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 Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer

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PostSubject: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:48 am

The Sunday Independent this morning reports that the Unions have secured protection for the core salaries of public servants. However, the shortfall in income remains and as a result the Government will proceed with cuts to allowances for childcare granted to parents of young children and to the overseas aid budget.

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/childcare-cutbacks-as-public-pay-spared-1622955.html
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:58 am

Those people with house and children mortgages will be hoping the ECB rate won't go up again - would the Government have an idea about when the rate will rise again?

Anyone know when this supplement was introduced? And how much is going out in supplements exactly?? 800million a year???

Quote :
The Government and the social partners will this week agree to savings of €1.2bn in the public payroll -- but, controversially, the core pay of public sector workers will remain untouched, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

The decision to back off a reported threat to cut core public sector pay leaves the Government with an estimated €800m shortfall in savings of €2bn it has said it must make.

It is understood the Government intends to make up this shortfall through severe cuts in current spending, mostly through slashing its overseas aid budget, and also, perhaps more controversially, the money it gives to young parents for childcare.

The Early Childcare Supplement is a direct, non-taxable payment paid monthly for each child under five and a half who receives Child Benefit. The payment, €92 per month, or €1,104 per year, is intended to help parents of children of that age to meet their childcare needs.

Cuts to this supplement, at a time when young parents working in the private sector are having their salaries reduced, and when their jobs are under threat, will create

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/childcare-cutbacks-as-public-pay-spared-1622955.html
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:14 pm

Could it have been introduced in the budget immediately before the 2007 General Election??

Ah, it's nice to see you bringing me information for my current book research project johnfás - I'll credit you in the acknowledgements when "What Have They Ever Done For Us - A History of the Celtic Tiger Budgets" is published which I'm sure will fly off the shelves.

http://www.welfare.ie/EN/Press/PressReleases/2006/Pages/pr290506.aspx
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:20 pm

Right well I'm off to Church. I'll let you know what the young parents in the congregation said to the civil servants in the congregation afterwards Razz.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:23 pm

I'm impressed if ye talk about political economics at Church! I could convert for that alone.

This is nothing to do with the Children's Allowance which is a Constitutionl Right to Children Money ... for rich and poor alike - isn't that right? Would it save anything if this sacred cow, or fattened calf were to be shlaughtered??
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:28 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Could it have been introduced in the budget immediately before the 2007 General Election??

Ah, it's nice to see you bringing me information for my current book research project johnfás - I'll credit you in the acknowledgements when "What Have They Ever Done For Us - A History of the Celtic Tiger Budgets" is published which I'm sure will fly off the shelves.

http://www.welfare.ie/EN/Press/PressReleases/2006/Pages/pr290506.aspx
Whenever it was introduced, it was a payment given as a result of the incessant public clamour that something simply had to be done about the cost of childcare and whatever had to be done, the government had to do it. After all, if we were Scandinavians, the government would not only pay for childcare, the quality of which we could never aspire to, but they would most probably have the babies for us.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:38 pm

I understand that the Scandinavians have been through their bubble bust of house prices while in 2006 when ours was at its height I can understand that people were clamouring for some breathing space indeed.

It's a bit futile going back now but it might be instructive - there were two costs back then that were problematic - labour and mortgages... do you think the generous minimum wage or the steep mortgage repayments could have been dealt with ??

But we'd probably have to go back a couple of cogs before that though ..
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:00 pm

So this is the inevitable result of "Partnership" decision-making behind closed doors by politicians and Union leaders none of whom are on less than 150,000 euro a year.

The cuts don't focus on cutting out waste or on who can afford to pay. There is no regard to protecting front line services.
The amount of cuts is not enough to save us from a deficit which will lose us our AAA credit rating. It will therefore push up the cost of Government borrowing and may well end up saving us nothing at all. Has any of the geniuses in Government Buildings done the sums?

This is all leaked to the Press rather than brought to the Dail for debate and questions, of course that goes without saying.

Perhaps the Indo has not got the full picture?

Where is the re-evaluation of the NDP?
Why are they going to continue overpaying management grade civil servants?
What is the story on decentralisation?
How are they going to cut waste like the evotingmachine rent?
When are they going to cut the numbers and cost of TDs?
What are the effects on front line services going to be of cutting overtime and having a recruitment embargo?

The Union leaders argument that employment would be affected by pay cuts was not applied to the loss of jobs from the recruitment embargo.

Where are the ring fenced strategies - energy conservation and rewable investment, broadband, front line health, education and child care?

Has anyone looked at the impacts on front line services of cutting overtime? health - education - social services?

Where is the pruning out of wasteful, unneccessary or postponable expenditure?

Government has already prevented low income families from using government subsidised creches - cutting the child care allowance will definitely push some lower income women out of work as they won't be able to afford child care. Most EU countries provide creches free - look at France.

What is an "allowance" by the way? Some may be waste, but some may support essential activities.

