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Taoiseach denies misleading the Dáil over Irish Water bonus claims

Sean Fleming says the Taoiseach has “serious questions” to answer.

Image: Niall Carson

Updated: 17.00

ENDA KENNY HAS today rejected suggestions he misled the Dáil by saying bonuses had not been paid to Irish Water staff.

Fianna Fail TD Seán Fleming this afternoon claimed Kenny may have misled TDs when he said “no bonuses have been paid to anyone in Irish Water.”

However, a government spokesperson insisted this evening that what the Taoiseach had said was “absolutely correct,” and added:

Deputy Fleming should establish the facts before making baseless allegations.

This has been supported by Irish Water, who this evening told TheJournal.ie:

No Irish Water staff received performance-related awards [bonuses] in 2014.

No Irish Water staff are eligible for performance-related awards [bonuses] in 2014.

In 2015, however, Irish Water staff would become eligible for bonuses for work done in 2014, a spokesperson added.

During a lively Dáil debate on 7 October, the Taoiseach said:

No bonuses have been paid to anyone in Irish Water and the chief executive will not be paid a bonus.
Irish Water does not have a policy of pay increments and has a pay freeze until 2016.

In a letter dated yesterday, Irish Water’s parent company Ervia, told Fleming it had paid out €5.1 million in bonuses to 940 staff so far this year:

erviabonuses An excerpt from the letter addressed to Sean Fleming TD

Ervia – which emerged from the amalgamation of Bórd Gáis and Irish Water – also says that 547 of its staff got €3.7 million in bonuses last year.

In a statement this afternoon, Fleming asked:

Are we really expected to believe that this does not include any bonuses being paid to staff at Irish Water?
The Taoiseach told the Dáil on October 7th that ‘no bonuses have been paid to anyone in Irish Water. Does he stand over that statement today?

In response to queries by TheJournal.ie, an Irish Water spokesperson said this evening that “No Irish Water staff received performance-related awards [bonuses] in 2014″, and that none were eligible for such bonuses this year, either.

Read: Irish Water – ‘It’s simply not a bonus culture’>

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Dan MacGuill

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