independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

One third of Irish Water staff set to receive bonuses of 14 or 15 per cent of their salary

Support: John Tierney

ONE third of Irish Water staff are set to receive bonuses of 14-15pc of salary.

The true scale of the bonus culture at the semi-state body has finally been revealed.

It has emerged that a car allowance of €10,500 is being paid to 27 senior managers,while €20,000 was racked up on just two company credit cards last year.

One of the cards was utilised by under-fire managing director John Tierney, who is has come under massive pressure for commissioning tens of millions of euro in consultancy spending.

Mr Tierney is also facing serious questions over his role in the disastrous Poolbeg scandal in Dublin 4.

Figures provided to Labour TD Kevin Humphreys lay bare the extravagant bonuses and salaries set to be paid to Irish Water staff.

It emerged that:

- 29 Irish Water staff, including John Tierney, are on salaries of over €100,000

- 165 staff will qualify for bonuses of up to 6.5pc of their salary, while some 65 staff are set be paid an extra 14pc

- Incredibly, 29 Irish Water bosses are in line to be paid an additional 15pc in bonuses

- All 309 staff at the utility are eligible to be paid bonuses

The revelations will further damage the credibility of Irish Water as it seeks to win the confidence of the Irish public.

The information also shows that 59 staff had previously worked with Bord Gáis, while some 107 had worked in local authorities.

It further reveals that 139 staff were recruited externally, and five employees were based in the Department of the Environment.

There are 183 staff - more than half - on less than €70,000.

While details of the staff numbers and salaries were previously revealed, this is the the first time information surrounding car allowances and credit cards has emerged.

In response to Deputy Humphreys, the Department of the Environment said the car allowance is "in lieu" of mileage expenses.

"A car allowance of €10,500 is paid to 27 senior managers who are required to use their own cars in the course of their duties with Irish Water,” it said.

“This is a fully taxable non-pensionable allowance, subject to tax, PRSI and USC. This is in lieu of the payment of mileage expenses as would pertain in other circumstances, as the company views this as a more cost-effective option."

In relation to credit cards, the department said the cards have issued to Mr Tierney and Head of Customer Operations

"Irish Water has confirmed that while no member of staff has a debit or charge card, two credit cards have been issued for business use in Irish Water. These cards are for company purchases or costs on behalf of the business.

"The cards have been issued in the name of the Managing Director and the Head of Customer Operations. In 2013 approximately €10,000 was spent on each card. The only commitment to date in 2014 relates to an amount of €375. Irish Water is preparing a breakdown of the various payments."

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