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1 Debates Charity salaries

Continued pressure to implement charities legislation

Conway: charities should fund register

Mulcahy: stop all money for advocacy groups 

Martin Conway (FG, administrative) asked for a debate on the implementation  of the Charities Act (Seanad Eireann, 13th November 2013, 499). There should be a charities register, which should be funded from the charity sector itself.  Every time people put a  euro in a budget, bought a line or donated clothes, they were handing over something they had worked hard to obtain.  People would like to see the charity sector properly regulated.  There were many organizations working on a shoestring budget, but there were others, unfortunately, less noble about how they did their business.  The legislation was in place and only needed to be implemented.  We needed a debate to discuss the good work being done and expose those less honourable in conducting their business.  


Tony Mulcahy (FG labour) said that he always had one question to ask Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): “how much is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the management team being paid?” (Seanad Eireann, Debates, 20th November 2013, 712, 719).  The salaries in intellectual disability service providers and various NGOs are more than 40% higher than the Health Service Executive (HSE), he asserted.  He wanted a special debate on the salaries paid to these people.  He did not believe that a CEO in any of these agencies should be paid more than a Principal Officer, for that was a fair wage.  It was beyond him how anybody can justify drawing a salary of €220,000 in the intellectual disability sector and in excess of €300,000 in rehabilitation care and he identified them as the Brothers of Charity, Daughters of Charity, St Joseph’s and St Michael’s House.  This money was given by government to spend on our behalf and they were spending a lot of it, much of it on themselves.  In addition to the salary, there would be a new car every two years and, more than likely, a free telephone: they do not put their hands in their pockets to buy them.  He continued:


We must stop this.   A total of €3.4bn is going to these groups.  Another key issue is the advocacy groups.  They provide no service at all.  They advocate on behalf of the clients.  I firmly believe all the money given to advocacy groups should be stopped immediately. It is going to pay the CEOs €150,000 to €200,000 and what they primarily do is tell the HSE or the government what my daughter needs.  We do not need anybody to act on our behalf.   We can do it ourselves.  We do not need an advocacy group.  That money must be stopped now and spent more appropriately on the front-line services that all members rave.  I ask the leader to invite the minister to the house for a special debate on §38 fund- ing and what we are getting for it.  There is €3.4bn involved, which is serious money.  The next time members receive a representation from any of these people, they should ask them how much they pay their CEO.  They will be stunned at the levels of pay.


Maurice Cummins (FG, labour) agreed: the salaries of NGOs in the disability and charity sectors appeared to be excessive and we needed to discuss it at length.

> Charity salaries: Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th November 2013, 544-5.