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Rural TDs describe top bankers’ average €1.8 million pay in 2021 as “immoral” 

Rural TDs have slammed the government for reinstating bankers’ bonuses and pay rises, as an EU Banking Authority (EBA) report confirms that one Irish banker earned over €6 million, while 48 were paid on average €1.8 million, in 2021.

 The TDs said that the “immoral” payouts were made at a time when a new Virgin Media survey indicated that more than 9 out of 10 people are grappling with the cost-of-living crisis. 

Speaking from Leinster House this morning, the leader of the Rural Independent Group, Mattie Mc Grath, said that the information on bankers’ earning was “a real slap in the face for Irish people”. 

People who have been struggling to cope with a dreadful cost-of-living crisis over the last two years, have now learned that one ‘elite’ Irish banker’s salary exceeded €6 million in 2021, while another 48 top bankers earned a total of €86 million between them,” he said. 

“The staggering revelations from the EBA’s report disclose that 33 bank bosses here were paid between €1 million and €2 million, a further eight received between €2 million and €3 million, while six were paid between €3 million and €4 million.”

“While the findings of this report do not indicate the institutions that these bankers work for, it does serve to highlight that the culture of ‘super pay packets’ for bankers is now alive and well again.”

“At the same time, the outgoing Fine Gael finance minister, Paschal Donohue, provided a pre-Christmas pay and bonus ‘parting gift’ to his banking friends. Easing the pay cap and reinstating the bonus culture for greedy bankers allows them to make even more money,” McGrath said. 

“These are the same bankers who wrecked our economy and caused a social catastrophe that led to the financial crash. Many were bailed out with a €44 billion rescue package, yet they faced no sanction as thousands of families lost homes and livelihoods.”

“Unfortunately, the cosy ‘golden circle’ between bankers and government politicians is thriving. We have witnessed repeated banking scandals since the financial crash, including the Davy and tracker mortgage scandals. Yet, we have seen no individual banker accountability whatsoever.”

“Furthermore, the revolving door between former government ministers and bankers’ lobbyists spins, simultaneously when regulators have completely failed to hold senior managers at financial firms to account for failings under their watch.”

“The government’s “reward” for the top executives in the Irish banking system came despite the tracker mortgages scandal that led to families losing their homes.”

“Despicably, despite wrecking the economy, resulting in deep austerity and suffering inflicted on ordinary people, not one banker has ever been held accountable or punished for their deliberate actions.”

“Five years ago, Fine Gael promised to prioritise legislation addressing the tracker mortgage scandal. To date, not a line of legislation has materialized. Now, bonuses, pay rises, and rewards for grotesque behaviour have become the government’s priority,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.

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