Pat Flanagan column: Paying dumped politicians €2 million between them is an insult to public who voted them out
They call them 'parachute' payments, but maybe the word parasite is more appropriateby Pat Flanagan
The disclosure that politicians who were sacked by the voters will share €2 million between them is sure to make the public’s blood boil.
Even when our TDs and Senators lose they win, as 45 of them who stood for election and were rejected are likely to pocket an average of €45,283 across a range of payments.
They call them “parachute” payments, but maybe the word parasite is more appropriate, as some of the politicians involved voted to reduce ordinary workers pensions and increase the eligibility age.
No statutory two weeks' pay per year for these guys, no sir - a Dail deputy who loses their seat is eligible for a single payment of 75% of their salary… that’s slightly over €72,000.
How did we arrive at a situation where politicians get these vast sums for what the public perceive as failure?
They themselves came up with this scandalous abuse of taxpayers’ money, so it’s fair enough to call them parasites. It’s the great gravy train robbery.
And it probably won’t be long before a good few more of them are in for a big lob as it’s now looking like there will be another election in the near future.
Neither of the other two big parties are willing to go into government with Sinn Fein, with Fianna Fail refusing to even talk to them.
The Shinners’ success has rocked the Establishment but the tremors from this earthquake were there for years - although Fine Gael and Fianna Fail didn’t feel the ground move.
As far back as 2017, leading academic Professor Aidan Regan warned the so-called economic boom was setting up a political time bomb that could lead to a Brexit-style backlash. Last Saturday that time bomb went off and blew away the old order.
Also, a recent UN report warns that “rising inequality is destabilising democracies around the world,” adding “populism is being fuelled by resentment of untouchable elites”.
Even now both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael don’t get it that the people have had enough,and are going to do something about it.
Former Tanaiste Simon Coveney as good as accused an ungrateful public of being “impatient” over housing and health with his party after being nine years in office.
Best laugh of the week came from Fianna Fail’s justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan, who warned Sinn Fein’s election promises, if implemented, would “turn the country into Venezuela”.
Does Jimbo forget that his party did turn Ireland into, not Venezuela but Angola, Colombia, Malawi, Morocco and Sierra Leone as they, like Ireland had to go begging to the International Monetary Fund to be bailed out.
Fianna Fail left the country bankrupt after 13 years of disastrous misrule and the party’s current leader was a minister in a government which guaranteed the banks costing the taxpayer €64billion.
The debt of €205 billion – the biggest in the developed world – is largely down to the way Fianna Fail ran the country before and during the crash.
We won’t mention dear old Charlie Haughey. I say dear because he was in the pocket of the rich and cost them in the region of €10 million.
There was also the rampant corruption and shocking revelations which emerged at the tribunals. Did I mention the jailed Fianna Fail ministers?
So less of the Venezuela Jim, the Sicilian Mafia wouldn’t get a look in with your lot back in the day. As for RTE they too had their heads up their arse when it came to the public mood and got it totally wrong in their election predictions.
The banks are also not happy at the prospect of the Shinners being in power as the party has promised to rescind the 20-year tax holiday gifted them by Fine Gael and Labour.
Mary Lou’s outfit have also pledged to force the loan sharks to reduce their penal mortgage interest rates which are the highest in the EU.
Apparently Bank of Ireland shares have lost around 65% of their value since the election and Sinn Fein are being blamed by market analysts.
BOI shouldn’t be so hard on the Shinners, didn’t it wipe out all its share value through sheer recklessness and ineptitude a decade ago.
Business organisation, Ibec on the other hand is coming to terms with political reality.
The director general of the employers’ lobby group said he will do business with the Shinners.
He added: “The public sector is too small for the size of the private sector, and that is really something for Ibec to say.
“The lack of doctors, the lack of guards etc. You can feel it. We agree there needs to be an allocation of resources towards issues that affect people’s everyday lives, like housing.”
We’re in some state when the bosses rep is calling for change and our public representatives are refusing to bring it about.