Business Irish

Monday 25 September 2017

Ban on bonuses likely to remain for commercial semi-state CEOs

Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin is expected to bring a report
Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin is expected to bring a report

Martin Frawley

A BAN on bonuses for chief executives of commercial semi-states is to remain in place for another year at least.

Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin is expected to bring a report to cabinet shortly recommending that the ban he first introduced in 2011 should stay for another year.

The ban on bonuses followed Minister Howlin's decision to cap the pay of newly appointed chief executives of semi-states at €250,000. The minister asked serving CEOs to voluntarily waive 15pc of their salary to bring it down to €250,000.

Minster Howlin was supposed to bring the bonuses report to cabinet last July, but was delayed by the protracted negotiations over the Haddington Road deal on public service pay and reform, said a department spokesman.

The Cabinet is expected to approve the continuation of the bonus ban at its next meeting.

Before the ban, CEOs of semi- states were paid bonuses of up to 35pc of their basic salary, which was worth up to €100,000 a year for bosses of commercial semi-states like ESB, Dublin Airport Authority and An Post.

According to the 2012 annual reports of the commercial semi-states, no chief executive was paid a performance bonus last year.

Donal Connell, An Post's chief executive, was the highest-paid CEO with a basic salary last year of €328,000 which, with benefits and pension contributions, rose to a package worth €438,000.

An Post said Mr Connell's basic salary this year will be reduced to Minister Howlin's imposed ceiling of €250,000.

Declan Collier of the Dublin Airport Authority was the next highest-paid CEO last year with a basic salary of €311,000 before he quit the semi-state in April 2012. His replacement, Kevin Toland, will be on a salary closer to €250,000.

Pat Doherty, chief executive of the ESB, was paid a basic salary of €295,000 rising to a package worth €353,000.

This pales in comparison with his predecessor, Padraig McManus, who was on a basic salary of €373,000 before he left the ESB in November 2011.

Mr McManus was paid a total of almost €675,000 in 2011.

Eamon Brennan of the Irish Aviation Authority was on a basic salary of €232,000, rising to a package worth €357,000.

David Gunning of Coillte was on a basic of €265,000 (package of €372,000) and ex-RTE director general Cathal Goan got a €250,000 salary rising to a package worth €338,000.

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