Eoghan Harris: Benchmarking public pay and welfare to NI levels would save €23bn

borntorum

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Eoghan Harris was on Morning Ireland this morning calling for a 10% reduction in politicians pay. Link here

During his interview he stated that "benchmarking" (whatever that means) public sector pay and social welfare payments to Northern Ireland levels would save €23bn. He then seems to suggest it might be €15bn - it's not clear.

We know that our public pay and welfare levels are higher than in the UK, but this €23bn figure sounds very high to me. Does anyone know how much more we are spending on these things compared to our neighbours?
 


Akrasia

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Eoghan Harris should have a 100% reduction in his own 'politicians pay' given that he is not a politician, he is merely one of Bertie's cronies taking his salary for loyalty and services rendered during the years that Ahern was laying the seeds of our destruction.

Harris should quit his yapping and put his money where his mouth is. He should give back every penny he has 'earned' as a senator. He has more than enough to survive on in his other well paid jobs,
 

ctr

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I'll assume he'll give us the NHS standard health service free at the point of use & lower tax rates etc. also as otherwise he is talking out of his arse!
 

Kerrygold

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How about getting rid of useless, pointless senators appointed by disgraced Taoisigh?

The man's a clown and should be treated as such. What are RTE doing given this cretin airtime? Or is that a stupid question?
 

inthemire

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Good idea Eoghan. Do they have a Seanad up there? No? OK, lets close down the Seanad here in parallel??

Did FF/RTE ask him that question? Did they fk!!! :-(
 

Oldira1

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But our PS pay bill is only €18 billion.!!! How do we get to €23 billion? People actually pay to work in the PS? Harris seems like he is on drugs.
 

grainne whale

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But our PS pay bill is only €18 billion.!!! How do we get to €23 billion? People actually pay to work in the PS? Harris seems like he is on drugs.
oh I'd say he's on something all right!!
 

patslatt

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Key issue is NI pay v UK pay

Eoghan Harris was on Morning Ireland this morning calling for a 10% reduction in politicians pay. Link here

During his interview he stated that "benchmarking" (whatever that means) public sector pay and social welfare payments to Northern Ireland levels would save €23bn. He then seems to suggest it might be €15bn - it's not clear.

We know that our public pay and welfare levels are higher than in the UK, but this €23bn figure sounds very high to me. Does anyone know how much more we are spending on these things compared to our neighbours?
A key issue is how NI public sector pay compares with UK public sector pay. I assume that pay is standardised across the UK except for London,which pays a London allowance for the high cost of living. It's about time we considered paying a Dublin allowance instead of paying Dublin wages in country areas with a low cost of living.
 

TradCat

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€75,000 is what MPs get in Britain. €112,000 is what TDs get. So in the Harris plan politicians get off a lot more lightly than the public service. Nurses and Gardai would be reduced to UK levels but TDs would still get 25% more than their counterparts.
 

borntorum

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€75,000 is what MPs get in Britain. €112,000 is what TDs get. So in the Harris plan politicians get off a lot more lightly than the public service. Nurses and Gardai would be reduced to UK levels but TDs would still get 25% more than their counterparts.
In fairness to Harris, he wasn't saying that we should reduce our public pay and welfare spend to UK levels. He was claiming that if we did, we'd save €26 bn (or €15bn, it's unclear).

BTW, I agree that politicians pay should be reduced by more than 10%. According to G Fitzgerald in last Saturday's IT, Dev managed to survive on the equivalent of €70k when he was Taoiseach
 

PetevonPete

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In fairness Harris is a dry drunk who for his own mental health would be better just left in a dark room rather any of his rantings being deabted
 

the_rebubblican

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I was wondering if someone was going to start a thread on Harris' contribution this morning.

This is yet another important milestone in the life of politics when a gargantuan blowhole who professes to know the very soul of the Irish everyman gets up to 5-6 minutes on Morning Ireland. A man of no party, of no creed (except for his own utterances) a man who has had more faces than an intricately cut diamond.

This gypsy motormouth apparatchik of a discredited political establishment and a beneficiary of a cancerous political party is listened to like a sage from the land of the gods.

