'Spirit of Dunkirk' sentiment is needed in these dire times not ridiculous retirement packages
Published 22/02/2011 | 05:00
Are you happy with the standard and content of the debate for the election? I'm not. For a start agriculture has got little mention in the national media debates.
When it did come up in the TG4 leaders debate, Enda Kenny appeared unaware of Food Harvest 2020 or even the numbers working in farming and agribusiness. Micheál Martin and Eamon Gilmore paid superficial homage to the subject.
My greatest concern is that homemade blunders which triggered our economic collapse and budget deficit are not being tackled. Yet I believe that the Irish people are crying out for a Government that is prepared to address the blunders of the past decade.
Election candidates tell me that the greatest fury is directed towards the continued largesse showered on the privileged sectors of our society despite the dire state of the Irish economy.
The huge lump sums and pensions due to retiring politicians are especially galling given that these are the people who led us into the crisis. Ex-ministers Dermot Ahern, Michael Woods, Rory O'Hanlon, and Noel Dempsey are each due lump sums of €328,500 coupled with a pension of €111,100 per annum.
Other entitlements include €186,200 lump sum and €33,900/yr pension for Beverley Flynn, €388,900 and €156,000 for Bertie Ahern, €268,400, and €73,000 for his brother Noel. The list goes on...
Opposition politicians too are on the gravy train. Retiree Bernard Allen (FG) is due €274,000 and €64,500/yr, Michael D Higgins (Lab) is due €328,500 and €80,900/yr. Arthur Morgan (SF) is due €129,800 and €22,542 a year after only nine years in the Dáil. Every public and civil servant who retires gets a similar windfall. All of these payments are artificially boosted because they are based on inflated salaries conceded during the Celtic Bubble. I refer to the fallout from benchmarking and national partnership deals.
Notice the numbers of politicians/ public and civil servants who are retiring early just in case good governance takes over and the gravy train is stopped. Or alternatively, international lenders stop lending to us and Government cheques start bouncing.