The illusion that Fianna Fail is a party for all the people surely must be evaporating?
Do I remember Cowen saying something about protecting the vulnerable ? Cowen is a right winger, it has been revealed very clearly by his priorities in making cuts and protecting a layer of overpaid junket-going functionaries, developers and rich other tax payers. It is also apparent that he is a talentless, weak and unimaginative individual.

The figure of 10% of the people in this country owning 60% of the disposable wealth sticks in my head. How much are these cuts going to affect them?

Unerringly this sorry shower can't do anything right. Starving people are easy meat and don't have votes here, so it goes without saying their money is cut.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:08 pm

Seems kinda dumb really.

Unemployment is rocketing upwards. If anything, this trend will accelerate. So, if loads of people are about to become unemployed, it seems likely that the need for childcare services will decrease naturally as a consequence. Cutting the payments will accelerate unemployment in childcare services and indeed will force parents out of work too, single parents. To add to the comedy, that is our government, this will accelerate the filling of dole offices and thus, accelerate the need to spend money on social welfare, which is costlier than the childcare payments. I suppose the government's efforts will save a few bob over the short term - the first month it's introduced. After that, it'll cost money. Not to mention the negative PR.

On the upside: it looks like we'll need to hire more public servants to work in dole offices. I think our government might have been looking at 'Our Really Stupid Ideas For Solving The Crisis' thread.

You just couldn't make this stuff up.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:25 pm

cactus flower wrote:
So this is the inevitable result of "Partnership" decision-making behind closed doors by politicians and Union leaders none of whom are on less than 150,000 euro a year.

The cuts don't focus on cutting out waste or on who can afford to pay. There is no regard to protecting front line services.
The amount of cuts is not enough to save us from a deficit which will lose us our AAA credit rating. It will therefore push up the cost of Government borrowing and may well end up saving us nothing at all. Has any of the geniuses in Government Buildings done the sums?

This is all leaked to the Press rather than brought to the Dail for debate and questions, of course that goes without saying.

Perhaps the Indo has not got the full picture?

Where is the re-evaluation of the NDP?
Why are they going to continue overpaying management grade civil servants?
What is the story on decentralisation?
How are they going to cut waste like the evotingmachine rent?
When are they going to cut the numbers and cost of TDs?
What are the effects on front line services going to be of cutting overtime and having a recruitment embargo?

The Union leaders argument that employment would be affected by pay cuts was not applied to the loss of jobs from the recruitment embargo.

Where are the ring fenced strategies - energy conservation and rewable investment, broadband, front line health, education and child care?

Has anyone looked at the impacts on front line services of cutting overtime? health - education - social services?

Where is the pruning out of wasteful, unneccessary or postponable expenditure?

Government has already prevented low income families from using government subsidised creches - cutting the child care allowance will definitely push some lower income women out of work as they won't be able to afford child care. Most EU countries provide creches free - look at France.

What is an "allowance" by the way? Some may be waste, but some may support essential activities.

The illusion that Fianna Fail is a party for all the people surely must be evaporating?
Do I remember Cowen saying something about protecting the vulnerable ? Cowen is a right winger, it has been revealed very clearly by his priorities in making cuts and protecting a layer of overpaid junket-going functionaries, developers and rich other tax payers. It is also apparent that he is a talentless, weak and unimaginative individual.

The figure of 10% of the people in this country owning 60% of the disposable wealth sticks in my head. How much are these cuts going to affect them?

Unerringly this sorry shower can't do anything right. Starving people are easy meat and don't have votes here, so it goes without saying their money is cut.
Perhaps we might wait for actual results rather than relying on newspaper reports before we throw our bottle out of our pram?
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:30 pm

tonys!

you're not saying that the indo is being used to test the water now are you? I think the folks on p.ie are going mental too.

and on boards
and on p45
and that munster rugby forum
and the people's republic of cork
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:32 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
tonys!

you're not saying that the indo is being used to test the water now are you? I think the folks on p.ie are going mental too.
The folks on P.ie aren't going anywhere, they're already there.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:39 pm

Soft option again. Always the easy fix, no attempt to deal with the problem. Pathetic.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:42 pm

Well tonys, it was prefaced with "if the Indo got it right".

The whole approach is wrong. Lock a handful of limited vested interests in a room and what would you expect to come out of it?

There is no sign of anything strategic apart from the aim of getting elected next time at all costs. They are driving us into the arms of the IMF and/ or default.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:54 pm

Was it the commuter belt around Dublin who were clamouring for this?

It would have been money better spent on driving down the costs of energy, petrol,. bin charges and communications - that might have stopped those people from being strangled in their own homes by their own mortgages.

People at work and social welfare alike will lose this? What the ECB giveth the Dept. taketh and vice versa. The social welfare people could be hit hardest by this as it's something they've budgetted into their bills whereas the mortgaged might be more prepared for brownfan scenario of losing their bit of dole.

jesus h christ in a vintage car is all i can say.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:07 pm

From my point of view there are a few different but related things in this, one is that there was an obscene amount of overconsumption and waste in the boom, and a narrow layer of the population were systematically enriched while a lot of people remained poor. There was a failure to invest effectively in communication, renewable energy and education. There was a shocking over-reliance on Foreign Direct Investment. There is absolutely no sign that Government wants to deal with any of this.

