Banks, the public service and pay

Sir, – I note that AIB staff are to get an average 2.75 per cent pay increase that will apply in both 2017 and 2018 ("AIB staff vote for 2.75% per cent annual pay rise for 2017 and 2018", February 21st).

Taxpayers own 99.9 per cent of AIB, and the bank’s reckless lending contributed both to the financial crash and the need for a bailout by the taxpayer, yet it can award pay rises to its staff without any adverse comment in the media or from its only real shareholder, the Government.

On the other hand, when public servants, who did not contribute in any way to the crash, look for a gradual restoration of their 2009 pay-scales, the media and Government attack these moves and claim that essential social services will have to be cut back to pay for them.

I congratulate and support bank staff in securing a pay rise in these difficult times.


However, there are glaring double-standards in the different treatment of public service employees and bank staff in their claims for wage rises or salary restoration. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – The Financial Services Union, addressing the Oireachtas finance committee, says there is a "need" for bank profits to be shared with employees ("Bank union wants profit-sharing for staff, not just executives", February 21st).

Who could object to such a laudable sentiment? Apart from the shareholders who lost their life savings, or maybe the customers who are locked into impossible debts, and the public purse that provided bailouts for the entire banking sector to be paid for by austerity, job losses, pay cuts, and recession, and reduced public services? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.