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Any prospect of the proposed salary increase being backdated should also be discounted immediately

The incoming permanent Secretary General of the Department of Health, Robert Watt, should permanently waive the €81,000 pay increase that accompanies his new job, according to Social Democrats co-leader, and PAC Vice Chair, Catherine Murphy.

“I welcome the decision of Mr Watt to waive this extraordinary salary increase – but any waiver should be permanent, not temporary.

“Confirming his appointment today, Mr Watt reportedly said he didn’t believe it was appropriate for his salary to be increased, from €211,000 to €292,000, “given the current difficult economic conditions the country faces”. This is true, but it is difficult to envision a situation in which economic conditions, no matter how favourable, would justify a salary increase of that magnitude.

“Mr Watt’s statement is also unclear on whether, if economic conditions do improve at some future date, his salary increase will be backdated to the date when he permanently assumed the role he has been doing on an interim basis since January. This should be discounted, immediately.

20 April, 2021


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