HOUSING Minister Jan O’Sullivan has defended the salary of the new manager of the joint authority.
This came after Sinn Fein’s northside councillor Maurice Quinlivan criticised the wage, and called for a €100,000 cap for all public sector staff.
The role of dual manager/manager designate, is currently being advertised on the publicjobs.ie web site.
Although the new authority will not be established until 2014, it will be the role of the successful applicant to start merging services, and “drive change management”.
In return, they will get a salary of €153,260, a figure which caused Cllr Quinlivan to baulk.
But Ms O’Sullivan pointed out that the city managers in Dublin and Cork cities earn more - with the capital’s top man on €190,000 each year.
“The second thing to say is that if you were to pay a city and county manager, you would be spending a good bit more than you would paying the one unified manager. I do accept these salaries are high, and while they have been reduced somewhat, the intention with the merger is we would have other savings as well,” she told the Limerick Leader.
She feels if the government went forward with Sinn Fein’s pre-budgetary recommendation of a salary cap, there would be “knock-on effects all the way down the line.”
“But I do generally believe salaries at the higher levels are too high, and we need to get more equality in terms of incomes generally in this country. I would be supportive of any reduction in higher level salaries in Ireland,” she added.
The closing date for the manager of the new joint authority is May 31.
Former housing director Kieran Lehane is in temporary charge at City Hall following the retirement of Tom Mackey. Former county boss Ned Gleeson is also retired.