BANKERS’ PAY AND pensions must be tackled if the spread of the Budget burden is to be “in any way fair”, Labour Party TD for Dublin North Brendan Ryan has said.
Speaking in response to a Fianna Fáil Private Members Motion on the delays in the processing of third level student grant applications, Deputy Ryan said that the country would “not stand” for further cuts in education and other frontline services if the issue of bankers’ remuneration was not addressed.
“We are facing into a very difficult Budget and people are worried about further cuts and taxes. News, such as was released last week, that a new executive in the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation was due to earn an annual salary in excess of €500,000 per annum, is like a dagger to the heart of the morale of the Irish people,” Ryan said. “With salaries and pensions of executives still at exorbitant levels, the public are quite rightly seething with anger.”
Figures recently released by the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan reveal the head of the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation (IBRC), Mike Aynsley, was paid more than €600,000 in temporary allowances between 2009 and 2011.
It was also revealed last week that six current executives at the former Anglo Irish Bank earn in excess of €500,000 a year – despite the government’s cap on remuneration packages for bankers being set at half a million euro.
Meanwhile, in response to a parliamentary question by Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty, Noonan confirmed that CEO of Irish Life, Kevin Murphy, receives a “salary of €500,000 and other remuneration of €86,000” – a remuneration package that also breaches the government’s own pay cap.
Despite expressing understanding with the public’s sense of outrage concerning the payment packages of top banking officials, Ryan nonetheless described the motion by Fianna Fáil as “opportunistic and populist.”
“The new single awarding body for third level grants, the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), has gotten off to a shaky start and the delays that have occurred are unacceptable. Minister Quinn is aware of this and has put extra resources into fixing this problem. Fianna Fáil are trying to bank cheap political capital on the back of this issue in an opportunistic and populist manner,” he said.