176 Irish Water employees earn over €100,000

Last year, the number of employees earning over €100,000 at Irish Water increased by 43, from 133 to 176.

That’s according to the utility’s 2021 annual report which shows Irish Water’s operating profit last year soared 46% to £382.34 million.

The utility’s 2021 annual report shows Irish Water has recorded an increase in operating profits, with the government grant to the state-owned utility increasing last year by 9.5 per cent from £815 million euros to 893 million euros.

Overall utility revenue for 2021 increased by 12%, from €1.06 billion to €1.19 billion.

Overall revenue includes commercial revenue for a total amount of €298.08 million made up of non-domestic revenue rising from €173 million to €198.4 million and revenue from new connections rising from €73.19 million to 99, €6 million.

The state has provided a large annual subsidy to the utility since suspending domestic water charges in 2016 before officially abolishing them in 2017 after major public opposition to the charges.

The charges were overturned after more than €500 million was spent installing around 820,000 water meters across the country.

The report shows that 11 of 176 employees earning over €100,000 received over €175,000 and they include Irish Water MD, Niall Gleeson who received a salary of €239,000 – the same level as in 2020.

This consisted of a base salary of €200,000, pension contributions of €24,000 and short-term benefits of €15,000.

The report shows that 13 members of staff received between €150,000 and €175,000; 28 employees between €125,000 and €150,000 and 124 employees received between €100,000 and €150,000.

Irish Water, which provides 1.7 billion liters of clean and safe drinking water every day, employs 823 people and staff costs last year amounted to €81.8 million.

“Irish Water delivered a satisfactory financial performance in 2021, particularly in the context of the challenges associated with COVID-19 and rising energy costs,” the report said.

It adds that “the government has continued to provide needed capital injections of 383 million euros, which together with the surplus/profit generated by Irish Water has been invested to finance critical water infrastructure projects and reorganization allowing the realization of a capital investment program of 851 million euros in 2021.”

After taking into account interest charges of €3.4 million and combined non-cash amortization charges of €152.27 million, Irish Water recorded pre-tax profits of €226, €63 million – an 87% increase over 2020 pre-tax profits of €120.68 million.

All Irish Water surpluses are reinvested to fund critical infrastructure projects.

Last year, operating expenses fell from 758.49 million euros to 799.25 million euros.

In a statement accompanying the report, Mr Gleeson said providing safe and clean drinking water “is a significant challenge due to decades of underinvestment in our water infrastructure, but we are making steady progress”.

He said that “with 790,000 people in 16 water supplies removed from the corrective action list over the past year. The number of customers nationwide on the list is now at its lowest level ever checked in.”

Reporting by Gordon Deegan

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