Can the failure of Irish politics be more clearly underlined when he starts talking sense while the mainstream parties are rendered mute by the incestuous public sector and privileged groups' expectations so that they as he said "avoid the elephant in the room."

Harris rightly talked of leadership and a Leadership Levy to show the way in order for ordinary joes to accept higher taxes and cuts. He mentions the managerial classes (judges, politicians, civil service management, university lecturers) needing to suffer as an example as they have feathered their nests to an extraordinary degree during the LA LA years. He talks of the incredible attrition rate through natural wastage of only 0.01% in the civil service while the private sector sees 5-10%.

He talks of benchmarking public sector costs with those in the north. If we want to treat the island as one economy we should certainly do so. He quotes Peter Cassells contention that there will be no recovery until public sector wages fall below those of the private sector.

He's right. What is staggering is the implied cowardice of Irish political parties to look at the problem in this relativelty straight forward joined up way. The major parties are corralled like sheep by the now untenable expectation of continuing relatively high wages, poor performance and restricitve practices by vested interest groups. By vested groups I am talking yes about unions but also professional classes, IBES the CIF, Vintners etc...

Maybe Harris has the ear of Cowen and is being used as a stalking horse for the inevitable debate to come. Can anyone name a politician who has articulated what he said in this current Dáil?

My heart has sunk enough with what has happened to my country and I'm sure will sink further as so called leaders tip toe around the heavyweight groups who have helped cripple our competitiveness and undermine our solvency. But it all rests with our democratically elected representatives, that's the way it works but look at the time that's been wasted so far and the money.

The republic has failed, it's time to realise this. It needs radical surgery both financially, economically, socially but also politically. The elite within FF have treated our country's institutions of the state with all the seriousness of a part time youth club, selecting, promoting and glorifying jackasses and scoundrels and swindlers.

And here we have an unpredictable intergalactic ego lost in his own importance shouting the truth while our "leaders" remain cowered, silent, stymied and ineffectual. Sweet Jesus...
 

bokuden

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Are you Eoghan Harris?
 

the_rebubblican

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Are you Eoghan Harris?
No. never, I detest the guy and what he stands for but he has looked at the public sector correctly as being currently unsustainable. His points are valid, the incredible thing is there is not one member of the Dail who articulated anything approaching such a realistic and radical plan.

Goes to show the limited breadth of argument and range of thinking within national politics. We've spent the last 2 years waiting for Cowen to lead and simply avoided the inevitable. FF have taken the country's coffers for a ride as has anybody else who was able to squeeze on the party trailer.

We are just now struggling to deal with out finances when we should be doing an audit of all expenditure including those groups who have ridden the republic into the mire and I'm not just talking about unions. Where's the f**king leadership, Harris??????
 

Keith-M

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In fairness to Harris, he wasn't saying that we should reduce our public pay and welfare spend to UK levels. He was claiming that if we did, we'd save €26 bn (or €15bn, it's unclear).

BTW, I agree that politicians pay should be reduced by more than 10%. According to G Fitzgerald in last Saturday's IT, Dev managed to survive on the equivalent of €70k when he was Taoiseach
I would agree. The only argument for the ridiculous salaries (and expenses) that we pay our politicians is that it makes public service attractive for quality people. Looking at the government (and opposition front benches), it's clear that this isn't working. None of them would be in high level jobs in the private sector.

We should also get rid of the senate (one of the few good reasons to vote for FG).

There is a debate to be had regarding why the entire public service is overpaid compared with the U.K. This is the worst legacy of the Ahern years(even more than he banking situation). There needs to be a 20%-25% cut in the public sector wage bill divided between redundancies, pay cuts, and pension reductions.
 

kittykat

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And we could phone Mrs Windsor, apologise for the state of the place and hand back the keys as well while we are at it.:rolleyes:
 

needle_too

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I'll assume he'll give us the NHS standard health service free at the point of use & lower tax rates etc. also as otherwise he is talking out of his arse!
And if we dont, we can cut even more costs.
Excellent idea!
 

Tomas Mor

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Did Harris ever mention Bertie the benefactor of benchmarking,and the man who gave Eoghan a fat cat job in the senate in return for this chameleon's backing at last election. Enough to make one puke !
 


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