Politicians and bureaucrats – Over inflated sense of own importance

Letter in today’s Irish Examiner. (Incredible figures)

Central Bank chief paid far more than US equivalent.

WHEN the governor of the Central Bank, John Hurley, appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Economic Regulatory Affairs on March 10 he explained that the public exhortations of the Central Bank that highlighted risks to financial stability from August 2007 were “not as effective as they might have been and they did not lead to a sufficient or timely change in behaviour”.

The committee was reminded that the governor is paid an annual salary of €348,000, a figure that reflects the voluntary reduction taken by him last October from the €368,000 that he had hitherto been paid.

It is interesting to compare the salary for this position with those whose influence on global economic affairs is absolutely pivotal and whose utterances and nuances hugely impact the world investment climate and the effectiveness of economic recovery initiatives.

The US Federal Reserve system consists of 12 federal reserve banks located in major cities throughout the US supported by the Federal Reserve Board based in Washington DC.

The system as a whole employs almost 20,000 people and the board employs 2,053. The annual salary of the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Ber Bernanke, is $191,300 (€150,000).

It was approved by the US Congress in February 2008.

The president of the European Central Bank, M Jean-Claude Trichet, oversees a staff of 1,499 and was paid €351,816 last year. He is also provided with a residence, in lieu of a residential allowance, but his salary is subject to EU tax, pension, medical and accident insurance deductions.

The Oireachtas committee observed that the Canadian banking system “had operated quite well with prudential supervision of a high standard”.

The Bank of Canada governor, David Dodge, whose seven-year term concluded on January 31, was paid a salary scale the maximum point of which was $407.900 (€250,000).

The Central Bank was founded in 1943 and Mr Hurley is the ninth governor. He and seven of his predecessors formerly held the position of secretary general of the Department of Finance. The exception was Maurice Moynihan, co-drafter of the 1937 constitution and formerly secretary of the Department of the Taoiseach.

The salary of the governor is therefore influenced by the salary of the secretary general of the Department of Finance. This was set at €303,000 in September 2007 by the Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector, a figure that may have been reduced voluntarily by the current incumbent.

Myles Duffy
14 Bellevue Avenue
Co Dublin

It is the norm in corrupt jurisdictions for puffed up politicians to award themselves massive salaries, drive around in expensive cars and fly to ‘very important meetings’ in jets and helicopters. It is also inevitable that bureaucrats in such corrupt jurisdictions will also develop an over inflated sense of self importance.

4 thoughts on “Politicians and bureaucrats – Over inflated sense of own importance”

  1. I have been away for a couple of weeks and am just catching up on Public Inquiry.

    Anthony, you are a voice crying in the wilderness. Will no one else shout STOP?

    The depth of malfeasance and corruption is such that nothing short of a revolution will get rid of it.

    Are there no honest people of action around to save us from the rot?

  2. Welcome back Haymoon, Yes, I agree, nothing short of a revolution is required. Hope you had a nice time away.

  3. Yes thanks Anthony, a bit of heat anyway. I was in La Palma in the Canaries. That is Islas La Palma not Las Palmas!

    I’m afraid the political scene there is not much different. An island of some 90,000 people split into 14 municipalities each with its own bureaucratic structure and council (like county councils). Some Chairpersons of these councils are paid more than the Spanish Prime Minister !

    There is no escaping the depredations of politicians.

  4. I think you’re right Haymoon but methinks that checking out the political situation in sunny and exotic Islas La Palma is a greater pleasure than dismal and depressed Ireland – Lol

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