Kenny expects ‘substantial contribution’ from bankers

Government’s failure to challenge remuneration package for Bank of Ireland chief executive criticised

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he expects a “substantial contribution’’ from the pay and pensions of senior officials in the banks in weeks as part of cost-saving measures.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he expects a “substantial contribution’’ from the pay and pensions of senior officials in the banks in weeks as part of cost-saving measures.

Wed, Apr 24, 2013, 12:37

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he expects a “substantial contribution’’ from the pay and pensions of senior officials in the banks as part of cost-saving measures.

He said the banks were not making money and would not exist but for the taxpayer.

“And it is important that Government squeeze the banks and require them to reduce their cost base,’’ he added.

The Taoisech was responding in the Dáil to strong Opposition criticism of the decision by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to abstain in the vote on the remuneration package for Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher at the bank’s agm today.

Mr Kenny said Mr Noonan had put in place a process of an independent analysis of pay and pension packages for bankers by Mercer. He was now seeking a reduction in the banks’ cost base of between six and 10 per cent.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald accused the Government of adding insult to injury by protecting Mr Boucher’s remuneration package while “throwing shapes” at public sector workers. “If ever somebody was correctly named, it is the bould Richie,’’ she added.

She said he had an income of €843,000, which was € 70,000 a month and over €16,000 weekly, and he was taking home in a fortnight what an average nurse earned in a year.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said Mr Boucher’s pay was obscene.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the Government had threatened that there would be no employment protection for public servants if they did not accept Croke Park 11 while also pretending to reach out to the unions.

Earlier, Minister for Education Pat Rabbitte defended Mr Noonan’s decision not to intervene. “The Government fixed a cap of €500,000 in respect of the banks over which the Minister for Finance had some control,” he said on RTE. “In the case of the Bank of Ireland that’s not the case, the minority stake of 15 per cent does not entitle the Minister to intervene in that way.

“I can perfectly understand how people think that is an unconscionable remuneration package in any bank given the hardship that the banks of this country have inflicted on the people of this country.”