herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

New rift in Kenny's Cabinet over civil servant salary cap

RELATIONS in Enda Kenny's Cabinet have deteriorated further with a new dispute between his finance ministers.

A fresh row was brewing today over the €200,000 salary cap for senior civil servants.

The disagreement between Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin follows a Christmas of discontent that saw James Reilly, Roisin Shortall and Joan Burton all embroiled in rows.

It has now emerged that tensions are mounting over the salary being offered to the new secretary general at the Department of Finance.

The position has become available because of Kevin Cardiff's plum appointment to the European Court of Auditors.



Determined

It is understood that the pay cap is causing a fresh rift between Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin.

Mr Noonan is believed to be determined to raise the cap in order to attract higher profile candidates to the position -- a view strongly opposed by his Labour counterpart.

It has emerged that the cap is proving a deterrent to some potential candidates, despite it being equal to the Taoiseach's salary.

The refusal by the Department of Finance to pay the flights and accommodation costs for overseas applicants has also caused dismay.

The opposition will be watching closely to see if the Government moves to breach the cap -- as it did when it appointed Ciaran Conlon as an adviser to Jobs Minister Richard Bruton.

hnews@herald.ie

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