TELECOMS quango Comreg has paid its staff more than €3m in bonuses since 2009, in a period which saw Irish consumers pay far more than their European counterparts for mobile phones.
Last year , ComReg's 125 staff shared €786,000 — an average of about €6,300 each.
The telecom regulator's staff bill works out at about €80,000 per person. In 2011, staff got €786,000 in bonuses, with a further €748,000 in 2010 and €690,000 in 2009. "The commission operates a performance-related remuneration scheme (originally established by the Office of the Director of Telecommunications).
Of the total wages and salaries costs, €786,000 (8 per cent) represents payments to staff in accordance with the provisions of the performancerelated remuneration scheme and the terms of their contracts of employment," according to ComReg.
ComReg is funded by a levy on the telecoms and communications industry, which passes costs on to consumers. Irish customers pay some of the highest mobile-phone bills in Europe.
"Staff in ComReg are employed on individual contracts. An element of remuneration of those contracts includes a variable element of pay based on performance. This does not apply to commissioners. Staff in ComReg have been subject to a number of pay reductions. This included the pension levy, the public sector pay cut (income levy) and the universal social charge," say Comreg.
Energy regulator CER has also paid massive bonuses to its staff recently.