Department of Finance feared publishing even anonymous list of ministerial pensions amid concerns over data breach

THE Department of Finance was worried it couldn’t even publish an anonymised list of pensions for former ministers and officeholders because it would be too easy to identify them. Each year, the Department had printed a list of former taoisigh, ministers, presidents, along with other ex-officeholders and how much they received in their annual pension.… Read More »

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe had intended to increase carbon tax by €10 in Budget 2019 but “Brexit effect” changed his mind

FINANCE Minister Paschal Donohoe was on the verge of sanctioning a €10 increase in carbon tax only for a later change of mind, departmental documents show. A pre-budget submission for Mr Donohoe prepared by his officials reveal that the minister had been preparing to sign off on the tax hike in advance of Budget 2019.… Read More »

Department of Finance wanted to introduce new special 30% flat tax rate for executives from multinational companies

THE government considered a special tax regime that could have allowed thousands of highly paid executives in large multinational companies to pay a flat rate of just 30% in the tax. The plan – which was designed to be one of the most generous tax incentives in Europe – was abandoned however, following advice from… Read More »

Should we call him “your holiness” or “Pope Francis”? Internal emails reveal careful orchestration of Zappone meeting on papal visit

CHILDREN’S Minister Katherine Zappone was advised to get an Italian translation of “Is that a yes Pope Francis?” before presenting him with a letter about the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. The Department also debated whether to refer to the Pontiff as Pope Francis or to use a more formal title like “your holiness” or… Read More »

Internal IDA documents raise multinational concerns over “clear market failures” and “constraints” in Irish residential property market

THE IDA prepared a series of briefing documents for their executives after multinational companies raised concerns over “constraints” and “clear market failures” in the residential property market. Executives from the IDA were advised to say that the country’s housing shortage was “not unique to Ireland” in the guidance documents. The investment agency prepared a series… Read More »

Eighty retiring HSE consultants and staff qualified for lump sum pension payments of at least €160,000 over past three years – seven got more than €300,000

SEVEN former HSE consultants and staff have received lump sum retirement pay-outs of more than €300,000 over the past three years. The enormous golden handshakes are part of close to €19 million in lump sums paid to high-earning former consultants and senior officials from the health service since 2016. Altogether, 80 former HSE staff qualified… Read More »

Advisers to Transport Minister Shane Ross believed anxieties were being deliberately stirred about bus network revamp for “political purposes”

TRANSPORT minister Shane Ross and his advisers believed anxieties over a revamp of Dublin’s bus network were being deliberately stirred up for political reasons. The Minister for Transport – who was later accused of having disowned the capital’s BusConnects plan – was under “considerable pressure” over the redesigned network according to internal emails. Records released… Read More »

NAMA paying developers €2.3 million in salaries with the top earner receiving €195,000 annual “allowance”

TWENTY three developers are still in receipt of incomes from NAMA with the highest earning receiving €195,000 per year. Three more get an “allowance” worth €180,000 annually according to figures released under FOI by the asset management agency. Altogether, the 23 developers – who manage sites on behalf of NAMA – receive €2.3 million, an… Read More »

Department of Health wanted €100,000 salary for two-day-a-week job as chairperson of the HSE

THE Department of Health wanted to pay the new chairperson of the HSE €100,000-a-year for a job that would involve working for just two days each week. After negotiations with the Department of Public Expenditure – the fee was instead agreed at €80,000-a-year, internal records have revealed. The Department of Health wanted the pay package… Read More »