Gene Kerrigan: Republican Guard saved from worst of the cuts
The top civil servants who presided over our economic mess won't be feeling our pain, says Gene Kerrigan
EVERYONE was against it. Left wingers, right wingers, Fine Gael, Labour and even a lot of Fianna Fail TDs. In fact, some Fianna Failers seemed apoplectic about the unfairness of it all. And yet, the Government is getting away with it. How? And why on earth did they insist on doing something so obviously unpopular?
Why, in the midst of a massive recession, did this Government dig in its heels and stubbornly protect the privileges of around 650 of the country's most highly paid individuals?
Media cheerleading made it fairly easy to get away with cutting public service pay. Then, two days before Christmas, when we were otherwise occupied, the Government quietly exempted the highest-paid civil servants. Low-paid public sector workers were cut by 8 per cent. The people on anything between €140,000 and €300,000 a year were cut by 3 per cent.