I bring to the attention of the House the fact that I am a former employee of this organisation with former working colleagues in the House, some of whom are friends of mine. This is an issue of fairness and justice for people who were not responsible for the downfall of Anglo Irish Bank or Irish Nationwide and who have been working for the State on behalf of citizens and taxpayers to put right what a few people did wrong. The people who did wrong were senior management, directors and people who did not have a day-to-day job that was more relevant to the average industrial wage. IBRC employees have taken public abuse, have been held responsible publicly and have been vilified by many Members in the House without any comprehension or understanding of what it is like. They have been subject to the type of abuse that many of us have received over the past two years and which was also received by the previous Government.
I am raising this issue because of the terms and conditions highlighted to the employees who sit in place and do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. To put it mildly, the pay for people on the front line was one of the lowest of all the banks. The ratio one would use is an income-cost ratio. The income of the bank was very high while the cost ratio was quite low. This is because people were quite often paid in share options - what I call "golden handcuffs". The Labour Party believes people should be looked after for a day's work and if one tells them they will be entitled to a redundancy package, one lives up to it, particularly if the State is involved.
Gary Marshall was appointed chief operating officer by the Department of Finance. I refer to correspondence of 5 September. It stated that further to the last update on the bank's ongoing consultation process, voluntary redundancy terms to be offered to all eligible employees were agreed between the bank and the authorities over the weekend. The letter confirmed that subject to certain terms and conditions, the following terms would apply to the forthcoming voluntary redundancy scheme. The terms were four weeks' base pay per year of service, inclusive of statutory redundancy entitlement. All successful applicants for voluntary redundancy were to receive a minimum redundancy payment of three months' base salary. It was envisaged that the above terms would apply in respect of redundancies made by the bank over the next five years subject to an annual review. In the event that compulsory redundancies became necessary, it was proposed that the terms would apply to them.
It is the House that decided that the special liquidator should be put in place. People employed at IBRC tried to work out the assets for the State and did an honest day's work. I note the special liquidator can take guidance from the Minister for Finance to determine whether or not a special package can be put in place to fulfil the terms and agreements that were subject to the HR department of IBRC.
There is information on the Internet relating to IBRC that says that they are entitled to the full voluntary redundancy package as agreed. It states that in the event that compulsory redundancies become necessary in the future, it is anticipated that the terms set out above will apply to any such redundancies. It states that any such proposed redundancies would be subject to a separate consultation process with employee representatives. That needs to take place immediately in recognition of what has gone on. I will give these documents to the Minister of State, the Minister for Finance and the Tánaiste to make sure the employees are given what they are entitled to.