Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has urged local Fine Gael TD Simon Harris to confirm if he supports the Fine Gael Minister for Finance’s plans to lift pay restrictions on senior bankers.
Speaking today, Brady said:
“As households continue to struggle with the cost of living, reports that the Fine Gael Minister for Finance plans to lift pay restriction for senior bankers is a kick in the teeth for hard-pressed families in Wicklow. It is telling that Fine Gael are using their last weeks at the helm of the Department, not prioritising ordinary workers and families hit by a cost of living crisis but increasing bankers’ pay.
“This move shows how out of touch Fine Gael are. Fine Gael’s Minister in Wicklow, Simon Harris needs to inform the people in the county if they back their colleague’s plans to lift pay restrictions for senior bankers. Constituents deserve to know where they stand on this.
“The restrictions on pay bonuses were put in place as a result of the reckless actions of senior bankers which led to the financial crisis – bankers who prioritised their own pay above the needs of consumers and society.
“Since then, we have witnessed the tracker mortgage scandal, with €270 million in fines meted out to banks for the harm they inflicted on their customers.
“This year alone, AIB and Bank of Ireland were fined over €197 million for regulatory breaches and actions that led to families losing their homes.
“Harm was meted out even during the Tracker Mortgage Examination.
“To date not one banker has been held to account for the untold damage and suffering that was inflicted on families and individuals in Wicklow and across the state.
“Despite all of this, it is reported that the Minister’s parting gift to the banking industry is to lift pay restrictions on senior bankers.
“At a time when households are struggling to pay the bills and feed their families, how can anyone conclude that half a million euros per year is not enough? Minister Harris must come forward and confirm if they agree with their colleague Paschal Donohoe about increasing bankers’ bonuses?”