Tuesday 25 October 2016

Letters: Use recovery cash to fund charities, not for public sector pay

Published 15/04/2015 | 02:30

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton says restoration of public service pay is possible in the future
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton says restoration of public service pay is possible in the future

As a member of the forced diaspora, it depresses me to read that Jobs Minister Richard Bruton states that restoration of public sector pay is possible in the future, if we have full employment.

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The entire public sector is paid for by the taxes produced from the private sector, be it large multinationals, family-owned and one-person businesses or the agricultural sector.

If the Government does have more money, shouldn't it be focusing on building up the resources that were taken from those who help the most vulnerable in society?

Any extra money should go to increase the grants to the many small charities and local organisations which have battled so hard to help communities survive the onslaught of austerity, while funds were diverted to protect the bankers and to top up public sector pensions.

At the first sign of a possible recovery and more funds, the immediate default political reaction is to claim that money in order to pump up the public service again.

I know staff in the public sector had limits on their pay increases and that existing staff let their younger new colleagues take the actual pain of reduced salaries, as well as pension levies, but let's not forget that public sector workers fought tooth and nail to keep their automatic increments.

They have jobs for life and there is still zero accountability for poor performance and little transparency in decision-making.

When is the last time any Irish public sector decision-maker appeared in public to justify their use of taxpayer funds, as happens in properly funded countries?

Despite the fact that we lost our economic sovereignty in the crash, in no small part because of the failures of the public sector, and the complicity in this and the subsequent austerity by the well-fed political establishment of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and their EU friends, it seems from Mr Bruton's comments that he has learned nothing.

Ireland rolls on regardless to face the next catastrophe.

Desmond FitzGerald

Canary Wharf, London

Free GP visit scheme unfair

You report that medics are now divided in their views on the new under-sixes free GP care scheme, with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) breaking ranks and voting to support the plan (Irish Independent, April 14).

While it is unclear exactly what has transpired to cause such a dramatic shift in opinion within the IMO, given that discussions on the issue took place largely behind closed doors, it is obvious to even the casual observer that the scheme is discriminatory. It adds significantly to the harsh agenda of regressive distribution of resources, which will further burden those families and people struggling to get by. To make matters worse, many believe it is a cynical "vote-buying" ploy.

How can any doctor be happy with a situation that will see money spent on giving free care to the children of wealthy people instead of targeting this cash where it is needed?

In a 'most respected and trustworthy' Gallup poll conducted in 2014, the medical profession came out on top with a whopping 82pc vote. Languishing at the other end of the poll were politicians, with a vote of a mere 6pc. So, getting into bed with those same politicians would seem a tad rash.

I think IMO members need reminding that respect and trust are two things very easily lost - and once lost, the hardest to get back.

Jim O'Sullivan

Rathedmond, Co Sligo

1916 dead don't need UK's pardon

Myles Duffy's letter (Irish Independent, April 14) stating that the British should exonerate those executed in 1916 as part of the commemoration is factually incorrect.

The Pardons for the Shot at Dawn were conditional and signed into law in November 2006 and not September; 306 were listed as pardoned, not 300; and the offence of mutiny was specifically excluded.

Of more concern is Mr Duffy's appeal for a declaration of moral innocence for the executions of the 1916 leaders within the context of the 2016 commemorations.

Whatever brought that idea about is beyond my comprehension. The 1916 leaders require no declaration of innocence or otherwise from the British government.

Peter Mulvany

Shot at Dawn Campaign Ireland

Clontarf, Dublin 3

Gay marriage no threat to society

One would think from the 'No' campaign ahead of the same-sex marriage referendum that LGBT people seeking the choice of marriage/family is going to cause catastrophic results for our churches and society.

That same society is where LGBT people grew up, mostly in Catholic families, going to Catholic schools and experiencing the love and the value of family and marriage.

I appeal to the ordinary parents and grandparents of Ireland to show equal love to all our sons and daughters by extending to gay people (who may wish to choose it) on May 22 all the rights and responsibilities of marriage and family.

LGBT sons and daughters are not second-class sons and daughters and deserve better than civil partnership, with its over 160 unequal provisions to marriage. Ignore all the sabre-rattling and stand up for marriage and family for all.

Brian Glennon

Lower Kimmage Road, Dublin 6

Belgium honours war dead

One hundred years ago, my great-grandfather and his two brothers, from Bride Street in Dublin, were in Belgium with the 2nd Battalion of the Dublin Fusiliers.

By May 24, 1915, all three were dead. Peter McDonnell (service number 9443) died in a gas attack in the second battle of Ypres. My great grandfather, Patrick McDonnell (service number 8848) and his younger brother John(service number 8982) died at Mouse Trap Farm.

No bodies were ever recovered, as the graves would have been blown up by artillery fire. However, their names are listed on the Menin Gate.

I would like to thank the Belgian people for the condition of all the monuments and the splendour of all the war graveyards.

The fire brigade in Ypres plays the 'Last Post' every evening at 8pm. It has done this since just after World War I, every night except Christmas night.

My father, brother and I visited the monument in 2010 and were very moved to see the names on the memorial, but tears flowed when the 'Last Post' was played. Well done, Belgium.

Anthony Carey

Walkinstown, Dublin 12

Quote in context

I suspect your leader writer knows well that your editorial (Irish Independent, April 11) seriously misrepresents me.

The context and sense was that in my exchanges with Sean O'Rourke I was trying to explain why, contrary to a pre-election ad, a cut to Child Benefit was unavoidable. "You didn't explain that at the time, you kept it simple" was his charge. I replied "isn't that what you do at election time" - meaning keep it simple.

Pat Rabbitte, TD

Leinster House

Irish Independent

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