CRO head took home €180,000
THE head of the Credit Review Office (CRO) took home more than €180,000 during his first two years in the job, it has been revealed.
In response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail's Willie O'Dea, Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed that John Trethowan earned €103,750 for his work in 2010 and another €77,500 in 2011.
The CRO was created in 2009 by the then Finance Minister Brian Lenihan to adjudicate on loans to small businesses that had been rejected by the banks.
The office has cost just over €1m since, employing two full-time staff apart from Mr Trethowan and a number of adjudicators on an ad hoc basis.
Mr Trethowan's total remuneration dropped by more than a quarter between 2010 and 2011 but his pay scale did not change. Work done for four months in 2009 was included in the 2010 figure. Overall, Mr Trethowan is paid the equivalent of €78 an hour.
Mr Noonan said the CRO's costs were covered in line with current operating guidelines.
"At no time does the CRO negotiate or account to the banks for its expenditure, which is vouched and approved by the Department of Finance," he said.