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That Tánaiste Joan Burton has used an ‘exceptional’ clause in the new public appointment rules to personally appoint former trade union leader, David Begg, as the chairman of the Pensions Authority, thereby bypassing the public appointments process, is further evidence that cronyism is still widespread in government circles despite what we had been promised.
If it wasn’t such a serious matter it would be a joke. Mr Begg, a prominent Labour Party member, is appointed to a plum job by the Labour party leader in the dying days of this administration.
He even had the audacity to label the €20,000 salary as not being a crock of gold, yet 125,000 of the workforce are depending on a salary less than that.
To add more salt to the wounds of the working public, it comes at a time when a large proportion of the workforce have seen their own pension pots decimated, becoming largely worthless, with their pensions being switched from defined benefits to defined contribution.
It is ironic that he is now appointed as chairman of the pensions board, where was he all along on this issue?
In the past number of years, the workforce has also seen their working rights trampled on and removed, along with the imposition of increased taxes and charges on the general population that disproportionately affected those on the lower levels of income.
While all those events have been going on to the detriment of the people of this country, the union movement stayed silent and allowed it to happen.
On seeking election five years ago, we were told — and indeed lectured to — by Fine Gael and Labour politicians that they would change the way that politics is done in this country and said there would be a democratic revolution in the lifetime of this Government.
But this appointment shows it is no different to past governments.
This kind of carry on is what turns people off politics. It shows that the Labour Party are just as good as Fine Gael at talking out of both sides of their mouths.
No doubt, in the coming few weeks there will be a flurry of other such appointments , thus making further mockery of the vision that our 1916 leaders gave their lives for.
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