Speaking in response to the proposal, Workers’ Party representative in Dublin Northwest, Gavin Mendel-Gleason, said:
“The single justification given for doubling salaries across the senior ranks in AIB appears to be that AIB needs to ‘attract’ talent with higher salaries. Unfortunately, there is no evidence in this country that higher salaries attract the sort of talent needed to run AIB in the interests of the public.
“Perhaps multi-million euro salaries attract the sorts of people who make profits for investors, through reckless borrowing and lending. Certainly that’s what happened across Ireland’s banks in the 2000’s. But that is not the job of what is still a state-owned bank.”
Mendel-Gleason said that a double standard was in place in relation to pay, saying:
“Nurses, teachers, transport workers are paid well below the wage they deserve, and in many of these occupations, we are driving young workers out of the country in search of a decent wage.
“And yet the same people asking for pay increases for bank executives argue that it is financially irresponsible to give our nurses a pay rise. What is the difference? It’s a double standard. For the rich, we are told we need to pay through the nose for talent. But for workers, apparently people should remain in their jobs out of the goodness of their heart.”
Mendel-Gleason concluded that the ball was now firmly in Minister Donohue’s court:
“AIB remains, despite the best efforts of our Fine Gael government, in state hands. As such, it is entirely at the discretion of Minister Paschal Donohue to decide whether he believes that, across the many struggling sectors of Irish society, it is senior banking executives who deserve to have their salaries doubled.
“We in the Workers’ Party believe they have done nothing to deserve such gold service treatment.”