Albert Einstein was a very clever man, so clever that even before this death he was able to anticipate the insanity of Irish government economic policy. One of German genius’s famous phrases was, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results’. It looks like our new set of political geniuses is planning on following the same economic path that caused the 1st massive economic crash and somehow this time they expect that it’ll be different. God help us because if they do a 2nd massive crash can’t be too far away.
Though it’s just conjecture at this stage, but as it’s in a newspaper it must be true, it seems that part of the Fianna Fail/Fine Gael power grab at any price will include a commission to examine pay levels across the public sector. According to media commentary this commission is meant to be seen as a mechanism for preventing strikes across the public sector. Have they forgotten the Blue Flu, the Choo-choo flu and the Chalk flu? Strikes which would have the potential to cripple a minority government reliant on opposition co-operation.
According to the @IrishTimes ‘A Fianna Fáil source described the commission as a “benchmarking-type process” that is likely to look at all pay levels, though the same article does say that Fine Gael is likely to oppose a return to benchmarking. No, don’t ask us, we’re as confused as you are by this. However we do know that benchmarking was and would be disastrous for SME business.
There are three big blocks that benefit from benchmarking. The government, which doesn’t have to earn the money to pay for any pay increases (you can be sure there will be only upward only reviews). The large industries and semi-state companies, represented by IBEC, won’t be worried as they have remained profitable through thick and thin. Finally there will be singing in Liberty Hall as their membership (mostly nowadays in the public sector) will get pay increases from which union dues will be duly deducted. Oh, and the ‘educational trips’ favoured by the ‘Social Partners’, made infamous by FAS et al, can begin in earnest again.
Why, oh why, is it that ISME is the lone voice trying to shout some sanity back into this self-interested tri-partite bunch? The economy was wholly and completely destroyed by the cosy cartel that was Government (Fianna Fáil), the unions and their buddies in IBEC, all of whom gained with benchmarking. It’s taken only eight years since the 2008 collapse for PA to set in (Partnership amnesia). The only way for our tiny economy to prosper is to drive productivity with near religious fervour. We cannot afford to pay people what they don’t earn. But of course those who are promoting a new round of benchmarking don’t have to earn anything. Their salaries are paid for by taxes, and they’re free….aren’t they?
For more sane advice and chat join us at the ISME Annual Lunch on Friday June 3rd at Croke Park