Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Éamon Ó Cuív has congratulated Pat O’Doherty on his appointment as the new Chief Executive Officer at the ESB but has requested an explanation from the Government as to why a salary far beyond the semi-state pay cap was approved.


Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “I accept that it can be legally difficult to reduce the pay of a number of semi-state bosses due to their existing contracts. What I cannot understand is how the Government can justify approving new contracts with salaries that are far in excess of the semi-state pay cap.   


“In the case of the ESB, it was widely accepted that the salary and entitlements of the outgoing Chief Executive were excessive. But we now have a situation where the new Chief Executive is also being recruited on an annual salary that is €68,000 in excess of the €250,000 cap set by the previous Finance Minister Brian Lenihan in December.


“In opposition, Fine Gael and Labour were quick to jump on this issue and refused to accept the legal requirements of existing contracts as a reason why the salaries of certain existing staff could not be reduced. They now appear to have abandoned those principles, and it seems breaches in semi-state pay caps are just the latest in long list of abandoned promises from this Government.


“I am calling on the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin and the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte to explain publicly to the taxpayers how they can justify approving this salary breach.”