Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has questioned why An Taoiseach told the Dáil in April last year that he expected a “substantial contribution from the leadership of the banks on pay and pensions” on bankers’ pay.
Deputy Doherty was commenting after it emerged that once again Bank of Ireland CEO Richie Boucher was paid a total package of €843,000 last year.
Raising the issue in the Dáil today, he said:
“I am shocked to learn that once again Richie Boucher has earned an obscene salary at a bank which was saved by the taxpayer.
“In April of last year the Taoiseach told the Dáil that he expected a “substantial contribution from the leadership of the banks on pay and pensions” …“and it is right that it should be because these are extraordinary salaries”.
“He made those comments in the context of the Mercer Report’s recommendation that a 6-10% payroll decrease be implemented by the banks.
“The question which must now be asked is whether An Taoiseach was misled or was misleading when he made these comments. A year later we know that no top banker has taken a pay cut as a result of the Mercer Report’s recommendations. In other words, who is fooling who?
“Last year in a Freedom of Information request I received it emerged that officials had informed Minister Noonan that they believed it would be inappropriate for him to endorse Mr.Boucher’s salary on the grounds that the Bank was to submit its proposal on reducing pay in reply to the Mercer Report. The Minister, as the representative of the state, which has a 15% shareholding, abstained from the vote at the Bank of Ireland AGM.
“That contribution from top bankers, to which the Taoiseach referred, has not materialised. In effect the top bankers like Richie Boucher have shown contempt for the people of this state. Minister Noonan needs to go a step further this year and vote against the obscene salary of Richie Boucher.
“Any other action would send out the message that paying obscene salaries while banks are repossessing homes and refusing credit to SMEs is acceptable to this government and to the taxpayer.”