Letters to the Editor: 'Only the property-owning classes can prosper like this'
When rents are taking a much greater portion of income - some up to 40pc - and deposit interest rates are nearly 200 times lower than house price increases, is not the property market one of the causes of all our economic woes?
With house prices doubling in less than seven years, bringing down incomes for the averaged paid seems self-defeating, and for the lower paid absolutely draconian. Surely, interest rates must rise? When improving competitiveness means going below the poverty level for the majority of citizens and borrowed future taxes are the basis of our banking system and government spending, are not the latter two the problems that must be sorted?
When energy, public transport, and waste disposal costs, plus house prices and rents, are controlled by agencies that disregard the constitutional requirement of keeping utility costs affordable for all citizens, only the property-owning classes prosper.
While financial, banking, and utility regulators continue to allow exploitation of the weaker sections of society, the economy remains dependent on unsustainable, unrepayable, foreign borrowing.
Ballymun, Dublin 9
We need to do something to hold onto our fed-up doctors
It was sad to read the very informative piece by Eilish O'Regan, 'Doctors fed up with conditions leaving Ireland "in droves"' (Irish Independent, April 12) .
The report said that during the years 2016-2017, the health service lost 2,830 doctors to emigration. They left to work in the UK, Australia and elsewhere, to earn more money, improve their career prospects, enjoy a much better work-life balance, and practise without having to do the non-medical chores expected of them at home.
At present, the HSE is short the services of 500 consultants to work in our hospitals. It also emerged that quite a number of recently qualified consultants already working here were uprooting and leaving their positions in frustration at the 30pc salary cut imposed on them in recent years, in contrast to their more senior colleagues. This coming hot on the heels of the CervicalCheck scandal, the homelessness crisis, the hospital trolley outrage, the nurses' pay strike, the growing medical waiting lists, and the children's hospital fiasco, means that our health service is very badly broken at present.
The doctors and nurses who stay at home to work in our hospitals are run off their feet and are struggling to cope with ever-increasing patient numbers. Unfortunately the people who suffer most in this scenario are some of the most vulnerable in our society. The very young, the sick, the frail and the elderly, who patiently wait in line or on a trolley in a hospital corridor, possibly for many hours - only then to be seen and treated by our remaining young stressed-out medical professionals, some of whom may feel like they have worked a double shift. This has got to stop.
Cloonacool, Co Sligo
Council must recognise the real value of Pigeon House
Regarding your article on development of the old Pigeon House hotel/fort/power station and the Poolbeg chimneys ('Crosbie plots tourist lookout next to iconic stacks', Irish Independent, April 12)... Between 1991 and 1994 the staff of the Poolbeg station and the Ringsend and District Community Council (RDCC) created a FAS/CE scheme that produced a comprehensive business plan to develop Pigeon House as Ireland's first science and technology museum.
Many unique items associated with Pigeon House were rescued and preserved as part of that project, including 18th century cannons, the foundation stone of the power station (1903), along with hand-written log books, name-plates, etc. These items bore witness to the long social and industrial history of the area and especially to the efforts of workers who crewed both the Pigeon House and Poolbeg stations for more than a century. Dublin City Council should oblige developers to locate and exhibit these items as part of any development. Finally, Pigeon House and Sandymount strand appear several times in the writings of James Joyce and this should present opportunities to highlight yet another aspect of this rare and important site.
Raheny, Dublin 5
FAI board needs an overhaul for any credibility to return
Why should John Delaney be the only one to leave the FAI? There needs to be a complete overhaul of the board to re-establish credibility. There needs to be a mix of respected ex-players and people with recognised business management experience in a sizeable organisation.