There is also a systemic failure of the profit system and of finance capitalism.

Politically now the rich and powerful are doing everything they can to make sure that they don't pay for it and that we do. The tried, tested and failed measures of pay cuts, slashing spending and monetarist measures are what the IMF would be bringing our way.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:35 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Could it have been introduced in the budget immediately before the 2007 General Election??
2006 I think.
http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/social-welfare/social-welfare-payments/social-welfare-payments-to-families-and-children/early_childcare_supplement?tab=
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:38 pm

Hermes wrote:
Seems kinda dumb really.

Unemployment is rocketing upwards. If anything, this trend will accelerate. So, if loads of people are about to become unemployed, it seems likely that the need for childcare services will decrease naturally as a consequence.
Which is why the allowance can be cut, no?
You realise the allowance is paid to all parents with children under 5 1/2 regardless of whether they pay for childcare or not?[/quote]
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:41 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Well tonys, it was prefaced with "if the Indo got it right".

There is no sign of anything strategic apart from the aim of getting elected next time at all costs. They are driving us into the arms of the IMF and/ or default.
Did I get to elect David Begg and Turlough O'Sullivan?

cactus flower wrote:
The whole approach is wrong. Lock a handful of limited vested interests in a room and what would you expect to come out of it?[/quoteThe VIs being IBEC and the unions?

TBH, I'm not impressed by the unions agreeing to the soft option of cutting Overseas aid. Another reason to be skeptical of them.


Last edited by eoinmn on Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:49 pm

I wonder has any assessment whatsoever been done on the social and financial impacts of withdrawing this childcare allowance?

How many creches will close?
How many people will drop out of employment as they can't afford child care?
How much extra unemployment benefit will end up being paid.

Did anyone get out the calculator yet ?

A teachers' representative last week was asking for the last year of this allowance to be shifted into providing class sizes of 20 or less in the junior infant classes. That's gone now I suppose - in fact he may have even drawn Government attention to the allowance and got it cut.

It seems to me that suggestion was worth listening to.

Another issue is , is there is a learning aspect required in creches, in the way that Montessori creches would introduce children to letters and numbers and so on? Pre-school education should be seen as an important part of long term national strategy, along with the rest of the education system.

Is government considering raising taxes at higher bands to pay for services?

The lack of visible strategy making skills and method is tragic. There is only one rule in operation - make cuts that hit the weakest, least organised people and hope for the best.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:52 pm

eoinmn wrote:
Hermes wrote:
Seems kinda dumb really.

Unemployment is rocketing upwards. If anything, this trend will accelerate. So, if loads of people are about to become unemployed, it seems likely that the need for childcare services will decrease naturally as a consequence.
Which is why the allowance can be cut, no?
You realise the allowance is paid to all parents with children under 5 1/2 regardless of whether they pay for childcare or not?
[/quote]

The simple answer to that is to pay the money out in the form of child care vouchers, to directly subsidise creches, or to provide a tax rebate to working parents. Childcare is needed by people in training and education too. We shouldn't be putting anyone on the dole without offering them training or education options.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:59 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Another issue is , is there is a learning aspect required in creches, in the way that Montessori creches would introduce children to letters and numbers and so on? Pre-school education should be seen as an important part of long term national strategy, along with the rest of the education system.
I'm all for promoting the Montessori Method, but that's a seperate issue.

Its important to remember that the allowance was paid regardless of whether parents used childcare or not.
And it is paid to the parents, not the childcare providers.

So it may be called a Childcare Allowance, but really it is/was an under-Fives allowance.

If the government at the time were serious about bringing down childcare costs they would have provided money to creches/pre-schools etc. But rather it may have been an election sop to Mr. & Mrs. Breakfast Roll.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:02 pm

cactus flower wrote:
The simple answer to that is to pay the money out in the form of child care vouchers, to directly subsidise creches, or to provide a tax rebate to working parents. Childcare is needed by people in training and education too.
All good points. I would go further and say the vouchers would only be redeemable in certain approved facilities, but then that would require all kinds of admin and be quite un-FF/PD like.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:36 pm

According to that article, a public sector pension levy is to be introduced.

BTW, I kinda agree with Tonys that what the Sindo have reported is probably not 100% accurate. I think the childcare allowance will be means-tested or taxed or some such. Or perhaps even the plain old Children's Allowance will be means-tested.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:41 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
I'm impressed if ye talk about political economics at Church! I could convert for that alone.

Course we do, I was talking to one of the lead project managers for many of the big infrastructue projects after Church today. He was telling me the whole place is @#'%ed. The new infrastructure projects are being seriously cut back. His firm, a major player, had a topographical survey commissioned by Dublin City Council last week because the Council doesn't have the 2,000 to pay them to undertake the work. Then I proceeded to chat to our Minister who ranted to me on issues from throwing bankers in jail to putting George Bush on trial for war crimes. Never a dull moment!
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