Trade unionist David Begg named head of the Pensions Authority

Leading trade unionist and prominent Labour supporter David Begg is set to earn €100,000 over the next five years after being named the new chair of the Pensions Authority.

Mr Begg, who retired as general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions last March, was confirmed as the new head of the financial group yesterday after the move was agreed by Cabinet.

The decision to appoint the trade unionist and one-time board member of the Central Bank was made after his name was put forward by Labour, despite the fact it did not go through the public service advertising and appointments process.

On Mr Begg’s retirement last March, Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton described the trade unionist as a “committed and relentlessly hard-working servant for the Labour movement”.

She added: “David played a key role in supporting the work of the Labour Party in ensuring collective bargaining is legislated for by this Government.”

A Labour spokesperson last night said state board appointment rules are allowed to be “flexible” when there is clear evidence of an individual’s expertise and ability to do the job.

As part of the five-year role, Mr Begg will be paid €20,510 a year, amounting to just over €100,000 during his term in the position.

However, despite his credentials, his appointment is likely to be criticised by the Opposition as he is also a non-executive director of Aer Lingus, a member of the National Economic and Social Council, and a former chief executive of Concern Worldwide.

Meanwhile, Seán Coady and Patrick Gibbons have been named board members of the Inland Fisheries Ireland board for the next five years, and will be paid €7,595 a year. Mr Coady was appointed by employees as a worker representative.


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