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Public Expenditure and Reform, Secretary General Robert Watt

This morning.

Irish Tax Payer writes:

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has set a new pay rate of €292,000 for the position of secretary general of the Department of Health.

The current Civil Service salary regulations set the the highest grade at €211,000 so this new rate represents a 40% pay increase.

The current head of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform who set and approved this salary increase is… Robert Watt.

It is widely reported that the top job at the Department of Health will go to…wait for it….Robert Watt.

Conflict of interest?


Robert Watt to become new secretary general of Department of Health (irish Times)


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17 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. ( ̄_, ̄ ) AKA Frilly Keane

    Depends on who made the decision, and how the decision was made

    was it his own department with a type of remuneration committee with the State Appointments Services
    or was it just himself by way of a Memo to payroll in the Dept of Health

    In a Committee setting, it was probably an Agenda item, that was circulated in advance, along with supporting materials, then
    and as long as the conflict was declared at the top of the meeting when the agenda was finalised
    and all those voting on the the decision were aware of it
    and yer man Robert, if in attendance, took his leave of the room to permit free and open discussion and voting to take place, and it was all recorded as per into the minutes of the meeting

    Then its a Nothing to see here really, as the majority of Senior Posts are made up of these people going up and over, and back and sideways between themselves

    If it was a Government Decision, like brought by the Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath to the Cabinet, then ideally the Minister would have spoke to it, made the case and probably circulated a briefing note in advance of the meeting, so as to fully inform his Cabinet Colleagues of this material shift in pay policies

    *Robert Watt doesn’t have a cabinet Vote,

    that’s the way it goes, jobs for the boys
    and they all go along with it because
    one day, they know it will be their turn
    Whether tis Cabinet, or Committee

    It will never change, because, like I said…. one day

    * that doesn’t mean Mr Watt didn’t influence his Minister in advance, but knowing McGrath – doubtful. In fact I’d say, if this lad was any good, McGrath would have wanted him to stay in his dept rather than send him over to Donnelly’s

    1. Otis Blue

      He’s from Drumcondra too. Maybe all middle-aged men from there look like that.

      Wasn’t he appointed to the board of the FAI as an independent Director a few months back?

  2. Stephen

    What the actual f***?
    The sheer audacity of it, cheeky bugger.

    The lad can’t even tie his tie properly or get a suit that fits and he is going to get over 8 times the median salary.

      1. Cian

        2008 pay scales:
        SECRETARY GENERAL:€221,929
        ASSISTANT SECRETARY €131,748 […] €150,712
        PRINCIPAL (HIGHER) €92,730 […] €114,366²

        2020 Pay scales:
        SECRETARY GENERAL I €211,742
        ASSISTANT SECRETARY €135,299[…] €154,775
        PRINCIPAL HIGHER €91,003 […] €111, 619²


        Not only are the higher grades paid LESS now than twelve years ago, they also pay 10.5% Additional Superannuation Contributions towards their pensions.

        A Sec Gen in 2020 gets €189,509 after pension contributions. €32K less than 12 years ago…. Or 14.6% less.


  3. Joe

    The governmental and senior civil service sleaze deliberately fostered by FF/FG is so strong why would anyone be surprised?

  4. ce

    Anybody got the number for the persons earning over 150,000 in the public service and the number of people earning below 40,000?

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