Dozens of Central Bank staffers have been paid almost half a million euro in sweeteners to agree a longer notice period in the event of them resigning.
Figures in the latest annual report show that 28 employees were given the lucrative incentive — over and above their existing salaries — last year.
At a cost to the taxpayer of €450,000, it works out at an average €16,000 payment to each worker who was handed the windfall.
A further three staff benefited from the so-called retention of target employees interim policy in 2015, at a cost of almost €40,000.
In return for the money, staff selected for the payments have to agree to extend their normal period of notice from three months to six.
Despite a low staff turnover rate, bosses at the Central Bank brought in the financial incentive three years ago. They argued the bank was “vulnerable to loss of key employees on strategically vital matters”.
So it drew up a list of “critical roles” within the bank where staff would be offered special payments in return for agreeing a six-month period notice over the course of particular projects.
Other special payments to Central Bank staff include an allowance for carrying out on-site inspections in the offices of banks and financial services companies. The so-called single supervisory mechanism on-site allowance policy was approved almost two years ago.
Payments last year under the scheme exceeded €180,000 to 47 staff — an average of almost €4,000 each.
The report also confirmed Central Bank governor Philip Lane was paid a salary of €254,048 last year. His deputy, Cyril Roux, who is leaving the bank for a job in the private sector, was paid €310,000.
Meanwhile, the Department of Finance has expressed disappointment at the continuing underperformance of tax revenues, but will be looking to May’s figures — traditionally a big revenue month on all tax fronts — as a better indicator for the year.
Latest exchequer returns show the Government took in just over €2.61bn in tax revenue in April, 2.3% below target as both income tax and corporation tax again underperformed. April’s figures mean the combined tax take for the first four months of this year — €14.1bn — is 2.4%, or €344m, under target.
A department spokesman said the current month’s figures would be “very important” in terms of tax projections for the rest of the year.
In April, income tax receipts — at €1.76bn — undershot monthly targets by 1%. While income tax revenues are up over 1% — or €75m — on an annual basis, in the first four months of the year, they are 3.1%, nearly €200m, below target.
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