Ireland’s Salaries And Public Expenditure by Annette J Dunlea
Published In The Carrigdhoun Newspaper 4th August 2012 p.11
The Taoiseach earns €214,178, in 2011 it was 200,000 and his net of pension levy is €181,050.The Tanaiste currently earns €197,486, in 2011 he earned €184,405 and his net pension levy is €167,092.Ministers now earn €181,283, in 2011 it was €169,275 and their pension levies are at €153,551.The minister of state earns €139,266, in 2011 it was €130,042 and his pension levy is €118,438.The basic Dail salary of €92,672. The rest are either ministers, holders of positions in the Oireachtas or entitled to long-service bonus payments.
Here is a look at their public expenditure in 2012, as recently published by The Central Statistics Office.The Taoiseach’s Group – €156,578, Finance Group – €428,456, Public Expenditure and Reform Group -€ 970,910, Justice Group – €2,300,219, Environment Group -€ 1,328,061, Education Group – €9,033,643, Foreign Affairs Group- €739,861, Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Group – €437,410, Agriculture Group – €1,311,934, Transport Group – €2,041,186, Enterprise Group – €881,553, Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Group -€ 277,039, Defence Group – €902,359,Social Protection Group – €20,546,724,Health Group – €14,042,751, Children and Youth Affairs Group – €426,980 and the Contingency Group – €30,000.The CSO website lists the Year By Year Public Expenditure Of The Irish Government.In 2005 the total government expenditure was €45,095,031, in 2006 – €50,016,306, in 2007 – €56,426,010, in 2008 – €62,395,042, 2009 – €63,051,261,2010 – €60,563,570, 2011 – €57,382,295 and in 2012 – €55,855,664.Each Department prepared a Comprehensive Expenditure Report in respect of the Department and its associated agencies, to identify expenditure programme savings, scope for savings arising from efficiency and other reforms, proposals for reducing and/or merging of agencies and associated reductions in staff numbers. The objectives of the Expenditure Review process was to provide the Government with a comprehensive set of decision options :to meet the overall fiscal consolidation objectives, both as regards spending and numbers reduction targets,to re-align spending with the Programme for Government priorities and in this context, to consider new ways of achieving Government objectives in the context of public sector reform.Under the CRE, Ministers and Departments had the responsibility to evaluate every budgetary programme for which they are responsible, within both Departments and Agencies.
After a breakdown of the Social Partnership Agreement in 2009, public wages were cut by 13.5 percent over two years. The cuts were progressive, with those earning over €100,000 facing net pay reductions of up to 30 percent. In March 2010, the government struck a new multi-year deal Croke Park Agreement with public sector unions, protecting workers against layoffs and further wage cuts, in exchange for a validation of the 2009–10 pay cuts and cooperation on voluntary retirements, redeployments and other efficiency measures to help achieve targeted pay bill savings. Other measures since adopted or in progress include: for new entrants, a 10 percent additional reduction in salaries and a unified public service pension scheme; for public service pensioners, a 4 percent average levy; and a €200,000 salary cap.
Brendan Howlin has approved breaches of the public-sector pay ceiling eight times since taking up the post in March last year.Six of the breaches involved the appointment of advisers by Government Ministers. The others concerned the recruitment of chief executives of the ESB and VHI.Three Labour ministers, including Mr Howlin, and three from Fine Gael, have appointed advisers whose pay exceeds the recommended €92,672 threshold, which is equivalent to the salary of the highest paid principal officers in the Civil Service.Mr Howlin revealed that, at €127,796, Edward Brophy, a former senior associate with Arthur Cox solicitors, was the highest paid of the advisers who received approval to breach the cap. He is special adviser to Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton.Ciarán Conlon – special adviser to Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton – is paid €127,000 a year. He is a former Fine Gael communications director.Mr Howlin’s special adviser, Ronan O’Brien, earns €114,000. He was previously chef de cabinet to Ruairí Quinn when the now Minister for Education was Labour leader.Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney’s adviser Ross Mac Mathúna, a former Glanbia manager, is paid €110,000 a year. He replaced former Greencore executive Fergal Leamy, who left after five months. Mr Coveney had sought a €130,000 salary for the post.Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar’s special adviser Brian Murphy is also chairman of the party’s executive council. His salary is €105,837. He was previously the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association’s commercial affairs director.Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte’s special adviser is Simon Nugent, former chief executive of the Irish Travel Agents Association. He earns €97,200.Mr Howlin said he had set a general pay cap of €250,000 a year for chief executive officers of commercial State companies but he had acknowledged that the chief executive of the ESB would be paid more, given the importance of the role, and that he had sanctioned €318,083 a year.The Government instructed Department of Finance officials to draw up new guidelines on special advisers’ pay when it came to power, but it retained the right to breach the wage ceiling in “exceptional circumstances”.The new guidelines state special advisers should normally be paid €80,051, the same as the lowest-paid principal officer in the Civil Service, but a cap of €92,672 was set, the equivalent of the salary of the highest-paid principal officer.The cap does not apply to the office of the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, where four advisers earn more than €155,000.The Government last year set a general pay ceiling of €250,000 for new chief executives of commercial State companies.However, pay for the second tier of management in such companies is determined by company boards and is not published.
