Wednesday 28 June 2017

Varadkar in row with airport boss over €106,000 bonus

Independent.ie reporters

The Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has clashed with the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) over the awarding of a bonus of over €106,000 to its chief executive Declan Collier.

It is understood he has written to the DAA to have the bonus stopped and the Minister has said he is very disappointed that it was paid in the current economic climate.

The performance-related bonus flies in the face of Government policy that no such payments should be made to executives at state agencies for 2010.

And news of the payment comes in a week that Public Reform Minister Brendan Howlin announced caps on the salaries of senior civil servants and commercial semi-states.

A spokesman for the Minister said that while he was aware that the payment will be deferred until Mr Collier's contract ends, all Government agencies have to comply with the rules.

Details of the bonus are included in the DAA's annual report which was published today.

And news of the payment comes in a week that Public Reform Minister Brendan Howlin announced caps to on the salaries of senior civil servants and commercial semi-states.

The DAA, which operates Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports, returned to profits of over €33m last year, from a loss of €13m in 2009, mainly through the introduction of cost-cutting measures.

The profits came despite the impact of volcanic ash and extreme weather conditions on passenger numbers.

The authority said the business environment remained very tough for the company last year, due to the impact of the economic slowdown, weak business and consumer spending as well as a reduction in airline services.

Turnover for the year rose by 2pc to €558m mainly as a result of hikes in airport charges and stronger sales at its overseas operations.

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