The number of staff on salaries of more than €100,000 at the National Asset Management Agency and the National Treasury Management Agency rose by 15 per cent to 223 people last year. Two were earning more than €400,000.
Michael Noonan, the finance minister, said that at the end of last year there were 121 employees at Nama and 102 in the NTMA being paid more than €100,000.
This compares with 193 staff at the two agencies at the end of 2014. The NTMA recruited an additional 50 staff last year as the headcount at the agency increased to 440.
In a written reply to Michael McGrath, the Fianna Fail finance spokesman, Mr Noonan said that 18 staff at the NTMA were on more than €200,000 in 2015. One staff member was on more than €400,000 and one was earning between €350,000 and €400,000.
In relation to Nama, Mr Noonan confirmed that one staff member was on a salary of more than €400,000 last year. A further three employees were earning between €250,000 and €300,000 with another four earning between €200,000 and €250,000.
Mr McGrath said that pay levels in both agencies were high and it was not clear if they were justified.
“The NTMA has done a very good job for Ireland managing our external debt and keeping interest costs down. Ultimately, the NTMA and Nama have to justify to the minister for finance that there is a return to the state by paying salaries of this order and the issue has to be kept under constant review to ensure pay levels are appropriate for each employee’s role,” Mr McGrath said.
The figures reveal that 17 staff members were earning between €150,000 and €200,000 and 97 between €100,000 and €150,000.
Fifty staff members who were approved for voluntary redundancy from Nama late last year are to receive redundancy and retention payments totalling €2.1 million, of which €1.3 million comprises redundancy payments and €800,000 retention payments.