Bank chief Boucher earns ‘more in fortnight than average nurse in year’

Sinn Féin condemns Taoiseach over ‘gentle’ treatment of bankers as workers suffer cuts

Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher.  Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald told the Dáil Mr Boucher was on a remuneration package of €843,000 annually, which was €70,000 a month, or more than €16,000 a week. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher. Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald told the Dáil Mr Boucher was on a remuneration package of €843,000 annually, which was €70,000 a month, or more than €16,000 a week. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher earns more in a fortnight than an average nurse in a year, Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has said.

She said Mr Boucher was on a remuneration package of €843,000 annually, which was €70,000 a month, or more than €16,000 a week.

“How does the Taoiseach look public and civil servants in the eye, despite telling us that many of them are struggling just to get by?’’ Ms McDonald asked.

She said Enda Kenny was demanding that nurses, gardaí and emergency personnel take cuts to their wages and accept a decrease in the standard of their working lives, while at the same time being so gentle and generous with Mr Boucher.

Ms McDonald accused the Taoiseach of throwing shapes at public sector workers while protecting Mr Boucher’s pay through the failure of Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to vote against his remuneration package at yesterday’s bank agm. “If somebody was correctly named, it is the bould Richie,’’ she added.

Mr Kenny said the contract for the bank in question was negotiated by a Fianna Fáil-led government and, on taking office, his Government had placed a cap on bankers’ salaries which nobody had since breached. An analysis conducted by Mercer was submitted to the Government and it had recommended a reduction in pay and pension scales of between 6 and 10 per cent.

“The Minister for Finance expects that this recommendation from the Government will be responded to by the banks in the next two weeks,’’ he added. “My understanding is that it will include a substantial contribution from the leadership of the banks on pay and pensions.’’

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said Mr Boucher’s remuneration package was only €157,000 short of the €1 million the Government was allocating to assist farmers in the fodder crisis.

“That puts things in perspective in terms of what is being done for ordinary people, whom the Taoiseach, coming from a rural constituency, should know well,’’ he added.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin accused the Government of threatening public service workers with compulsory job losses.

Mr Kenny said protection of jobs was an inherent part of Croke Park 11. “However, if there is no agreement, there is no protection,’’ he added. “That is the point.’’

He said the trade unions would now engage with the Labour Relations Commission to determine if there was a basis for negotiations on the €300 million savings.

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