New figures show eight already highly paid county managers receive annual “top-up” payments of €5,662 each due to their appointment to the State’s doomed regional authorities.
The payments have been confirmed by Environment Minister Phil Hogan, who said his department “has recently written to all local authorities requesting confirmation regarding their compliance with public pay policy”.
In a recent written Dáil response to Fine Gael deputy Simon Harris, Mr Hogan confirmed his department had written to all CEOs of agencies under his department’s remit, seeking the same compliance information.
In a separate written Dáil response to Fianna Fáil’s Niall Collins, Mr Hogan confirmed the top -ups to managers, along with annual “entertainment allowances” received by them for entertainment expenses incurred in the course of their duties, up to €6,858 per annum.
Mr Hogan said managers can also claim mileage rates that equate to 7.5% of salary, allowing them to claim annual mileage expenses of between €9,293 and €11,323.
He said the 7.5% of salary for mileage can be allowed where a local authority considers that the motor mileage rates “do not adequately recompense the manager for the extent to which their car is used for official business”.
The minister also confirmed that managers can claim the €5,662 allowance if they have “designated responsibility” for their relevant regional authorities.
Established in 1994, regional authorities hold monthly meetings to discuss local, regional, national and European policies and with the assistance of the designated manager and director, they make recommendations and observations about the development of their region and monitor EU structural fund assistance.
The Department of Environment is to reduce the number of regional authorities from eight and two regional assemblies, to three regional assemblies.
The minister confirmed that Dublin City Council manager Owen Keegan is the best paid local authority official in the country, receiving €175,721 per annum after public sector pay cuts were implemented last July. Salaries for managers range from Mr Keegan’s €175,721 down to €123,910.
The figures provided by the minister show that the managers of Cork County Council, Fingal County Council and South Dublin County Council receive salaries of €150,977, with managers for Cork City, Kildare, Meath, Limerick City and county and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown receiving €142,966 salaries.
Managers administering Clare, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Louth, Mayo, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow and North and South Tipperary county councils receive salaries of €133,072.
Managers overseeing Galway City, Waterford City and Carlow, Cavan, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Waterford counties receive an annual salary of €123,910.
The pay scale for council directors of service ranges from €85,217 to €100,348.
In relation to the top-ups for managers on regional authorities, Mr Collins said yesterday: “Given the level of salary already enjoyed by managers, are these top-ups justified and what do the managers do for these top-ups?”
He said he placed the Dáil question in light of the recent controversy relating to the Central Remedial Clinic “and the lack of oversight by the Dáil in relation to the massive spend by local authorities every year”.
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