Friday 15 December 2017

New man chosen as Lenihan's top Finance aide

Michael Brennan Political Correspondent

The Government has chosen an experienced civil servant for the crucial job of leading the Department of Finance's response to the economic crisis.

Kevin Cardiff, who is in his late 40s, will be expected to give the department a new focus as it faces into one of the toughest challenges in its history.

He has been heavily involved in the setting up of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). As the second secretary in the taxation and financial-services division of the department, he was also present during the crucial late-night negotiations for the €440m State banking guarantee in September 2008.

The Department of Finance said last night that Mr Cardiff had worked closely with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan to devise the Government's response to the crisis. His role as head of the department will be even more crucial than before, given Mr Lenihan's ongoing battle with cancer.

Mr Cardiff is replacing the current secretary-general, David Doyle, who was appointed in mid-2006 when the economic boom was still in full swing.

But Mr Doyle was the subject of stinging criticism last year from opposition TDs in the wake of the economic collapse. He was forced to deny that his department had let the Government and the people down by failing to predict or prevent the recession.

Mr Lenihan last night praised Mr Doyle, who will retire at the end of this month.

He said: "I want to thank David for his long and dedicated service to the State and commend him for his fine contribution to the public service."

Mr Cardiff will receive a salary of €255,304 in his new post, although this represents a 20pc cut on the previous figure. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington (1983), a Masters in Business Studies from UCD (1991) and a diploma in applied finance law from the Law Society of Ireland (2003). He is married to Yvonne White.

He has been a civil servant since 1984 and joined Finance in 1987. He worked on monetary and exchange-rate policy in the 1990s but concentrated solely on financial-services matters (rather than his additional brief of taxation) as the global economic crisis developed over the past 18 months.

Irish Independent

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