Time for us to stop funding their gravy train

THE remuneration levels enjoyed by those at the top of the public sector, in politics, by the judiciary and throughout some of the commercial semi-states are nothing short of scandalous.

And when they retire, the real bonanza arrives, courtesy of the taxpayer.

Worse still, as the people of this country are being forced to accept greater austerity measures in an effort to get the economy back on an even keel, those entrusted with ensuring that we are protected from such calamities demand the rest of us reward them handsomely for their failures. And being the gullible idiots that we are, we just hand over the dosh and do nothing about it.

On Tuesday, we learned that the former chief civil servant’s retirement package was worth more than €€700,000. Even crazier still, our Taoiseach, the man who was going to do the devil and all when he was in opposition, says his hands are tied but he will do something now.

Well, Mr Kenny, we are not holding our breath. We’ve seen what your commitments are worth — absolutely nothing. Indeed, even if they do bring something in, they will insist that for contractual reasons, it will only apply to those joining the public sector in the future or some equally nonsensical reason.

It’s funny, but when it comes to taxing or gouging the ordinary taxpayer, it can be done with the minimum of fuss and even back-dated if needs be. Insisting that we provide for our own pensions and then raiding those pension pools, which have been already depleted by the government’s other failures, is par for the course.

Dermot McCarthy, ex-secretary general to the Department of the Taoiseach, received a lump sum of €€428,011.50. His pension is reportedly €€142,670.50 per annum, or almost €€3,000 a week. That is bad enough, but he was also given a special severance payment of €€142,670, the reason for which is not clear but is hardly warranted when the rest of the largesse is considered.

Now, I, and many others, are at a loss to understand why we should pay many of the top civil servants anything, given their individual performances over the last seven or eight years, let alone give them a lottery win every year.

Let us not forget for even one second that this is a country where many people are on the bread line, courtesy of the inability or incompetence and the greed of these self-perceived very important folk.

However, that is the way it seems to work. Incompetent, and possibly even worse, bankers are given going-away packages amounting to the national GDP of some countries. Regulators who did not do their jobs are given golden handshakes rather than being frog-marched from their offices.

Developers and Arthur Daly-types are rescued courtesy of the taxpayer, while their lifestyles change not one whit.

The ex-so-called leader of the country gets a pension of €€150k, plus his Dáil salary as a TD, and then has the gall to seek €€270,000 by way of expenses over a two and bit year period, all while he blames everybody else for his failures.

Another ex-leader gets a pension of €168,000 per annum, having driven us even deeper into the hole.

The incompetence of several different health sector organisations ensures that a young girl awaiting an organ transplant cannot get to London on time but, hey, no one is responsible.

Where does the buck stop? It would appear that in Ireland, it’s nowhere other than with the taxpayer.

The key is to get to the top, raid the larder for all you are worth and blame everyone else when things go wrong.

Never be accountable and never accept responsibility.

Well, guys, it’s our buck and one of these fine days, we are going to come looking for it.

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