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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019

Hayes: Bonus payments at Irish Water not justified

CEO of the semi-state, John Tierney, confirmed yesterday that staff would be entitled to bonus payments totalling up to six per cent of their salary.

Brian Hayes
Brian Hayes
Image: Photocall Ireland

JUNIOR FINANCE MINISTER Brian Hayes has said he cannot see any justification for the payment of bonuses to staff at Irish Water.

His comments follow the confirmation yesterday from CEO of the semi state company John Tierney that the 500 or so workers at Irish Water will be entitled to bonus payments totalling up to six per cent of their salary.

Asked on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland whether there could be any justification for such payments, Hayes said “I don’t think there is quite frankly”.

He said a “firm policy” line had been taken by Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin which “effectively knocks out” bonuses in the semi-state system.

Asked whether the Government was going to stop the payments, Hayes said they would wait to hear more from the body today; officials from Irish Water are due to answer more questions before the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee.

“Everyone has to comply with policy, and the policy is that bonuses should not be paid in the semi state sector — so I would have to hear and the ministers would have to hear what the justification of this is.”

The appearance of Tierney and other board members before the PAC comes just a day after his appearance to answer questions about consultancy fees at the Environment Committee.

It was confirmed at yesterday’s meeting that out of a budget of €180 million set aside for the establishment of Irish Water, €86 million had been spent on consultants.

Related: “We’re not getting transparency at Irish Water,” Barry Cowen and Phil Hogan face off on Prime Time

Read: Government knew of outside consultants procured at Irish Water almost a year ago

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