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The Dail

Economist power slams Irish government’s failure to sack civil servants

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The Dail

A leading economist has slammed the government’s failure to sack one civil servant in the departments who handled the doomed Irish economy.

Jim Power, chief economist with Friends First, has slated confirmation from the Department of Finance that no-one there has been sacked since January 2008.

Civil servants at the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator’s office have also remained untouched despite the fact that they oversaw the collapse of the Irish banking sector.

Economist Power and media pundits have criticized the confirmation that many of the senior power brokers in the civil service at the time of the Celtic Tiger collapse are now the recipients of very lucrative state pensions.

“Nobody in the Department of Finance has been fired since January 2008,” a spokeswoman told the Sunday Independent.

Friends First economist Power responded to the revelation by saying that while many of those who were in key positions during the crash have since moved on or retired, their departure has come at a significant cost to the taxpayer.

“There is an endemic culture here in Ireland of rewarding failure, and it is not restricted to the public sector,” said Power.

“The fact that no one has been fired is a damming indictment of how things are done here and the taxpayer always pays to remove underperforming people.

“That no one has been fired is typical of how things are done in Ireland, but there has been a clear-out of those who underperformed. The only thing is they have all been paid off handsomely for stepping down.”

The paper also reveals the handsome pay-offs received by senior civil servants who have quit key roles in the wake of the financial downturn.

Regulator Pat Neary retired in 2008 when he received a near one million dollar pay-off despite his office knowing about the secret directors’ loans of up to $200million to former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick for at least 11 months.

Neary is also guaranteed an annual public service pension of almost $200,000 for the rest of his life.

Former Department of Finance’s boss David Doyle received a pension top-up worth over a million dollars when he stepped down, at the age of 60, last year.

In total, government departments have paid over $15million in pension lump sums to top civil servants since 2005.

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