It’s a financial institution into which we have poured €4.1bn so far, it employs 21 staff on basic salaries over €200,000 per annum and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has admitted that he hasn’t even bothered to ask the organization, which has now been split into two – Permanent TSB and Irish Life – for paycuts on €200,000-plus salaries. At least Minister Noonan requested paycuts at NAMA and NAMA 100% complied, Minister Noonan did ask IBRC in April 2012 for paycuts to 30 staff whose basic salaries were €200,000-plus and IBRC told the Minister who is the sole shareholder in 100% of IBRC’s shares to get lost. But the Minister hasn’t even bothered to seek paycuts at Irish Life and Permanent.
Here’s what we found out yesterday in parliamentary questions from the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty to the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.
Firstly, it should be said that Irish Life and Permanent no longer exists. It has been split into the bank, Permanent TSB and the life assurance company Irish Life. This split becomes significant because a rationale for the Minister doing nothing is that the life assurance company is profitable! You may recall similar protests at Bank of Ireland and AIB where departments complained about withheld bonuses because their departments were profitable!
We learned yesterday about the salary levels at Permanent TSB and Irish Life. At Permanent TSB there are nine staff being paid between €200-400,000 and one, the new CEO Jeremy Masding earns €400,000. At Irish Life, there are nine earning €200-400,000 and two earning €400,000-plus. In other words there are 21 staff at bailed out Irish Life and Permanent who earn more than €200,000.
The CEO of Permanent TSB, Jeremy Masding, who joined that bank in February 2012 earns €400,000 per annum. PTSB contributes €60,000 per annum in pension contributions and in 2012 there has been a one-off payment of €52,034 in respect of relocation expenses, the payment being made against vouched and receipted expenditure. Jeremy is employed on a permanent contract and can be terminated with the payment of 11.5 months notice (equating to about €385,000).
The CEO of Irish Life, Kevin Murphy earns €500,000 a year and “other remuneration” of €86,000. He is retiring shortly and his contract doesn’t provide for termination payments.
In December 2011, the Minister wrote to the NTMA and NAMA asking that staff earning more than €200,000 per annum waive 15% of their salaries in 2012 or whatever amount their salaries exceeded €200,000 whichever was lesser. All staff at the NTMA and NAMA complied with the request.
In April 2012 the Minister asked IBRC if the 30 staff earning more than €200,000 would take a pay cut and he was told “no”. The Minister is the sole shareholder in 100% of the shares of IBRC.
Yesterday his response to the question whether he had asked Permanent TSB staff for paycuts was “I have not asked staff in Permanent TSB whose annual salaries are in excess of €200,000 to waive a portion of their salaries. However the Deputy will be aware that a review of remuneration practices at the Covered Institutions ( including Permanent TSB) is currently underway by my Department.” The Minister is the shareholder of 99.5% of the shares in Permanent TSB.
In response to the question whether he had asked Irish Life staff for paycuts, the Minister said “I have not asked staff whose annual salaries are in excess of €200,000, of which there are currently 11, to waive a portion of their salaries. Irish Life is in a different position to the other financial institutions under our control in that it is profitable and operates in a very different competitive marketplace to the banks in which we have an interest. As the Deputy will be aware, we intend to sell Irish Life as soon as is practicable and in the meantime need to ensure that the board and management of the institution operate in a manner which will maximise the value for the taxpayer at sale.” The Minister owns 100% of Irish Life.
So this basketcase organization, Irish Life and Permanent which admittedly had some profitable businesses – as did Anglo, INBS, AIB, EBS and Bank of Ireland – has received a bailout of €4.1bn to date and its 21 staff earning €200,000 and more, have not even been asked to take paycuts.