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A swill party

Charming isn't it? A nurse, guard, fireman, prison officer, binman, bus driver, teacher and a myriad of other real workers are pared to the bone in order to keep the fat cats purring. Meanwhile, a select group who are said to possess "exceptional talent" won't get out of bed for less than €100,000 a year, plus expenses.

The nearer they are to the top men, the higher the salary goes, say €200,000. Did we not have "exceptional talent" here before?

Did we not pay astronomical salaries to men and women to regulate our economy, to run our health system, to oversee our education, to stuff the countless quangos that are beloved by government?

What did we learn? Well, that had you paid Micky the Blind Monkey to throw darts at the problem he would have done no worse.

Throwing eye-watering salaries around like that is done because: a) it shows that the top guy (Enda in one case) can flex his muscles and do it; b) this "exceptional talent" seems to have an amazing link to the inner circles of government and the ruling class; and c) we are fools and will put up with it, because the powers-that-be know another disaster coming down the line will distract us anyway.

So, we are all extras in a real-life 'Animal Farm' scenario. All animals are not equal and what is corn for the horse is swill for the pigs. The more I watch our ruling class run us across the rocks, the more I understand why it took 800 years to get our liberty, which we managed to keep for less than a century.

Like the promises that were made to keep hospitals and services open, the pledge to cap big-boy salaries was as useful as a politician's word. I suppose the powers-that-be say, we do this because we can. And we stand like startled rabbits in the headlights, bereft of anybody who is capable of standing up to those purveyors of snake oil and crazy illusions.

John Cuffe
Dunboyne, Meath

According to the Oireachtas website, in October this year the average monthly expenses claimed by 15 TDs who have so far expressed their intention to not pay the household charge is €3,595, ranging from a low of €1,000 to the astounding €5,107.84 claimed by Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty -- and this is on top of their salaries.

The gullibility of the Irish people never ceases to amaze when you think of how easily they are fooled by 15 TDs who will make a stand over a €100 charge but who have done nothing to minimise the burden they place on the same taxpayer with their obscene salaries and expenses.

So next time a TD knocks on your door or writes to tell you they'll go to jail and will not pay the household charge -- thereby adding even more cost to the taxpayer of their court and jail visit -- ask them to publish the receipts for the expenses they claim.

Desmond FitzGerald
Canary Wharf, London

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