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Government needs to immediately implement compulsory bankers’ pay cuts – Doherty

12 March, 2013 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Fein Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD, responding to the publication of the Mercer Report has said the Government has nowhere left to hide on bankers’ pay and must immediately implement compulsory pay cuts and reduce senior bankers’ pay caps.

Reacting to the news that Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has told banks to cut total remuneration by 6-10%, Deputy Doherty said that frontline public servants had taken total cuts of between 14-25% so far on their pay and the new Croke Park deal was looking for a further cut of 8%.

Deputy Doherty said:

“After two years in office and a report that cost €119,000 to produce the Minister has nowhere left to hide on banking salaries. Yet today’s response is pathetic.

“Last year I revealed that four years into the banking crisis there were still 2,949 staff at the covered institutions receiving remuneration packages in excess of €100,000 per annum. Of those, 326 receive more than €200,000; 104 receive more than €300,000; 48 receive more than €400,000 and 27 receive more than €500,000. The figures include salaries, pension contributions and other forms of payment.

“There are reports that the minister is looking for cuts of between 6-10% in bankers’ pay on the back of this report. The minister does not set out the detail of where these cuts will be aimed, whether they will be compulsory or if he will put a new cap on senior bankers' pay.

“Does the Minister think it's acceptable a banker earning a €400,000 per year salary would continue to earn €360,000 per year? Does he think it's acceptable that Richie Boucher as head of Bank of Ireland would only take a 10% pay cut on his €680,000 basic salary per annum and still earn over €612,000 per annum? What will he do if the banks refuse to accept these pay cuts?

“The report shows that average salaries have increased in all institutions since 2009. In the last number of years, frontline workers, who bear no responsibility for this economic crisis, have been asked to take cuts of between 14-25% in their total pay. The new Croke Park deal seeks further cuts of 8% for workers like guards and nurses.

“The government continues to treat bankers with kid gloves, but two weeks ago it was able to tell frontline workers that if they don’t accept the terms of the Croke Park deal they will be imposed on them.

“It does not matter how our bankers are paid versus other European banks or other parts of the financial sector domestically. What matters is that banks which have received large recapitalisation from the state and are still underperforming are paying their senior staff in a manner that reflects exactly where this state is at, as well as the pay of others in society who have had to take the brunt of government cuts.

“I am calling on Minister Noonan to immediately present to the Dail his plans on reducing bankers’ pay.”


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