Northern Ireland Government seems to have a propensity to hire many of these 'gifted and talented' individuals to 'help us rule.' The Office of First and Deputy First ministers has 8 between them. The 12 Executive departments as a whole have 19 advisors. The newest DUP MLA Emma Pengelly, defended the amount paid to Special advisors, claiming the only way the Executive could attract the best and brightest was to offer attractive rates of pay. In this way specialists such as herself (from a law background) could be hired and their expertise used.
WHY IS THIS AN ISSUE?
- Well if you consider that the whole Welsh Assembly has less than what we have for one office (OFMDFM) it seems a trifle ridiculous
- These advisors are paid extraordinary amounts of money - Up to £92,000 annually for their services. This comes from the public purse (our taxes)
- Finally, what are they advising on and can it be seen to be effective? The Executive is clearly malfunctioning!