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Friday 20 September 2019

Top civil servants paid €22k more than Taoiseach

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar earns €185,350-a-year
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar earns €185,350-a-year

Senior civil servants now earn over €22,000 more than the Taoiseach after a pay hike last week.

A €3,570 wage increase under the current public sector pay deal pushed the yearly wages of secretaries general of government departments at the top of the payscale to €207,590.

However, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's wages stand at €185,350-a-year after he and his ministers waived all wage rises in recent years.

Pay of secretaries general rose to €204,020 on April 1 this year, up from €199,136 last year.

Their pay, therefore, exceeds a €200,000 pay cap for new recruits to the public sector.

A Department of Public Expenditure and Reform circular says the revised pay scale for a grade one secretary general due to the latest 1.75pc pay rise last Sunday is €207,590.

It is €197,211 for those in the second grade, known as 'secretaries general II', and €186,831 for grade three.

Highest

When asked how many secretaries general are on the highest rate, a Department of Public Expenditure and Reform spokesperson said it does not hold the information.

However, it is understood that secretaries general at the Department of the Taoiseach and Department of Finance are at the top of the pay scale.

Higher principal officers' pay starts at €89,219, rising to €109,430, while administrative officers earn up to €58,556.

A clerical officer's pay starts at €24,704, rising to €37,901.

Cleaners are paid €20,660 rising to €25,835, while a nightwatchman earns €28,229.

The Taoiseach and ministers agreed to gift pay rises back to the State in 2016.

This followed public outrage after it emerged that they would benefit from pay rises while pension increases were delayed.

"A government decision was made in 2016 that government members would not benefit from the restoration benefits of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2015," said the department.

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