Sunday 26 February 2017

Varadkar must get tough with DAA

The decision by the board of the Dublin Airport Authority to award a "performance-related" bonus of €106,000 to chief executive Declan Collier represents a challenge to the authority of the Government which must not go unanswered. News of the award comes just two days after the Government's decision to cap the pay of semi-state bosses with the pay of any future DAA chief executive being restricted to "only" €219,000 a year.

So what has been the response of Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to this flouting of the cabinet's authority? One would have expected a robust response from Mr Varadkar, who has developed a reputation as something of a bruiser while in opposition. Unfortunately it seems that in government the minister has lost his edge with the DAA board approving the bonus despite a request from the minister not to pay such bonuses.

The decision of the DAA board to approve the bonus clears up one mystery. Last month, DAA chairman David Dilger abruptly resigned. Apart from the usual guff about needing more time to pursue his "broad range of other interests", there was no explanation provided for his decision.

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