STAFF at the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) will be exempt from the public service pay cut, the Department of Finance has confirmed.
NAMA, which will relieve the banks of their higher-risk loans, is being established under the aegis of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), the body which manages the national debt.
The NTMA has traditionally set its own pay rates for staff in order to compete with the private sector for high-calibre employees.
The department says this will continue to be the case, and that the NTMA – and hence NAMA – will escape the public sector pay cut, which takes effect from January 1.
The cut will see a reduction for public servants of 5% on the first €30,000 of salary, 7.5% on the next €40,000 of salary; and 10% on the next €55,000 of salary.
Explaining why the NTMA would escape the cut, the department said: “The NTMA (and NAMA) are excluded from the scope of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (No 2) Act 2009 by virtue of their inclusion in the schedule which lists certain public service bodies as exempt.”
The Financial Emergency Measures Act is the legislation introduced to give effect to the pay cut.
“The NTMA has been excluded from the scope of the act because it has, since its inception, acted independently with regard to the setting of rates of pay for staff with a view to ensuring its ability to employ and retain the staff necessary to perform its tasks.
“In addition, the salary of its chief executive has been set independently and has not been considered by the body on higher level remuneration in the public service,” the department added.
However, it indicated that the NTMA would facilitate staff members who wanted to take a voluntary pay cut.
The NTMA has always refused to reveal what individual staff members earn on the basis of contract confidentiality.
But following a request from the Dáil Public Accounts committee, the NTMA recently supplied the general pay ranges operating at the agency last year.
The figures showed that nine senior members earned more than €200,000 in 2008.
Another 27 staff members earned between €100,000 and €200,000.
A further 22 earned between €80,000 and €100,000, while the remaining 91 earned under €80,000.
The documentation also showed that the average staff bonus paid by the NTMA in 2008 was €21,447.
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