The EU and the IMF are reported to be ‘deeply unimpressed’ at the disparity with counterparts elsewhere.
The salary structures at NTMA remained a deep and profound secret since it was established 21 years ago until details were disclosed to the Public Accounts Committee on 7 January 2011 - after exhaustive probing. No less than six secretaries-general of the Department of Finance tolerated this secrecy despite it conflicting with their own Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies.
These revealed that:
- The chief executive of NTMA is paid a basic salary €490,000, with provision for a bonus of up to 80% of salary, bringing potential annual remuneration to €882,000 (51 times the Irish minimum wage). The incumbent and his predecessor is the beneficiary of non-standard enhanced pension arrangements.
- The chief executive of NAMA is paid €430,000 with provision for a bonus of up to 60% of salary bringing potential annual remuneration to €688,000 – (40 times the Irish minimum wage).
- The chief executive of NDFA is paid €330,000 with provision for a bonus of up to 60% of salary bringing potential annual remuneration to €528,000 (30 times the Irish minimum wage).
- No less than 16 individuals are being paid more than the Taoiseach now earns - €200,000+
- 103 of the 305 staff in NTMA and its offshoots are paid salaries over €100,000 so, from the perspective of the economically disadvantaged, NTMA is a goldmine that can function with clandestine opacity, immune to overall Government policy on public sector remuneration and completely insulated from trends endured by the majority of citizens.
The grading and pay rates of the Civil Service Regulations Act 1956 may not apply to NTMA but the National Treasury Management Act 1990 does not confer any privileges with respect to secrecy or derogations from the norms of public accountability.
The salaries of chief executives of counterpart major national debt agencies in 2009, who were trawling for funding from the same sources as Ireland when our authorities raised €35 billion, were as follows:
- The Chief Executive of the Australian Office of Financial Management was paid €250,000 and no bonus to raise debt amounting to €39 billion in 2009 – (remuneration 11 times the minimum wage in Canberra).
- The Commissioner of Public Debt in the United States Bureau of Debt oversees of staff of almost 2,000 people and a departmental budget of €125 million. He was paid less than €120,000 in 2009.
The Commissioner’s remuneration was 9 times the annualised minimum wage in Washington DC. No US Federal employee earns more than President Obama - €290,000 per annum.
- The Chief Executive of the UK Debt Management Office raised debt of €267 billion in 2009 – over 7 times the debt level raised for Ireland that year. He was paid €188,000, equivalent to 38% of the basic salary of his Irish counterpart. He did not receive a bonus. The Chief Executives remuneration was 14 times the British minimum wage.
The salaries of the chief officers of those institutions providing the resources to bailout Ireland are: President of the IMF €320,275; President of the EU Commission €293,064; President of the ECB €367,863; Permanent Secretary of HM Treasury €207,000.
Is it any wonder they are ‘deeply unimpressed’?