Cummins confident of action on bankers' pay


Seanad report:Seanad leader Maurice Cummins (FG) said he was confident that a way would be found in next month’s budget to deal with the controversial issue of senior bankers’ remuneration.

He was responding to party colleague Fidelma Healy-Eames, who said the public was seething over the level of pensions paid to top personnel in banks that had been bailed out by the taxpayers. A way must be devised by the Government to tackle this issue, whether by a surtax on everyone earning above €100,000, or by some other method, she said.

Mr Cummins said there was undoubted resentment among the public and, indeed, politicians, over this matter.

Pointing out that the budget would be announced early next month, he added: “Let us await the response of Government in relation to bankers’ pay and pensions at that particular point in time.”

Minister for Health James Reilly said he had offered his personal support to John Dalli, whose resignation as EU health commissioner was a matter of concern. He had spoken to several European ministers and to the interim commissioner about the need to ensure that the tobacco directive was progressed. As it was a key part of Ireland’s upcoming EU presidency, we wanted to move it on.

Dr Reilly said he believed that tobacco use robbed children of a full life and that it was an industry that sought to make addicts of youngsters.