Belfast Telegraph

Gilmore asked about 'fat cat wages'

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has come under attack over the huge salaries of Anglo Irish bosses.

Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said 22 of the 50 top brass who ran the rogue lender in the run up to its collapse remain in their jobs.

Of these, 19 of them take home salaries of more than 175,000 euro a year, the Dublin Central TD told the Dail.

Ms McDonald said one individual at the bank was still due to receive a 51,000-euro bonus despite the financial institution's role in the country's financial crisis.

Challenging Mr Gilmore to defend the salaries and bonus, she accused the Government of targeting people on welfare and low pay while taking a hands-off attitude to fat cats who inflicted hardship on so many.

"You and your colleagues are quick to attack people on welfare payments, accusing those out of work of making a lifestyle choice," said Ms McDonald. "Can I put it to you that you are offering some lifestyle opportunity to officials and senior employees in a toxic bank that has brought us to the brink of ruin?"

But Mr Gilmore insisted any bonuses were all agreed before Anglo was nationalised in January 2009, after which there has been none.

"I'm not going to defend for one moment bonuses paid to anybody in Anglo Irish Bank," he added.

The Labour leader said the coalition Government was supporting those who lost their jobs as well as the low paid through the reversal of the minimum wage cut and the introduction of legislation to reinstate joint labour committees and regulated employment agreements.

Mr Gilmore said "grandstanding" over Anglo would not help resolve the issue and added that the Government was continuing to wind up the bank.


From Belfast Telegraph