An Irish government-sponsored report has revealed that Irish medical professional and teacher salaries are among some of the highest in the world. The report was focused on the costs of doing business in Ireland by the National Competitiveness Council.Irish elementary school teachers are among the highest paid in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The report also found that health specialists in Ireland, on average, earn $225,000.A junior doctor in a hospital earns anout €60,000 per year plus overtime.With 4,700 juniors working in hospitals, this works out at an average overtime payout of €43,000.Nearly one quarter of GPs are now charging over €60 for a visit and a larger sum for a home visit, many don’t offer this service.A hospital consultant earns €192,429 yearly.Medical professors earn €241,539, associate medical professor €225,873, medical lecturer €210,243 and college lecturer €206,055 yearly.Further to salary consultants are paid an on call fee of €3,857 to €10,460 depending on the number of calls they received.Per call out they receive €78.589 per time with an annual limit of €22,303.A medical officer earns bewteen €26,968 and €45,753 depending on the number of beds in the hospital.A nurse’s salary starts at €27,210.60 and rises to €39,420.A senior staff nurses earns €46,254 annually.A community psychiatric nurse earns €45,552 yearly.The OECD report stated “Irish health specialists receive the highest average salary of the group for which data is available.”Findings for the salaries for nurses are similar. Irish nurses earn more than their counterparts except for those in Luxembourg, Norway and Liechtenstein.Doctors in Ireland earn four times as much as their counterparts in Greece and Portugal and twice as much as those in Germany, Finland and Norway.The troubled Irish Health Service Executive spends most of its annual budget on these high salaries and less on medical supplies or equipment.
Elementary school teachers in Ireland are also paid 15 percent above the average of the 24 countries in the OECD.Since 2011 teachers with 15 years experience or more are paid the second highest, second to Luxembourg.In Ireland today a national school teacher earns bewteen €21,587 and €31,551.An extra teaching allowance is paid to them and it varies from €1,848 and €3,954. Secondary school teachers are paid in Ireland in €27,418 starting amnd rising annually with increments to €53,423 after 25 years service.Qualified part-time teachers earn €46.85 per hour while trainees earn €40.85.A principal gets and aditional yearly allowance according to the size of his school: for school size 1 he gets an extra €9,310, for school size 11 he gets an extra €29,776 and for school size 27 an extra €42,469.Each teacher is also given an annual allowance for academic qualifications : €532 for a pass in an H.Dip In Education but €1,112 is the allowance if you have a first or second class honours in your teaching diplomia.Another allowance of €1,112 is paid for those holding the Ard Teastas qualification.€1,658 is another allowance paid for holding a primary (undergraduate) degree with a pass grade and €4,426 allowance is paid for a pass in a masters degree.This allowance rises of graduates have a first or second class honours degree to €4,426 and an honour in a masters degree yields €4,496 extra allowance in your salary yearly and for those holding a doctorate degree another annual allowance of €5,526 is paid ontop of their teacher salary.Adult literacy facilitators salary start at €41,474 and rises to €53,451 depending on years service.A youth reach worker earns bewteen €36,209 rising with increments to €54,584.An assistant lecturer in the IT colleges starts at €39,715 and this rises to €44,539, plus allowances.A senior lecturer earns €74,406 and €104,770. A college teacher earns €37,016 and it rises to €65,837.Assistant lecturer’s part-time hourly rate is €56.74.
The unemployed get maximum €188 per week, a qualified adult gets €124.80 and a parent gets €29.80 per week per child.You will only get a half-rate IQC if you and your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant are both getting a social welfare payment. You will each get a half-rate IQC.Adults 18 -21 get on the dole €100 per week and an adult bewtten 22-24 gets a weekly rate of €144.To get Jobseeker’s Allowance you must:be unemployed, be over 18 and under 66 years of age, be capable of work, be available for and genuinely seeking work, satisfy the means test and meet the Habitual Residence Condition.