PM explains Cachia Caruana's remuneration
Pay of €143,140 could be exceeded for his successor/s
The Prime Minister this evening explained the remuneration given to Richard Cachia Caruana as Malta's permanent representative to the European union and said that Malta could end up paying more when he is replaced.
Mr Cachia Caruana is expected to step down in the middle of this month after parliament approved a motion calling for his resignation.
His remuneration stands at €143,140.
Replying to questions in Parliament by Labour MP Leo Brincat, Dr Gonzi regretted that this line of questioning appeared to be meant to add fuel to the ongoing campaign aimed at damaging Mr Cachia Caruana’s reputation.
In his view, he said, the Opposition was using Parliament in an obvious attempt to wage a campaign against an individual who has served his country with loyalty, professionalism and integrity for many years," Dr Gonzi said.
Explaining the context of Mr Cachia Caruana's remuneration, Dr Gonzi said the post of Permanent Representative of Malta to the EU could not be considered to be equivalent to that of Malta’s other ambassadors. This post was neither the normal bilateral post nor the normal multilateral post (such as that of Permanent Representative to the United Nations).
The Permanent Representative to the European Union managed and coordinated all levels of interaction between Malta and the European Union institutions, from the routine daily processes to the most high-level discussions.
For this reason, regardless of who occupied the post, the salary scale for this position was established at salary scale 1, whereas the normal salary scale for the post of ambassador was salary scale 3.
Thus, Dr Gonzi said, it was misleading for the Opposition to try and place the post of Permanent Representative of Malta to the EU in the same category as that of other ambassadorial posts.
Furthermore, Mr Cachia Caruana held two posts from March 2004 onwards: that of Permanent Representative of Malta to the EU and that of adviser to the Prime Minister on EU Affairs. However he received a single package that covered both jobs.
Mr Cachia Caruana’s package was based on scale 1 of the Public Service salary scale structure plus an additional ten per cent. This additional 10 per cent - a total amount of €3,818 per year - was not only due to the dual responsibilities that Mr Cachia Caruana held but was also granted in recognition of the fact that he was one of the most experienced individuals in government service, having been performing high-level functions continuously since 1998 and also before 1996. It was clear to everybody from the answer to the Parliamentary Question given on 19 April 2010 that Mr Cachia Caruana’s salary was of €42,337 per year, Dr Gonzi said.
He added, however, that as was the rule for all Maltese diplomats since 1984, when serving overseas, such salaries were then converted into a global emoluments’ formula which reflected the costs attributed to serving in such countries. This formula was based on the scales utilised by the United Nations in each of the countries of posting, although the Maltese Foreign Ministry reduced these UN scales by 10% across the board.
The Global Emoluments received by Mr Cachia Caruana were based on this established formula.
Turning to speculation about Mr Cachia Caruana’s housing, housekeeping and other support (driver), Dr Gonzi said the arrangements provided for Mr Cachia Caruana were identical to those provided to Malta’s ambassadors to the European Union in previous years. The housekeeper and drivers used by Cachia Caruana were employed well before 2004 when Mr Cachia Caruana was appointed Permanent Representative to the European Union.
HIGHER COST OF REPLACEMENT
Dr Gonzi said that the decision still had to be taken as to whether Mr Cachia Caruana would be replaced by one individual who would continue to carry out his two jobs, or by two individuals, one of whom would replace him as Malta’s Permanent Representative to the European Union.
"If he is replaced by one person, who purely for the sake of argument is his current Deputy at the Permanent Representation, then in line with the established Conditions of Service for diplomats posted overseas the total cost to the government of Mr Cachia Caruana’s replacement will actually rise from the total €143,140 paid to Mr Cachia Caruana (€42,337 plus €100,803 ) to more than €148,000 even though this officer’s classification will be that of Scale 1 rather than the classification held by Mr Cachia Caruana (Scale 1 plus 10%).
(Pay conditions for diplomats vary according to their family's size)
"If, on the other hand, Mr Cachia Caruana is replaced by two people, with the post of Permanent Representative of Malta to the EU in Brussels being classified at Scale 1 (instead of Mr Cachia Caruana’s classification of Scale 1 plus 10%) and the Adviser to the Prime Minister post also being classified at Scale 1 (instead of Mr Cachia Caruana’s Scale 1 plus 10% classification), then the total cost to the government would rise by a further €35,000 per year when compared to the total remuneration package received by Mr Cachia Caruana."
Dr Gonzi said that Mr Cachia Caruana benefited from this package from March 23, 2009. Prior to that date, - from his appointment in 2004, his remuneration was based on salary scale 1 of the Public Service, which in 2009 amounted to €36,362. This resulted in a total package of €115,395