Coalition won't rule out raising of AIB salary cap
Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed last night the Government has still not rejected an application to break the €500,000 cap on bankers' pay.
Mr Kenny said the Government would allow a breach of the pay ceiling in a "truly exceptional case".
AIB Bank has written to Finance Minister Michael Noonan in an attempt to breach the cap to appoint a new chief executive.
The bank's executive chairman David Hodgkinson told and Oireachtas committee this month the bank may have to offer a salary of up to €690,000 to attract the right candidate for the post.
AIB has been without a CEO or managing director for nearly a year.
The bank was effectively nationalised late last year.
Mr Kenny said he has not yet seen the AIB request and has not seen any evidence of an exceptional case.
"Five hundred thousand euros is an extraordinary amount of money and from that point of view, I'd like to see and hear from the Minister for Finance the case being made by the bank in question," he said.
"The cap was put in place for very good reason. No good reason has come across my desk as to why that should change," he added.
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said Fine Gael and the Labour Party were highly critical of bankers' pay when they were in opposition.
He called on the Taoiseach to rule out any breach of the pay cap.
Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath said the Government must insist the bankers' cap is honoured.
"AIB is a bank which is 99.8pc owned by the Irish Government, on behalf of the Irish people.
"In my view, the salary cap of €500,000 remains appropriate and should be honoured.
"I believe that such a salary should be sufficiently generous to help attract a top calibre new chief executive for the bank," he said.