Budget 2010

Public sector pay cuts

Up to €30,000 : -5%
€30,001 to €70,000 : -7,5%
€70,001 to €125,000: – 10%
Then up to 200,000 -: -12%
Then -15%

This represents – €1,250 for those on €25,000
- €3,000 for those on €50,000
- €7,500 for those on €100,000
These reductions are on top of the average 7% pension levy cut last May – meaning that public sector employees have taken a big hit.

However, pay increments will be paid as usual ( about ?700 to ?800 for lower grades) which means that job losses (up to 30,000) in the public sector will continue over the next four years to keep public spending unchanged, flat or a little contracted.

Bill’s comment – Minister Lenihan should have applied a 1% cut to the lowest salaries and a 4% cut up to 60k and a graduation upwards to make up the difference to ?1.3 billion. A greater reduction in the gap between rich and poor has a positive health benefit for society and I believe this budget fails that test.

The reduction (3.6%) in carers allowance down to €212 and carers benefit down to €213 per week is simply wrong. The invalidity pension is down to €201.50 and the blind person’s pension is down to €196 per week.

Minister Harney has hoisted a 50 cent charge on each item on e medical card prescription. The rationale she offered in interviews that this will reduce doctors prescribing is simply absurd. (Not fit for the office she holds).

. Reducing the price of alcohol is outrageous in a society with huge costs of alcohol related physical, mental and social damage.

I could write reams of abuse on these subjects but I have tried to be analytical and objective despite the provocation from both the government and the highly publicised union officials.

I refer you to the FG website for Richard Bruton’s comments.

The Gardai – Corruption in police forces is a world wide problem. It also exists here – (Donegal etc). How many younger gardai are up to their necks in negative equity and debt? Cutting pay in the force is certain to increase the temptation to accept bribes and enter into corrupt practices. Gardai and the army should have been removed from the cuts. Common sense.