The following featured in the Irish Times.
“sanity clause” wrote in Irish Times, June 23rd, 2012.
On public sector pay you cannot rely on the media to give you an accurate picture - they're totally biased, don't know why - you have to go to primary sources i.e. the Government department's own figures. When you do that you'll be surprised, if not shocked:
73% earn less than 50,000 per year
82% earn less than 60,000 per year
25% (24.66) i.e. a quarter, earn less than 20,000 per year
Figures for 2009 i.e. before recent pay cuts. Source: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2011/10/25/unrev... see page 210.
Some people may not like these figures, because the truth conficts with the picture that has been painted for them by the media, a picture they did not have any obvious reason to doubt, and as a result internalised, making it easier to find a simple scapegoat for the current crisis. But they are the truth, and the real culprits for the crisis lie elsewhere. What we've got here is: the problem's A, so let's fix B.
If you want to look for real and incredible waste, recall that FG was the party of Michael Lowry, and more importantly recall that five ministers in this Government, including Enda Kenny, were ministers in the the cabinet that included Lowry, that gave the mobile phone licence to Denis O' Brien and others for a mere 15 million pounds, which O' Brien and the others were then able to turn into more than 2 billion pounds, by doing no more than any company would've been able to do if it had the licence to do it. If that wasn't a licence to print money (our money), what is? Yet again this shows that although the Government doesn't know how to negotiate, and Kenny doesn't know how to debate, they really do know how to give away our money and our assets.
Denis was severely criticised in the tribunal set up to look into the "awarding" of the mobile phone licence in the context of corruption in Irish politics. Denis who doesn't pay income tax here was invited by FG and Labour to the love-in in the Phoenix Park, for luminaries such as he, to allegedly plan how to save us all. He also met with Enda Kenny again in New York recently, and is currently trying to take over another large section of the Irish media.
Then there's Fianna Fail. Leaving aside the tax-break-aided property bubble, the lunatic bank guarantee and the sell out referred to as the bailout, there's the great Corrib Gas giveaway, where incredibly favourable terms were given to oil and gas companies, essentially giving away yet more of our assets and resources, all presided over at the time by the man who would later be prisoner number 33791 in Arbour Hill prison: Fianna Fail's Ray Burke, who, of course, didn't sit in cabinet alone. Yet another example of how FF, FG and Labour, although they don't know how to negotiate, really do know how to give away our money, assets and resources.
On taxes, the trend is to move towards more non-income based taxes, which is socially regressive i.e. redistributes income upwards in an already very unequal society. A handy measure of income inequality is the oft quoted: top 6.5% of income earners pay 50% of income taxes, and top 20% of income earners pay 77% of income taxes. This is usually quoted by right wingers trying to suggest that it's "unfair that so few people pay so much of the income tax collected here", which of course is turning reality on its head, because it's really showing how a relative few get most of the income.
Can never understand why workers want other workers' pay and conditions cut instead of all workers pay and conditions improved - shows the success of the messages being put out that get us looking at each other instead of looking at those who don't want to be seen, but who created the crisis and then had it transferred to the rest of us - for example why are holders of unsecured bonds being paid billions of our euros, making many of them massive profits? The Government are handing over this money even as they claim to be doing all to get sovereign and bank debt separated (see Noonan reported in today's Irish Times) - yet here they are treating bank debt, that isn't even secured, as if it is sovereign debt - Kenny referred to it as "our" debt - and needlessly handing over billions. Yet again they're really expert at giving away our money!
Public service workers do vitally important work for the functioning of this country, and most are not highly paid, many are on low pay - almost everyone who has grown up here has been through our education system, there would be no modern economy without educated people. There is no need to emphasise the importance of the health service to the country and its economy, but consider this: a study by an economic think-tank in the UK discovered that the workers whose work created the largest amount of wealth for the least amount of wealth destroyed were - hospital cleaners. Those who were on the other end of this scale were - banking executives. Bondholders are mostly banks.
If you're looking for wasted money this is where to look. Holders of unsecured bonds from private banks have no claim over public money here, not legally, not morally, these debts are not ours', and these bondholding institutions and individuals do no work for this country while profiting off of it like leeches.