Wednesday 22 November 2017

Irish Water offers bonuses and health insurance to senior staff

John Tierney, Managing Director of Irish Water. Photo: Maxwells
John Tierney, Managing Director of Irish Water. Photo: Maxwells

ONE-THIRD of Irish Water staff are set to receive bonuses of 14pc or 15pc of salary, the Irish Independent has learnt.

And the company is also to provide health insurance from VHI for nine of its senior executives.

New details of the remuneration and bonuses at Irish Water released last night show that managing director John Tierney gets a company car in addition to his €200,000 salary.

The under-fire managing director is separately facing serious questions over his role in the Poolbeg incinerator, which has cost the taxpayer millions and has not yet been built.

Figures provided to Labour TD Kevin Humphreys outline the generous bonuses and salaries to be paid to Irish Water staff.

They show that:

* 29 staff, including John Tierney, are on salaries of over €100,000.

* 165 staff will qualify for bonuses of up to 6.5pc of their salary, while some 65 staff are set be paid an extra 14pc.

* 29 Irish Water bosses are in line to be paid an additional 15pc in bonuses.

* All 309 staff at the utility are eligible to be paid bonuses.

* Car allowance of €10,500 is being paid to 27 senior managers.

* €20,000 was spent on two company credit cards last year. One of the cards was utilised by Mr Tierney, who has come under pressure for commissioning consultancy work costing tens of millions of euro.

The revelations will further damage the credibility of Irish Water as it seeks to win the confidence of the Irish public.

The information also shows 59 staff had previously worked with Bord Gais, while 107 had worked in local authorities.

There are 183 staff – more than half – on less than €70,000.

In response to Deputy Humphreys, the Department of the Environment said the car allowance was "in lieu" of mileage expenses.


"A car allowance of €10,500 is paid to 27 senior managers who are required to use their own cars in the course of their duties with Irish Water," it said.

"This is a fully taxable non-pensionable allowance, subject to tax, PRSI and USC."

In relation to credit cards, the department said the cards were issued to Mr Tierney and head of customer operations.

"Irish Water has confirmed that while no member of staff has a debit or charge card, two credit cards have been issued for business use in Irish Water. These cards are for company purchases or costs on behalf of the business.

"The cards have been issued in the name of the managing director and the head of customer operations. In 2013, approximately €10,000 was spent on each card. The only commitment to date in 2014 relates to an amount of €375. Irish Water is preparing a breakdown of the various payments."

Niall O'Connor

Irish Independent

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