Cardiff's Mr Bean (counter)
FATCAT Cardiff's tiny car despite his €276k a year salary.
He's the finance chief who ran the most powerful department in the public service.
Now Kevin Cardiff has bagged a prestigious €276k post in the European Court of Auditors.
But in this little Mini, the powerful finance chief looks more like Mr Bean than a high-flying financial whizz.
The civil servant was spotted arriving at Government Buildings in the car this week.
Cardiff has been in the headlines in recent months due to his job as head of the Department of Finance and his new role which came after much controversy in Europe.
As secretary general of finance he was in charge of a division that was blamed for a €3.6bn accounting blunder that overstated national debt. But during all the public appearances he made in recent weeks, few would have expected to see this picture.
Sources told the Herald that most mornings he arrives for work in the Department of Finance in the wine coloured two-door Mini.
A Leinster House source said: “Yeah, the lads have got a bit of a laugh out of it for a while alright. It’s mostly Mercs, BMWs and Audis that we see around here. He’s an unlikely man to see arriving in a Mini but each to their own.”
Another told the Herald: “The only thing that could make it funnier is if the car was pink. He’s probably a little bit old for a Mini.”
Traditionally, the secretary general in finance had the best paid job in the civil service and Mr Cardiff earns around €200k a year. However, he will be leaving the post in the coming months to take up his new EU job.
Government ministers are said to be split over the pay scale for his replacement as a new €200k cap for civil servants is creating problems for those trying to recruit top talent.
A number of experienced applicants have applied from overseas but Finance Minister Michael Noonan is not able to entice them to make the move as there is no budget for a relocation allowance.
Mr Cardiff’s successor will be announced in the coming weeks.