Gilmore criticises top salaries at IBRC
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has criticised the €500,000 a year salaries paid to six executives in the former Anglo Irish Bank.
“We are already dealing with the issue. It is not acceptable to the Government, or the people of this country, that these levels of either pensions or salaries should continue to be paid.’’
He said Minister for Finance Michael Noonan had been in discussions with the bank, now known as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), about the salaries.
He said Mr Noonan had told the bank in April the salaries should be cut and why he had initiated a review of them. In recent weeks Mr Noonan had secured the assistance of financial advisers from Mercer to work through the options.
“This is not acceptable to the Government, and the people of this country, who have had to suffer the consequences of what those banks did and the way in which they were managed,’’ said Mr Gilmore.
“It is not acceptable that former executives of these banks are on these kinds of pensions, nor is it acceptable that current executives of IBRC, in particular, are on these levels of salaries.’’
Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said that, as the budget drew closer, many people, including students, were raging that the very people who brought the State to its knees continued to enjoy exorbitant pay and pensions.
She said the Government “is very quick to move in and make the cuts where it sees what it would possibly consider a soft target.
“However, I cannot help but be struck by the fact that it steps very gently around the senior banking executives.’’
Ms McDonald said the bank executives would not take salary cuts voluntarily. “The hands-off and the gently, gently approach which the Government reserves for the high-flyers in banking will not work.’’
She said that a review, and kicking the can down the road, would not cut it. “What will the Tánaiste do now, in advance of December’s budget, to put these matters right and stop the practice of these executives being paid salaries of over a half-million euro? That must stop.’’
Assuring Ms McDonald the matter would be dealt with, Mr Gilmore said the Government had inherited the problem. “The problem is that Fianna Fáil approved contracts for those people and we have to find a way of addressing that issue.’’
Richard Boyd Barrett (People Before Profit) said those responsible for the economic crisis were walking away with pensions of hundreds of thousands of euro, while members of the political establishment, responsible for presiding over the crisis, were walking away with pensions of far more than €100,000. “Members of the existing Cabinet will also walk away with pensions of more than €100,000 in many cases at the end of the Dáil.’’
Mr Boyd Barrett said the Government could impose a superlevy on pensions over €100,000 and, in fact, on all incomes over that amount.
“A 10 per cent levy on all incomes over €100,000 per year would yield €2 billion extra in taxes and do away with the need for all the attacks on working people, the poor and the vulnerable.’’
Mr Gilmore said he agreed that people had suffered as a result of what had happened to the country, the way Fianna Fáil mismanaged the economy and the way the banking system was dealt with.