Saturday 25 February 2017

Time to show Bruton error of his ways

Minister is pandering to our EU masters instead of looking out for the most vulnerable in our society, writes James Fitzsimons

The honeymoon is over, the guests are long gone and now the Government may have to earn its money. Well, at least until the summer recess. Bickering may have already started between government ministers as a result of Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton's proposals to facilitate cutting pay for more vulnerable workers.

Last November, when we gave up our sovereignty, the Government committed to reforming the labour market. This would involve cutting the minimum wage and possibly getting rid of JLCs (joint labour committees). Mr Bruton is pandering to our EU masters by going along with their wishes in spite of them being contrary to the findings of the Duffy Walsh report. Mr Bruton may have put himself out on a limb once again. Even Taoiseach Enda Kenny is not fully behind him.

What is even more worrying is that the minister can be so unfair to the most vulnerable in the private sector. Meanwhile, public servants continue to be insulated from the full impact of the recession? The Government, which is part of the elitist public sector establishment for pay and conditions itself, is willing to allow pay and conditions in the public sector to adjust slowly with the passage of time. It will borrow €20bn this year to facilitate this waste.

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