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So, the Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin takes issue with the public service unions over some allowances which he contends are not part of the core pay and will be subject to review, (Howlin: Public service workers will see some perks stopped, Irish Examiner, Apr 26).
Glasshouses and stones come to mind.
Let me see if I have this right.
Members of the Oireachtas like Mr Howlin have as extras to core pay, free car parking in Dáil Éireann for life, creche facilities, free postage, free mobile phones and calls, dual abode allowances (for ministers), overnight allowances, travel and petrol allowances, much of which is unvouched and unreceipted, and the odd cross-party junket.
Some Oireachtas members qualify for multiple pensions if they advance to ministerial or EU positions.
I know of no politician that is of more value to society than our nurses, gardaí, firefighters, teachers, ambulance drivers, social workers, and a host of other public servants are.
I regard this threat to further diminish the living standards of public sector workers as an affront to the many tens of thousands of employees who strive to make ends meet with a fraction of what some Oireachtas members are paid.
It is immoral, unethical and indefensible.
Perhaps if Mr Howlin led from the front and brought the salaries and perks of politicians down to more realistic levels he at least might have the moral right to lecture the rest of us.
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