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Noonan hasn't asked Permanent TSB staff on over €200k to take pay cut

The finance minister says his department is reviewing bankers’ pay, but he hasn’t asked staff to waive parts of high salaries.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

FINANCE MINISTER Michael Noonan has revealed that he has not asked staff at the State-owned institutions Irish Life and Permanent TSB, who are paid salaries of over €200,000 a year, to take a voluntary pay cut.

20 staff at the institutions, which are 99.5 per cent owned by the taxpayer and were legally split earlier this year, are on salaries above €200,000 – the level beyond which Noonan asked staff at the National Asset Management Agency to waive parts of their salaries.

Figures disclosed in response to parliamentary questions from Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty revealed that two employees at Irish Life, the life assurance arm of the company, are on salaries of over €400,000, with nine other staff in that institution on salaries over €200,000.

Another nine staff at the banking arm, Permanent TSB, were on similar wages as of December 31 last year. This does not include the bank’s current CEO, Jeremy Masding, who was appointed in February on a salary of €400,000 per annum.

Other responses given to Doherty include details of a €52,304 relocation allowance given to Masding to relocate to Ireland from the UK, where he had worked for Barclays.

“I have not asked staff in Permanent TSB whose annual salaries are in excess of €200,000 to waive a portion of their salaries,” Noonan said.

“However, the Deputy will be aware that a review of remuneration practices at the Covered Institutions (including Permanent TSB) is currently underway by my Department.”

The failure to seek a reduction in the salaries comes in contrast to requests that staff at the National Treasury Management Agency take pay cuts so that their salaries do not exceed the €200,000 pay cap for public servants.

The government has instead imposed a pay cap of €500,000 for new hires at banking institutions, though this appeared to have been breached by Irish Life chief executive Kevin Murphy whose pay for 2011 included “other remuneration” of €86,000 in addition to a €500,000 salary.

The government has sought to treat banks differently to State agencies in pay matters, hoping to make it easier for banks to remain commercially independent and to ultimately make it easier to sell the institutions at a later date.

Read: Irish Life CEO remuneration breaches government’s pay cap – Doherty

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Gavan Reilly

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