Pay increases for politicians
It looks like Christmas will be coming early for some of our best known turkeys. What’s more you can be absolutely sure they’ll be voting enthusiastically for it. Yesterday in an article by @Philip_Ryan the @SundayIndo Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin confirmed that pay increases for all politicians would be on the table as the Government moved to reverse cuts imposed during the recession.
Public Expenditure but no Reform
In justifying what we at ISME believe to be the unjustifiable because of the pressure it puts on the country’s key employment sector, the small and medium enterprises, Mr. Howlin said, "Ministers, politicians or anybody else - I've always said that we are not going to segregate out people,". So his title is half appropriate. He is definitely going big on expenditure. However, there’s little or no sign of that reform agenda. That’s despite the country’s administration still costing more than it takes in by way of taxes.
Someone else’s doodoo
As a country we have been absolutely blessed the way the economic cards have fallen for us. Cheap money has meant less interest on the nation’s borrowings. A cheap Euro has driven demand for our products and services. But despite all of this we still are spending money the country does not have – a sure recipe for future economic troubles that will inevitably lead to higher taxes and the destruction of businesses and jobs. But that’ll be after the next election, so that’s OK. That’ll be someone else’s mess to clean up.
Do TD’s really earn €155,000?
And what do our politicians actually get paid for what some is part time employment? A TD's salary has been cut by 20pc in the past six years and office holders earn €87,258 a year. However, they also receive an average of €34,000 a year in expenses. Senators have seen their salaries drop by almost 14pc to €60,539 since 2009, but also make an average of €29,000 each in expenses. Expenses, by definition, are untaxed, so you can double the expenses amounts to get the pre-tax position. Doing the sums for you, roughly speaking, a TD’s gross income is €155,000.
Nada. Nothing. No income. No job. No 20% cut
In contrast small business owners and their employees have gone bust. Nada. Nothing. No income. No job. No 20% cut. That is the figure that all politicians need to understand. And as for the so-called reform agenda the public sector unions are already saying they want to hear no more about it. So, it’s business as usual. More money for those who in secure jobs and no question that they might be asked for efficiencies.
It’s all Greek to us
Is it a case that No one cares – after all it’s about getting re-elected – or maybe is it that no one understands the basics of economics? Whatever it is, paying more money to run a country that has no money sounds all Greek to us.