Wednesday 26 September 2018

Mortgage campaigner Hall shares 66pc pay rise at firm

Mortgage campaigner David Hall
Mortgage campaigner David Hall

Gordon Deegan

Mortgage campaigner David Hall shared in a 66pc pay rise last year at his private ambulance firm as expansion costs resulted in the company recording a loss.

Accounts filed by Life Line Ambulance Service Ltd show that he and wife Susan Wiseman Hall shared in the pay hike with aggregate remuneration and other benefits for directors increasing from €213,965 to €355,965 for the year.

Mr Hall said a sizeable portion of the pay increase was made up of pension contributions. He said that the company "performed well" in 2017.

The accounts show that accumulated profits fell from €319,637 to €181,440 in the 12 months to the end of June last.

Mr Hall confirmed that revenues for the year totalled €5.36m and that he anticipates a return to profit this year on the back of increased revenues.

Mr Hall said some of the factors behind the loss included costs associated with the purchase of 21 new ambulances and the introduction of a first in Europe technology which required investment and rollout of tablets on every vehicle.

"This now means all activities are electronic from dispatch, payroll, invoicing and patient report information. Long-term this will help with cost saving and audit accessibility," he said.

Away from leading his firm, Mr Hall has been a staunch advocate of those facing the prospect of losing their homes in mortgage arrears cases through his work with the Irish Mortgage Holders' Association (IMHO).

The investment in Life Line Ambulance last year is reflected in the accounts with the book value of the company's tangible assets increasing from €935,351 to €2.17m. The company's cash pile took a hit financing the fresh investment, decreasing from €554,896 to €240,365.

Numbers employed last year remained static at 89 made up of 77 paramedics and 12 in administration and control.

Mr Hall said morale within the company "is at an all-time high over the past two years" and the company anticipates a return to profit in the current year as a result of the contract the firm has with the HSE coupled with reduced maintenance costs with a new fleet.

Mr Hall said that revenues are higher than last year and that technology investment is showing a return.

He confirmed that the firm has plans to expand: "The company has intentions of expanding as many smaller operators are weak. We will seek the privatisation of the patient transport service from the HSE which could, if outsourced, save millions per annum for the State."

A note attached to the accounts states the company has settled all HSE disputes and resolved staff issues and with vehicles changed and a reduction in maintenance costs, the directors believe that the company can now focus on its core business and profitability.

Irish Independent

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