Saturday 25 January 2020

Five point plan

• Dear Taoiseach,

I have worked since before I left school and thankfully I am still employed.

Although I have a reasonable income, I just cannot continue to contribute to the high wages, bonuses, pensions and benefits of senior bankers in Ireland.

You and I and my neighbours own AIB, Bank of Ireland and NAMA by virtue of the stake-holding and bank guarantee.

Yet I seem to have no say in what we pay them. And their wages come out of my pocket every week. Yes, we the people pay and pay and pay, every week.

It must stop soon. Fairness must prevail in society if we are to raise ourselves above the mess we created.

I accept my share of the blame for the mess and I fully accept the need to play my part in resolving our state of affairs.

But fairness does not include paying 1,700 bankers more than €100,000 per annum, nor does it include paying €500,000 per annum to six bankers of the former Anglo Irish Bank.

The context is that we have a €64bn banking crisis. There is not a business on the planet where you can lose record money, see share values plummet from €20+ to 10c and still have senior executives raking in more personal pay than President Barack Obama (he earned $395,000 in 2011, or €310,000).

They are living in a dream world at the expense of our nightmare.

If you have not acquired an appreciation of the mood of the people then now is the time to check it out. We are sick and tired of it.

Here's a five-point plan for you:

1. Pay the decent bankers who are trying to support communities and individuals at ground level.

2. Tell those earning over €250,000 that their pay has reduced and let them sue the State.

3. Support small business start-ups in a tangible way. You can ask any small business for the answers to this. No need for a consultant's report!

4. Do not extract any more from the wage packet of citizens earning less than €50,000.

5. Ask the Central Bank to empower the credit unions with the ability to offer debit cards, current accounts and full clearing facilities, as banks have kept the monopoly on this for long enough.

If you have read to here, Taoiseach, I thank you for your time and look forward to a better Ireland soon.

Alan Shaw
Address with editor

Irish Independent

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