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Extravagant salaries in the public sector unjustifiable

It has been reported that the new chief executive of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) could get a ‘bonus entitlement’ of up to €384,000, on top of a salary-and-benefits package of €445,000.

The NTMA chief executive operates under the auspices of the Department of Finance and oversees a staff of 650.

The top-up would be 80% of an exceptionally generous public sector salary.

The outgoing chief executive of NTMA waived performance-related pay while the Troika were casting a gimlet eye over the conduct of the State’s fiscal affairs and were discovering that the underlying processes were dysfunctional, incompetent or ineffective.

The capacity of the State to sell bonds on global financial markets, on terms that are tenable and affordable, is not determined by performance bonuses or extravagant salaries paid to privileged bureaucrats and obscure functionaries hunkering on the periphery of the Department of Finance.

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, earns €378,240 to oversee a staff of 1,790, while Christine Legarde, head of the IMF, earns €400,000 to oversee a staff of 2,580 - neither is granted a performance bonus or a top-up.

Could the secretary-general of the Department of Finance, or his counterpart in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, explain to the austerity-burdened Irish public the criteria and legitimacy of this reported NTMA pay deal?

Myles Duffy

Glenageary

Co Dublin


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