Pay talks should be fair and equal
Published 31/05/2015 | 02:30
Sir - Niall Shanahan of IMPACT stated in last week's Sunday Independent that it made perfect sense to unwind the emergency legislation (Fempi) that cut Public Sector pay during the so-called financial crisis, with a number of other contributors to your Letters Page also defending this move.
However, I feel that this is a highly biased view about an extremely divisive move by the Government. There is no doubt that the public sector have taken their share of pain since 2008, although I find it ludicrous that Simon Donagh feels public servants were singled out.
What about the hundreds of thousands who lost their jobs in the private sector, those who were put on three day weeks, those who took huge pay cuts and probably worst of all, those who were forced to emigrate?
It beggars belief that a country that is still borrowing over €5bn every year and currently owes €182bn is so intent on rewarding those with jobs for life, index-linked pensions and little accountability.
A much fairer option would be to reward the entire working population with an across the board cut in tax rates and USC. However there is also the argument that there should only ever be pay hikes when the country is in the black, with any future pay increases being subject to an independent system that uses verifiable and empirically backed stats. Public Sector pay increases right now would mean that any fruits of recovery would go exclusively to an already privileged minority of workers. Surely fairness and equality demands that the fruits of our recovery should be more widely spread.
Abuse of the flag and anthem
Sir - "Cobbler, stick to your last" is an old saying that Eamonn Sweeney should observe.
His article on the newly elected MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone has nothing to do with sport and everything to do with politics. I do not pretend to see into the mind of Mr Tom Elliot but I can see why he chooses not to attend a GAA match where the Irish flag is on display and the Irish national anthem will be sung.
The flag and the anthem have been taken over and abused by the Provisional IRA and Sinn Fein, north and south, as party emblems, covering the coffins of those who murdered Catholic and Protestant, north and south, policemen and soldiers, men, women and children, in both jurisdictions.
Mr Sweeney lets himself down by using belittling and abusive terms to describe Elliot as a "gobdaw", "Small Tom" etc.
He then goes on to attack with sarcasm the SDLP party for splitting the nationalist vote and allowing a Unionist "scrape in" to win the Westminster seat. That seat was once a safe SDLP seat but they stood aside to let nationalist voters elect a Sinn Fein candidate on hunger strike. They never again won the seat.
There are many nationalists who were ashamed of the deeds of the Provos and not happy to give them their votes, even at the expense of "splitting the vote". Couldn't Sinn Fein too have avoided splitting the vote since they would not have taken up the seat in Westminster even had they won?
Padraig Mc Ginn,
Hamas and Yes win don't mix
Sir - It was interesting to see Gerry Adams and other members of Sinn Fein celebrating the Yes victory in Dublin Castle with the leading campaigners for marriage equality last weekend.
One wonders if those same campaigners are aware that every year Gerry Adams welcomes with open arms the murderously homophobic Hamas to Sinn Fein's annual conference where they discuss everything under the sun bar misogyny and homophobia.
Maybe at this year's Ard Fheis Gerry will make a present of the gay rainbow flag to the Hamas representatives. Maybe also Sinn Fein will demand a charter for women's rights in Gaza plus an end to Sharia Law.
And maybe pigs will fly!
The Coombe, Dublin 8