IDA Ireland spent almost €14 million on obscured housing costs for high-paid employees living abroad.
The allowance these executives avail of for rental accommodation isn’t available to Irish-based staff and isn’t referred to explicitly in the IDA's annual reports.
An IDA spokesperson told The Ditch that these costs, which came to roughly €13.7 million over a five-year period, are accounted for under “Promotion, Administration and General Expenses” in the organisation’s annual reports.
Almost €14 million, file it under general
Figures seen by The Ditch show that IDA Ireland spent €13,677,676.85 on rental accommodation for 82 employees between July 2018 and June 2023.
It spent a total of €8,125,273.57 on rental accommodation in North America alone.
This housed 49 IDA Ireland employees. In the first half of 2023 the IDA spent €1,128,850.63 on rent for executives in the continent.
The IDA spent €4,831,850.86 on rent for just 26 employees living in Europe from July 2018 to June 2023 – an average spend of approximately €185,000 per employee.
Between January and June of this year it spent €395,832.81 on accommodation for its employees in Europe.
In Asia North Pacific meanwhile the IDA spent €720,552.37 on housing for seven employees. The organisation spent €135,375.42 on rent for employees in the region during the first two quarters of 2023.
These rental costs were in addition to these staff members’ salaries and obscured in the IDA's annual report.
An IDA spokesperson told The Ditch, "Payments made to IDA staff who have temporarily relocated overseas are based on actual rent paid. These payments are included in Promotion, Administration and General Expenses in the Annual Report.
“IDA executives' assignment overseas is for a period of time, accompanied by their families. On completion of the assignment, Executives and their families normally return to Ireland. International accommodation market data is utilised to assess accommodation overseas.”
The IDA has employed 113 people in its 21 foreign offices over the past five years, according to figures released to The Ditch.