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Tuesday 23 January 2018

Average salaries are up to €135,000 in semi-states

Ailish O'Hora Public Affairs Correspondent

AVERAGE salaries at Ireland's semi-states range from €40,000 per annum to €135,000, a new survey reveals.

The report shows staff at the Irish Aviation Authority earn the highest average wages. Those working at An Post earn, on average, the lowest.

The latest available figures show average pay at the ESB is €73,000 per year and at Bord Gais is €67,000, but some of the bodies refused to release pay scales. Among those who declined were the ESB, the airports, Eirgrid and Bord Gais.

More than 42,000 people are employed in the top 15 semi-states. An Post, the CIE and ESB combined account for 29,804 of these.

Overall, the big 15 semi-states turn over just less than €10bn a year with the ESB contributing the most at €3.5bn.

The survey, conducted by Fine Gael energy spokesman Leo Varadkar, also showed that while the semi states had combined annual profits of €249.7m last year, only five pay a dividend to the State.

These are ESB, Bord Gais, Bord na Mona, the Dublin Airport Authority and Dublin Port.

Some semi-states also receive state subsidies including CIE, (€321m) the VHI (€50m) and Horse Racing Ireland, (€60m).

Most of the firms have made cost reductions, including pay cuts and pension changes.

Mr Varadkar said he looked forward to reading the report of economist Cormac McCarthy, who is examining the assets and liabilities in this sector.

Mr Varadkar said it was regretful some held back information, particularly on pay.

"I was disappointed that some semi-states were less forthcoming than others with details of cost-cutting actions and information about pay scales," he said.

He added that some of the information will help strengthen Fine Gael's five point plan for the sector.

"The proceeds of privatisation must be used to invest in new state assets including broadband, renewable energy and water," he said.

He added a new semi-state firm, called Irish Water, should take control of the water supply from the 34 local authorities in a bid to make the system more efficient.

Mr Varadkar has also recommended the main energy firms like ESB, Bord Gais, Bord na Mona and Coillte should also be merged into one firm to maximise potential for investment, services and jobs.

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