Friday 26 August 2016

Kim Bielenberg: Quit while you’re losing, Trap – it’s better than winning the Lotto

Published 16/10/2012 | 13:07

IT IS enough to make a senior Irish public servant blush. Well, not quite.

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It has been reported that Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International, received a pay-off of €9m when she quit as a result of the phone-hacking scandal.

On that kind of money, there is a lot to be said for jumping before you are pushed. Finding yourself put out to pasture has never been so lucrative

Being paid millions to do a job is one thing. Being paid €9m while not having to trouble yourself with the occasionally irksome obligation of actually working is so much better.

As he contemplates his future, Giovanni Trapattoni he might be well advised to get on phone to Ms Brooks for advice on the fine art of quitting.

To add to the Downtonesque luxury of Ms Brooks’ gilded departure, the ex-tabloid hack will retain the use of a chauffeur-driven car.

Giovanni should insist on it.

Of course, senior Irish public servants and quangocrats are well used to the notion of huge rewards for their less than sparkling performance.

Having failed to see the Irish banking iceberg, the financial regulator Patrick Neary left his office with the encouragement of a €630,000 pay-off and an annual pension of €142,670.

Retirement seems to have taken years off the bite-free watchdog and he now looks a picture of good health.

Like many other paid-off mini-potentates he has had plenty of time to hone his golf swing.

The state – or should we say Fianna Fail - showed similar largesse to Rody Molloy, the spendthrift ex-boss of FAS after news emerged of his wildly extravagant expenses claims

Molloy was allowed to keep a €20,000 Audi owned by FAS when he stepped aside. The 2006-reg present from the taxpayer is still parked in his driveway in Maynooth.

Sadly, there is no chauffeur.

The car was just one part of Molloy’s remarkable pay-off. When he left FAS, his pension was topped up by over €1 million by the then Tanaiste Mary Coughlan. In addition he received a golden handshake of €440,000 and his annual pension is €111,245.

So if you are an executive in trouble or a manager with poor results, it is a good idea to walk the plank. It’s better than winning the Lotto.

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