Deputy Michael Lowry has called on the Government to take immediate action to tackle the outrageous and immoral salaries being received by some of the senior banking bosses in the country, at a time when the ordinary decent people across Tipperary and the country are on their knees.
The comments from the Independent Deputy for Tipperary come in light of the revelation that the Bank of Ireland CEO stands to earn €840,000 this year and Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D. refrained from voting against this pay package.
Deputy Lowry stated that this excessive salary is an insult at such a time and flies in the face of sworn government commitments to tackle this issue.
“We are in a situation whereby families and individuals are struggling to keep their heads above water and keep the roof over their heads. They are being hammered with relentless increases in bills and charges whilst struggling to deal with reduced incomes. Even more galling is the fact that the news of these salaries comes in the same week whereby a number of domestic banks have hiked their mortgage interest rates, a decision which will have a hugely negative impact on the 70,000 mortgage holders affected and will in many real cases result in families no longer being able to sustain their mortgage repayments. Families are being brought to their knees and many are in desperation and are crying out for some help. They are rightly angered and frustrated and feel that they are being left carrying the can.”
“It is galling and indeed repulsive for these individuals to now learn that the CEO’s of banks that have received mammoth capitalisation from the state and from the tax payer are now earning such exorbitant amounts. These are the very organisations that steered our country into its current economic crisis and led to a policy of austerity being foisted on the shoulders of the nation. Banks now seem to be acting as if the crisis never happened and the recapitalisation did not occur. It is irresponsible for them to act in this way and disregards the significant assistance that they have received. It is also very frustrating for banking officials and workers who are worried about their jobs and are living with the fear of redundancy on a daily basis.”
Deputy Lowry continued;
“The inaction of the Minister for Finance and the Government on this matter has been inexcusable. Indeed Minister Noonan had an option to exercise his vote and take a stand against this payment, rather he chose to abstain and abdicate responsibility. The Government has stated that they will be calling on banking chiefs to take a pay cut in the coming weeks. It is my belief that the time for asking or calling on is gone. There should be no discretion on this matter and the decision should not be left to the individual. The Government should do as they promised and take definitive steps to ensure the salaries of these CEO do not go beyond a certain agreed amount.”