government were on €157,000; they will now get €158,129.

The situation is set to fuel further controversy over the salaries of Ireland's senior politicians.

A Government spokesperson last night said ministers would not be accepting a 2pc pay increase due in October.

She said that the official salary of the Taoiseach is €207,590.

She said the €185,350 figure that Mr Varadkar had been on was the sum after the waiving of pay restoration due under Fempi (Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) legislation.

She said last night's announcement was "a straight 10pc salary cut and Government will also not be accepting the 2pc pay increase due in October under the Public Services Stability Agreement".

The Government has been under fire after voting in the Dail to allow all three super junior ministers - Fianna Fail's Jack Chambers, Fine Gael's Hildegarde Naughton and the Green Party's Pippa Hackett - to get a €16,288 pay hike.

The allowance was previously limited to two junior ministers who sit at Cabinet.

Fianna Fail previously prevented an attempt by the former Fine Gael minority government to extend the allowance to a third super junior, Mary Mitchell O'Connor.

Mr Martin has defended the €16,000 allowance to a third junior minister.