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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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‘Kerins earning more than the Taoiseach or Barack Obama is shocking’

The Vice Chair of the Health Committee Ciara Conway TD said further questions need to be asked of the people who signed off €240,000 salary.

Angela Kerins
Angela Kerins
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Updated at 9.10am

THE VICE CHAIR of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Ciara Conway TD said she thinks the salary of €240,000 for Rehab’s chief executive Angela Kerins in 2011 is “shocking”.

She said that Kerins is earning more than the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, a Supreme Court judge as well as the US President Barack Obama.

Conway said that questions need to be answered when you consider that over €50 million of public money is given to the Rehab Group.

Fundraising

Meanwhile, Anne Hanniffy, CEO of Fundraising Ireland who represents fundraisers in Ireland said that the salary was “out of kilter” with what other charity bosses were being paid.

Conway said the figure is “completely in variance to what is being paid in the public, I don’t know any public organisation with the exception of some semi-states, that have pay scales of that level”.

She said when that amount of money is being paid out of the public’s purse then it is right that you would want to know who is making those decisions, she said.

Hanniffy said that that transparency in the charity and fundraising sector is crucial, adding that the “lack of early disclosure causes speculation and erodes public trust –  that is no good for our sector, especially over the last few months,” she said.

She added that it has a major impact on public donations and is not fair to other charities that are disclosing their accounts and salaries.

Questions

Conway called on Angela Kerins to come in an speak to the Health Committee, but added the questions need to be answered by the Board and the remuneration committee who decide on the policy of salaries and sign off on agreed payments.

She said that the Rehab’s remuneration committee said they sought independent advice on salaries. Conway said she would like to see that advice.

She added that she was concerned about the impact of all this on service users, stating that she did no want to put them in jeopardy in any way shape or form.

Conway disagrees that it was a “witch hunt” against Kerins, stating that she couldn’t understand what the bug secrecy was about, adding that all organisation should be transparent about their salaries, even private companies, she said.

The Health Committee have written to the 600 or so section 39 charities that receive state funding, said Conway, stating that they want to make sure none are in breach of payment scales.

Hanniffy said that while this controversy rages on, it is important that people don’t forget the good work done by the staff of the Rehab group and the services they provide, stating that they do excellent work.

Cabinet

Speaking on his way into this morning’s Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings, Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin was critical of the amount of time it had taken for Kerins’ salary to be revealed.

“Everybody, every state organisation that is in receipt of public monies should be very transparent in the amount of pay it gives to all employees,” Howlin said.

“That should be a matter of course from now on. There should be no requirement for weeks of delay in these matters. I think that’s the way things are happening now.”

Additional reporting, Daragh Brophy.

First posted at 08.50am.

Read: Rehab’s Angela Kerins is paid €240000 a year>

Read: James Reilly: Rehab not subject to public pay policy>

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