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 Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer

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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Social Partnership was created at the bottom of a very long fall in the fortunes of Ireland's economy way back when... in 1987 when inflation was high, economic growth was low, unemployment was high and things were generally pretty bleak.

I would argue that the roll Social Partnership played in the creation or encouragement of the Celtic Tiger economy isn't all the Government, employers groups and trade unions make it out to be and while the influence was more a claming measure rather that a direct benefit to the economy their influence and ability in the face of the challenging economic circumstances in which we find outselves now, well they've played all the cards they had, then they started gouging for all they could get and have actually contributed to the mess we are in.

But yet again, Tweeded Beardies, David Begg, Turlough O'Sullivan and others "partners" were once again wheeled in to Government buildings, never to help the nation, but to help themselves and we see the result! Save €2bn... though self sacrafice for the greater good? No, cut early child payments, fall short on their "goals" and keep their own asses firmly against the wall.

How long will this charade go on before people start to realise the sham act played out in their name, with their money which benifits not them but vested interests? The game is very different but they're still playing the same hand.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:41 pm

Yeah, our church (or at least, our rector) is hot on social issues, greed and the environment as well. Churches are a much needed reservoir of social conscience in a post Celtic Tiger world.

The early childcare supplement; well, as one parent of 2 small kids who had just returned from the UK 18 months ago, I was amazed by the Government's generosity; UK child benefit was 66 per month for my eldest and about 50 or just under for number 2. We got 243STG deducted from both our gross salaries to pay the creche in vouchers, (utterly inadequate), tax savings which would have saved me plus udder half about 150 a month, probably. Total help from UK state, about 250 per month, just over. Here, we were getting 360 a month in child benefit and the early childcare supplement, another almost 100 per month, so 460 total. Even given the exchange rate then, this was more generous, and get this, the creche fees here were LOWER! Yes, we paid through the nose for a mortgage, but the ECB has helpfully been assisting us with that recently, along with the State's mortgage interest relief, which was adding another 300 odd to our monthly help from the State.

The end effect of this, I calculated, was that as a (just) higher rate tax payer, the state was happily giving me back everything I paid 'em in PAYE. Admittedly, they're getting a fair whack from my husband, but less than he would have paid in the UK.... and no council tax either. The childcare vouchers in the UK were also impossibly bureaucratic; we had a nightmare trying to cancel them when we left.

I think the MIR might have been a better target than the childcare supplement, myself, given the ECB savings, but the state has been handing out too much and asking for too little...all financed by the property boom. They thought they had great revenue and had lowered the Government debt, put a sovereign wealth fund in place, etc, but I think all the policies really achieved was a transfer of debt from the Government to the private citizen (home owner, developer, bank shareholder, whatever). Now the party's over, they get to bail us all out. So we'll go back to lower private debt and higher Government liability...

Swings and roundabouts..
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:00 am

We seem to be making a mighty balls of it in fairness to us - I think a lot of this pulling and dragging with pay here and deduct there and hire some admin here to admin the tax take there and fire admin there ..(or not)

could be helped along a lot by focusing on provision and cost of resources and utilities. There would be less pressure on wages and income and expenditure if a lot of the resources we use every day were honed in on by the state for particular treatment. Somehow we need flexible policies on An Coillte's business for energy, the ESB for energy, ComReg, the Bin People, the Petrol crowd, the food providers etc. etc. etc.

We're trying to juggle too many knives and we're just going to end up sticking one in the juggler if we're not careful.
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PostSubject: Re: Pay Cuts Spared - But Welfare Payments Will Suffer   Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:26 am

Uhuh. I think there's room for cuts, though. One unremarked effect of this crisis is that for those still in employment, they can't/won't borrow much, and for those let go, debts will have to be written off. Personal debt should look very different in a few years time.

Taxes need to go up, too. And I definitely think that there is room for cuts for the higher paid. Pat Kenny and Gerry Ryan need to get a grip. They're on more than our possibly overpaid politicians. What EXACTLY do they do that is so essential??

The tax havens are under threat worldwide, which might make raising taxes easier to do, at least in the long term.

Bureaucracy needs to be cut too. This country is far from being the worst offender, but we will soon be unable to afford a society where most push paper and those that produce the essentials are largely underpaid. Cheap energy will soon be history.
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