Extra Junior Ministers will increase costs to over €3m a year
Labour Party Leader Alan Kelly TD has questioned the rationale for the creation of even more Junior Ministers in the middle of a global recession and estimated that the three new offices and increase in number of special advisors will bring the annual costs to over €3m a year.
Deputy Kelly said:
“The new government is returning to the same number of junior ministers as Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern had. In the last global recession those numbers were cut by a quarter to 15. As we face a global recession post-Covid, I would question the need to have twenty junior ministers and no explanation has been put forward by the trio of Leaders why they are creating new Ministries.
“There are a range of costs associated with junior ministries and the last Fine Gael government also brought back a lot more special advisers for existing Ministers increasing the costs even more.
“I estimate that the extra costs from drivers to advisors will bring the total bill to at least €3million a year. There is no need for junior ministers to have special advisors. There will be 40 drivers (approx. €35,000 per annum), up to 20 special advisors (approx. €80,000 per annum), and further Ministerial stipends of nearly €39,000, on top of the existing outlays, and expenses of each specific Ministerial office.
“There is no evidence that increasing the number of Ministers of State actually leads to better governance in Ireland. Now with Fianna Fáil back in office there seems to be a lot more jobs being created in government to keep everyone happy, and Fine Gael and the Greens had no problem signing up.
“Rather than take stock of the financial dire straights we find ourselves in, the incoming Government seem to be more focused on ensuring that their respective parliamentary parties are soothed by the idea of ministerial office.
“There is no need for an excessive amount of 20 ministers of State in the current climate. This decision should be reconsidered.”