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Pay cut reminders nauseating

Recently, the Tánaiste was interviewed on The Week In Politics.

He gave a suave, assured performance. When questioned about overpaying Government advisors he counteracted by saying that the advisors and the Government et al had taken pay cuts to show their commitment to getting Ireland back on track. Is he joking? What planet are these people living on?

In terms of population Ireland is 26th of 52 of European countries. Our politicians’ wages put them in the top five of the European political wages table with an average wage of €103,000 per annum before expenses are added. Many of the so-called advisors pocket more than that.!

Real pay cuts have left a sizeable proportion of Irish workers living from hand to mouth. They are people who don’t expect that they are entitled to two holidays abroad every year (or even one) or that they should have a 2013 vehicle parked in their glistening driveway. They are people who can’t afford VHI or any healthcare and who have to find the money to pay the GP in their already empty pockets. They are people who would be embarrassed to expect that the social welfare should look after them. They are hard working people who will pay the property tax and water charges without question because they know the country needs the revenue to provide the facilities. They are the people who will be broken hearted this Christmas when it comes to funding the occasion. They are the kind of people who would ask what they can do for their country rather than what their country can do for them.

The ministers of the current Government have constantly reminded us that it was Fianna Fáil that got us where we are. They did, God forgive them and they should never be allowed back into power again. But many of the sitting TDs from Labour, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and the rest of them were in opposition through the Celtic Tiger era. It begs the question: why didn’t they do something then? Were they too busy feathering their own nests in the good times knowing that when they did eventually get to govern that they would have to take pay cuts?

Mr Gilmore and Co should refrain from talking about their pay cuts at least in the run-up to Christmas.

It is offensive and hard to listen to. At this time of the year, it is akin to Scrooge telling Bob Cratchett that he can have an extra five minutes’ holiday leave for the season of goodwill.

Tom Fitzgerald


Co Limerick


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