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Expenses for RTE's top bosses rise 7pc -- despite cuts drive

EXPENSES claimed by RTE's top brass rose by 7pc to €25,187 last year, despite a vow to clamp down on spending.

The fall in commercial revenues over the past three years meant that RTE board members were forced to re-examine their spending habits.

In 2008, at the height of the boom, RTE executive board directors put in thousands of euro worth of receipts for entertainment, air fares and subsistence which tallied €66,265.

Director general Cathal Goan introduced a series of austerity measures to tackle the fall in revenue and a gaping hole in the staff pension pot, and expenses fell to €23,386 in 2009.

But in 2010, figures released to the Herald show that the total has gone back up again to €25,187.

The executive board put in for subsistence, taxis and air fares and €6,596 claimed for entertainment. The State broadcaster revealed that director general Noel Curran claimed just €1,933, but he only took up his position in November of that year.

Edward Mulhall, managing director of news and current affairs, had the largest claim at €6,874 -- but the majority of this related to newspapers, books and periodicals.

The managing director of television, Glen Killane, claimed €2,186 on taxis alone. Clare Duignan, managing director of radio, put in for €2,521 for air fares and other travel.

Meanwhile non-executive RTE board members gave receipts totalling €17,561 for 2010.

Board members Orlaith Carmody, Eunice O'Raw, Stuart Switzer and Joe Little had no claim for expenses but Sean O'Sullivan claimed €8,166 -- €6,533 related to travel.

A spokesman for RTE had previously said that the dramatic reduction in 2009 was in line with other cost-cutting measures aimed to claw back an estimated €55m in savings.

"The drop is because all expenditure in RTE was reduced in 2009 across the organisation due to a downturn in commercial revenue," he said. RTE said expenses claimed by executives and the board were "modest".