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Orchestrated attack on carers, teachers and gardaí

I WISH to express my outrage at your support for the recent budget which so viciously attacked the vulnerable in our ailing society and those of us who earn our living by providing a service to those living in Ireland.

How can you morally support this orchestrated attack on public servants who care for our sick, educate our children and police our society, to name a few.

Fianna Fáil and its cohorts have waged a scurrilous campaign against the public service, which has been fuelled by the media, and pitched private against public workers in its build-up to attacking our salaries. An effective and equitable government leads by example and should be bringing all citizens together and not utilising divide-and-conquer tactics.

As you are well aware, we public servants have already made a sacrifice in our wages earlier this year and, contrary to media reports, we have not received benchmarking increases as had been agreed in the partnership agreements and we have always contributed to our pensions. However, as you are also well aware, higher principal officers, ie, TDs, received a 3% increase after the last budget, while the rest of the public service was punished with the pension levy/wage cut. How can this be seen as “fair and equitable”, the constant mantra of Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and Taoiseach Brian Cowen?

I agree highly paid public servants, including TDs, should have to reduce their salaries and expenses. However, I am disgusted with the blatant lie stated in the budget that TDs will be taking a 15% cut when, in fact, it is only 5%. This is the equivalent of what is being taken from lower paid public servants.

Where is the fairness in this? The arrogance shown by this lie speaks volumes in relation to what the Government think of the people. Why deliberately mislead the public? How much more do they believe people will take?

Where is the fairness in taking money from blind people and those in receipt of carers’ allowance who save the state a huge expense? Mr Cowen has taken a reduction of €60,000 in his salary. It is shocking that his income is so high that he can afford to do this.

The reduction alone is almost double what a huge percentage of public servants earn in a year. Has the Government completely lost its moral compass? I have eight questions that I would like answered:

1. Why has the Government carried out a deliberate campaign to pitch private sector workers against public sector workers?

2. Why have TDs, ministers, etc, forgotten they are also public servants and are grossly overpaid compared to the majority in that sector?

3. When, and why, has the public service become public enemy number one?

4. Why have none of the corrupt bankers, politicians or developers been prosecuted ?

5. Why are those who have not contributed to the downfall of this economy having to pay for the selfish, illegal, immoral actions of the aforementioned groups?

6. When did IBEC become the main interest group on the political landscape?

7. When will the high earners pay an equitable tax ?

8. Where is this unmitigated attack on the lower paid going to stop?

While I know this letter will have no impact on you I hope you will have a shred of decency and correct the misinformation that the Government has fed the media and the people in relation to what fiscal contribution we all actually make to this economy.

Joan O’Donovan



Co Kerry


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