Belfast Telegraph

Noonan asked to raise salary cap

The Finance Minister is examining AIB's request to appoint a new chief executive with a salary in excess of the Government's 500,000 euro cap.

Michael Noonan said the financial institution - which is 99.8% State-owned - would have to make a compelling case for the Government to consider its application.

Mr Noonan confirmed he received a formal proposal from AIB for a remuneration package for the post of CEO, which includes a request for a base salary to be paid in excess of the Government agreed cap, in recent days.

"However, it is the view of the Government that a compelling case would have to be made for the Government to consider setting aside this cap taking account of the recent decision on the pay ceilings for CEOs of semi states and senior public sector posts and the need for social solidarity to be shown by all individuals and sectors for the good of the nation and its recovery from the present challenging circumstances," he said.

"I will examine the AIB request in that context."

Mr Noonan was responding to a Dail question from Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath, who believes the salary cap remains appropriate and should be honoured.

"I believe that such a salary should be sufficiently generous to attract a top calibre new chief executive for the bank," he said. 'At a time when thousands of ordinary families in Ireland are struggling to make ends meet on a day-to-day basis and are bracing themselves for a tough budget in December, news that the Government is even considering the AIB request to sanction a salary in excess of 500,000 euro will be greeted with shock and disbelief.

"The news will also be a bitter pill to swallow for the thousands of employees working in the banking sector who look set to lose their jobs over the period ahead because of the reckless decisions of some senior executives."

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