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I WAS watching the British economist and political commentator Will Hutton on a TV programme (April 27) that dealt with the financial collapse and the role of bankers and other “masters of the economic universe” in it.
At one point, Hutton observed that leading up to the collapse these people had gambled with hundreds of millions of pounds of other people’s money in order to make fortunes for themselves.
Have they suffered for this? Not at all. They kept their bonuses and massive pension pots, and some of them were re-employed in positions of responsibility, while others ran with their money to tax havens.
Just like in Britain, the Irish Government claims that legally it can’t do anything about these people and their pension pots and bonuses, nor those TDs on ministerial pensions, even though it seemed to have no legal difficulty in taking away medical cards or making deductions from people’s wages without their consent.
I thought this was illegal, unless change to this law was effected by sleight of hand.
A few years ago, when some authority decided that men should have the same pension rights as women, the Government of the day rushed a bill through the Dáil to make sure it wouldn’t happen.
Or is it the way such legislation can only be used to stop pensioners getting money they deserve and never to stop bankers getting money they don’t?
And talking about sleight of hand, wasn’t the Government’s claim that TDs and ministers would lead by example by taking pay, pension, expenses, bonus and junior minister cuts also some kind of confidence trick?
After all, just like the three-card trick or the shell game, didn’t the Government make people believe that something had happened when in reality it hadn’t happened at all?
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