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02nd Oct 2023

RTÉ refuse to reveal why presenter was paid over €42,000 in allowances

Simon Kelly

RTÉ allowances

Kevin Bakhurst has defended broadcaster against claims it isn’t being transparent.

RTÉ have refused to say why a presenter was paid over €42,000 on top of their annual salary last year.

During the payments scandal which rocked the state broadcaster over the summer, an anonymised list was released, showing the top 100 earners in the company.

Within the list, it was revealed that a number of top earners at RTÉ were receiving significant payments on top of their basic wages for the year.

Among the payments was an allowance or allowances paid to one presenter for a “presenting and non-management” role worth €42,778.

This payment was on top of their basic pay of €158,366.

Another worker earned a similar “presenting and non-management” allowances worth €36,221 on top of their €100,264 pay.

An RTÉ spokesperson told the Irish Independent that they “cannot comment on two individual allowances which may identify those individuals.”

They also revealed that the broadcaster didn’t have an updated list of the top 100 earners to include the 3% pay rise last January.

RTÉ should be as “transparent as possible”, says Oireachas Media Committee chair

Despite RTÉ director general Kevin Bakhurst defending against claims the broadcaster isn’t being transparent, Oireachtas Media Committee chair Niamh Smyth said it would be a “mistake” to not be “as transparent as possible given everything that has happened.”

“The public will expect real transparency especially if RTÉ expects a €50m hole to be plugged,” she said. “No organisation in the world can expect to be bailed out without being completely transparent.

“We all want to see our public service broadcaster in good stead into the future and part of an agreement in relation to exchequer funds means we must have the full facts.”

“If someone is working in the HSE or local authorities, it is easy to identify how many are at certain grades and the standard allowances that go with them. RTÉ should have a system that mirrors that.”

Last year, an RTÉ spokesperson said it was paying around 1,100 allowances last year, of which 61 were car allowances, which are capped at €25,000.

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