The Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has awarded two of her staff salaries that are significantly higher than pay cap for special advisors introduced by her own Government.

Information received through a parliamentary question tabled by Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea reveals that one member of the Tánaiste’s staff is on an annual salary of €144,550, while another receives an annual salary of €114,424.

The pay cap for special advisors set by the Government is €92,672, which means that the Tánaiste has a member of staff on almost €52,000 above that cap.

Deputy O’Dea commented, “These figures clearly illustrate the hypocrisy of the Labour Party. It’s just another example of this Government saying one thing and then doing another. In reality it is just another broken promise and demonstrates that the Government will breach their own rules when it suits them.

“The high salaries awarded by the Tánaiste must be particularly galling to those who have seen huge reductions in their income as a result of decisions she has taken as Minister for Social Protection. The simple fact is that Fine Gael and Labour’s policies have benefited the better off in society. They have widened the rich-poor gap, and poverty and deprivation have increased since they came into office.

“The breaching of the pay cap is just another example of how this Government abandoned the promises they made to secure office and is a reminder of how new promises about what they will do in the future should simply be ignored,” said Deputy O’Dea.