TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore vowed to slash the €500,000 pay packets of executives at the former Anglo Irish Bank as it emerged Finance Minister Michael Noonan was snubbed earlier this year when he sought the same thing.
Mr Gilmore’s promise came after the revelation that six current executives of the former Anglo Irish Bank, now known as IBRC, are on pay packages of more than €500,000 - despite the half-million euro cap on bankers' pay.
Mr Gilmore said it was not acceptable for bankers in Anglo or other banks bailed out by the state to be getting salaries or pensions of over €500,000. He said this view was shared by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mr Noonan, who was currently looking at a "range of options".
"I want to assure you that this issue is being dealt with and this issue will be deal with," Mr Gilmore told the Dail this morning. The days of "golden circles" were over, he added.
Mr Noonan told Dail committee this morning that he wrote to IBRC chairman Alan Dukes requesting a wage cut across all levels.
But he told TDs that the board of the nationalised bank said it wasn’t “wise or prudent” to implement a cut.
“It is true that I wrote to Alan Dukes and I asked him to talk to the board of IBRC to impose a pay cut right across the pay levels because it was done for the public service and I can’t see why it wouldn’t be done elsewhere,” Mr Noonan said.
Mr Noonan said that while they can set pay scales there was a public interest and he pledged to continue to press the matter.
The Minister’s admission comes on the back of a response to a parliamentary question from Sinn Fein Finance spokesman Pearse Doherty, in which Mr Noonan said he asked Mr Dukes at a meeting on April 5 for senior management to take a 15pc cut. He said they indicated that pay cuts for individual staff had been considered by the board but rejected.
Mr Doherty accused the IBRC of giving two fingers to the taxpayer.
“It is outrageous that the Minister has not followed this up and demanded a reduction, considering the Irish taxpayer is the sole owner of this bank. It is even more outrageous that the board would turn it down,” Mr Doherty said. In his response, Mr Noonan also said that fees for non-executive directors were initially reduced by 20pc at the end of 2008 and by a further 15pc in July of 2012.