Madam – It was with utter disbelief that I read the following: Noonan – "I'm powerless to tackle bankers' pay and perks", (Sunday Independent, November 4, 2012). And again: "'Powerless' Noonan sanctions another €500,000-plus banker", (Sunday Independent, November 11, 2012).
It is my understanding that the previous Minister for Finance, the late Brian Lenihan, bailed out these same banks with taxpayers' money giving us, the taxpayer, and Mr Noonan as our representative, a big shareholding in these banks. How can one have a 99.8 per cent shareholding (in AIB) and expect anyone to believe they are powerless?
To add insult to injury, Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, is reported as saying, "If the bankers were not earning these salaries, they would be paying less tax which in turn would mean higher tax rates for the rest of us taxpayers."
May I, as one of these hard-pressed taxpayers, suggest one of the following:
1) Mr Noonan should insist that everyone – be they bankers, civil servants, union officials, members of Government or others – abide by a pay ceiling, and that the money saved be used to employ, say, carers, nurses, teachers, who would pay tax, USC and PRSI, and, should they come from the unemployment register, this would actually save the State money;
2) all pay and perks, whether alone or combined, exceeding the pay ceiling should be taxed at 80 per cent. This should not cost the exchequer anything as a third tax rate is simply added by Revenue.
Contracts can no longer play any part in the bankrupt Ireland of today. The money simply is no longer there to pay excessive pay demands, defined pensions, etc, to people who insist that they be cushioned at the expense of everyone else.
Do the job you were elected and are well paid to do: get our country back on its feet.
Blarney, Co Cork