Charities

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Charity salaries

In the Seanad, Colm Burke (FG, agricultural) raised charity salaries on the adjournment (Seanad Eireann, Debates, 26th November 2013, 832-4).  The HSE funded 2,680 organizations with €3.27bn, which was 25% of the health budget and he was concerned that salaries did not correspond with HSE guidelines.  Would procedures be put in place to ensure that they were?  Responding for the government, the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government Fergus O’Dowd told him that under the Health Act, 2004, s.38 set down for organizations to provide services for the HSE while s.39 provided grant-aid.  Under s.38, such bodies were classified as public servants and abided by public sector salaries schemes and benefit, while under s.39 there was a register of more than 2,600 separate agencies which provided key information on every funding arrangement and 98% of agencies were within the governance framework.  From 2013, they were required to report on salaries, allowances and benefits for grade 8 or above.

 

Aideen Hayden (Lab, Taoiseach nominee) spoke of the impact of confidence on the charity sector if it is understood that donations were going to top up people’s salaries (Seanad Eireann, Debates, 28th November 2013, 926).  Christmas was a time when charities were dependent on people for most of the money they received in the year and she wanted the minister to come to the house to assure people there was sufficient regulation to ensure money brought in would go where it was needed.