Sunday 21 January 2018

Brendan Howlin says he has 'no role' in Irish Water bonuses

Brendan Howlin.
Brendan Howlin.

Fionnan Sheahan Group Political Editor

Public Spending Minister Brendan Howlin has confirmed he has no role over bonus payments being paid to staff in Irish Water.

Mr Howlin said he only has control over payments to chief executives in the commercial semi-state sector, which are currently suspended. 

But he said he favours bonuses being paid in commercial semi-state organisations.

“Personally, I think we should get back to performance related pay but there should be targets set,” he said.

Mr Howlin referred queries about payments of bonuses to Irish Water to Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte. 

“The detailed information would be appropriately supplied by the line minister,” he said.

Mr Howlin confirmed Irish Water will come under Freedom of Information Act and data going back to last summer being available.

Information would be available from the date of Irish Water being set up on July 17, 2013.

He said Irish Water would not subsequently be removed from FOI.

“I don’t think the FOI should be like the hokey cokey and you step in and step out,” he said.

Mr Howlin says the Government is “getting to the bottom” of top-up payments in the health sector.

He said there was a “degree of opaqueness” around the payment to Section 38 and Section 39 organisations.

“We are getting to the bottom of this,” he said.

“What we need is transparency, full transparency,” he added.

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