The Department of Public Expenditure has published a full list of all special adviser salaries on their website.
There are a handful of cases where people have jumped up the salary scale beyond the point that they shouldÂ normally startÂ as reported here previously.
There are also a couple of instances where individuals are above theÂ scale altogether, mostly because of pre-existing deals.
However, it is worth pointing outÂ that the costs here are well down from 2011.
And I would like to think that had something to do with theÂ long series of FOI-based storiesÂ about salary cap breaches in those early days of the Fine Gael & Labour coalition, includingÂ this story I did on the negotiations for one adviserÂ Ciaran Conlon and his €127,000 salary.
Again, I think we are seeing here one of the subtle but clear benefits of Freedom of Information where there is an obvious reluctance now by Ministers to get involved in making “business cases” to break salary caps.
The agreement that special advisers could be placed anywhere on the salary scale seems to me to be a halfway measure designed to give some wriggle room and at the same timeÂ not have emails and letters floating around demanding six-figure salaries.
So we now have a much lower annual pay bill and thoseÂ savings will continue for however long the current government lasts … mostlyÂ thanks to our Freedom of Information Act.
You can read the full list of appointments with salaries below: