No public inquiry into top-up payments for senior health executives, says Gilmore

Adams says payments grossly unacceptable

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore: “I do not agree that we need some kind of full-blown public inquiry on the levels of pay in the different agencies.”

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore: “I do not agree that we need some kind of full-blown public inquiry on the levels of pay in the different agencies.”

Wed, Dec 4, 2013, 01:00

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has ruled out a public inquiry into top-up payments to senior executives in the health service.

“I do not agree that we need some kind of full-blown public inquiry on the levels of pay in the different agencies.’’

Mr Gilmore said there was a dispute between the HSE and the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) with regard to what happened and whether a level of payment was approved. “I am glad the CRC has issued a statement on that and it has agreed to co-operate with the Oireachtas committee on the issue.’’

Mr Gilmore was replying to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, who said the CRC was currently the focus of controversy over so-called top-ups to senior executives. There were contradictory claims about who knew what and when issues were known regarding the topping up of payments.

“At a time of widespread cutbacks it is grossly unacceptable that money donated to charity be used to line the pockets of already very highly paid senior executives. The latest revelations have deeply angered citizens across the State, and there is a crisis of confidence about how donations to charities are being used despite the fact that 95 per cent of charities are not affected by this scandal.’’

Mr Gilmore said he agreed that people who donated to charities were to be commended for their generosity.

“That work should not be undermined by what has happened in some agencies and issues relating to the pay of senior executives.

“We have to bear in mind that this issue has come to the fore because the HSE has undertaken a study of the different agencies and levels of pay.’’

The process started by the HSE was continuing, he said. There should be transparency around levels of pay, and it was particularly important for confidence to be restored in bodies in receipt of donations from the public. “I believe it will be,’’ he said.