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Harry McGee says we are not best boys in class after all


Clanrickard

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Politics » Ministers bark but ECB leash still holds

Interesting piece in the IT. McGee says via anonymous sources that there is concern at the government's lessening desire for reform. It seems the Troika feel we won't make the 3% deficit target. The piece reiterates that the government is making a big deal about debt relief when it is the deficit that should be worked on.............

Analysis based on the latest staff reports from the Commission and the IMF, as well as from well-placed sources, shows there is real concern that radical Government reforms have slowed down and may even hit the buffers.
and with Croke Park II on the go the piece says.............

Then there is the recurrent theme that the public sector pay bill has not been tackled sufficiently; that not enough has been done to tackle the growing problem of long-term unemployed people; and measures to address over-runs, especially in health, have been inadequate.
and significantly

Troika staff have focused to an inordinate extent on the public sector pay bill in recent months. The core argument is that cutting numbers isn’t enough.

The Commission noted that Irish medical consultants were the highest paid in the EU for their public work, being paid twice the rate in the UK. The IMF noted: “Public pay is elevated in Ireland especially for teachers and medical professionals.”
It has honed in on medical consultants in particular. One example is of the consultant who described a proposed public salary (€205,000) as ‘Mickey Mouse money’ [six years ago].

“Some of these guys don’t realise the party is over,” said the source.
We all know the party is over but for some in the public sector the party goes. It is high time this optical illusion called Croke Park is scrapped and the public sector pay bill is reduced and fast. Likewise with the welfare. Upward only rents, rates, red tape should tackled immediately. For all the guff about this deal it seems the Troika are not impressed and are concerned about the way we are headed.
 


borntorum

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The government are making so much noise about debt relief in Europe because they want to distract from their policy failures and lack of courage at home. They should tone down the megaphone diplomacy and concentrate on reforming the public service and social welfare systems.
 

Con Gallagher

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The current/structural deficit is far more significant than legacy bank debt or promissory notes (which we could digitly burn if we had no deficit). A deficit of 8.2% GDP after five austerity budgets is failure (Haughey closed a deficit of 7.9% to 1.6% GNP in two years). The McCarthy report gathers dust, incremental pay increases have continued for 5 years, children's allowance is still universal, senior politicians/civil servants/librarians pay outstrips the pay of several EU leaders. Ireland needs to get real.
 

ger12

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The government are making so much noise about debt relief in Europe because they want to distract from their policy failures and lack of courage at home. They should tone down the megaphone diplomacy and concentrate on reforming the public service and social welfare systems.
Yep, well put.
 
D

Dylan2010

the silence is deafening and means the establishment is still partying. How many major quangos have been culled in the last 12 months? any reforms in Health, Justice worth mentioning? None! . Doing what you did yeaterday and shaving a few % of salaries is not reform
 

meriwether

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The government are making so much noise about debt relief in Europe because they want to distract from their policy failures and lack of courage at home. They should tone down the megaphone diplomacy and concentrate on reforming the public service and social welfare systems.
'Reforming' sounds good. Who doesn't like reform?

The reality is this is a synonym for 'pay cuts' which is 'austerity'.

The Irish electorate have no appetite for the 'reform' required. That is why Labour have 37 seats. Because they expressely promised to protect the public sector and social welfare expenditure.

There's no point the electorate whining about lack of 'reform' when a member of the coalition has a mandate to reject this 'reform'.
 

meriwether

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the silence is deafening and means the establishment is still partying. How many major quangos have been culled in the last 12 months? any reforms in Health, Justice worth mentioning? None! . Doing what you did yeaterday and shaving a few % of salaries is not reform
I'd say you might save 500k a year if you abolished the bad quangos.

Quango + 'cutting waste/value for money' = waffle.
 

Brera

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It's like the 1980s all over again. FG & Lab should never be in government together in times of economic crisis.

Howlin is a joke in public sector reform - only tinkering around the edges

We need radical reform of the social welfare system which Joan Burton isn't prepared to implement and we can't fix our health service while pay is off the table !
 

Hewson

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I'd say you might save 500k a year if you abolished the bad quangos.

Quango + 'cutting waste/value for money' = waffle.
There are some 700 quangos in this country. We have a population about the size of Manchester's, yet we have a couple of dozen local authorities. We have Junior Ministers whose role is to exist and draw down inflated salaries, Departmental structures and grades from the Victorian era and a Public Service that doesn't understand what the word 'reform' means.

We could rip out two thirds of the useless, money-wasting quangos tomorrow and nobody would notice except the members themselves.

500k? How did you arrive at that figure?
 

Orbit v2

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'Reforming' sounds good. Who doesn't like reform?

The reality is this is a synonym for 'pay cuts' which is 'austerity'.

The Irish electorate have no appetite for the 'reform' required. That is why Labour have 37 seats. Because they expressely promised to protect the public sector and social welfare expenditure.

There's no point the electorate whining about lack of 'reform' when a member of the coalition has a mandate to reject this 'reform'.
It was Kenny's decision to get into bed with Labour. He could have done a deal with FF instead.
 
D

Dylan2010

I'd say you might save 500k a year if you abolished the bad quangos.

Quango + 'cutting waste/value for money' = waffle.
indeed its bigger than quangos, RTE should be sold off and half of the nonsense state agencies should be shut down from Tourism Ireland to Bord Bia and any other producer lobbies out there. You dont use a water pistol to fight a house fire.
 

meriwether

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There are some 700 quangos in this country. We have a population about the size of Manchester's, yet we have a couple of dozen local authorities. We have Junior Ministers whose role is to exist and draw down inflated salaries, Departmental structures and grades from the Victorian era and a Public Service that doesn't understand what the word 'reform' means.

We could rip out two thirds of the useless, money-wasting quangos tomorrow and nobody would notice except the members themselves.

500k? How did you arrive at that figure?
I took the usual range of figures bandied about for savings on cutting quangoes, and applied a 95% bullsh1t reduction on it.

Thuis rule of thumb has served me well previously.
 

meriwether

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It was Kenny's decision to get into bed with Labour. He could have done a deal with FF instead.
He could.

Thats not what the people wanted.

A vetoing block of them want no cuts to public sector wages or social welfare.

I see no other way to interpret the Labour vote (and SF, ULA etc).
 

Hewson

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I took the usual range of figures bandied about for savings on cutting quangoes, and applied a 95% bullsh1t reduction on it.

Thuis rule of thumb has served me well previously.
So you work in the Department of Finance then.
 

realistic1

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indeed its bigger than quangos, RTE should be sold off and half of the nonsense state agencies should be shut down from Tourism Ireland to Bord Bia and any other producer lobbies out there. You dont use a water pistol to fight a house fire.
The Government will never sell of RTE, as RTE is the biggest defender of Government policies.
 

borntorum

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'Reforming' sounds good. Who doesn't like reform?

The reality is this is a synonym for 'pay cuts' which is 'austerity'.

The Irish electorate have no appetite for the 'reform' required. That is why Labour have 37 seats. Because they expressely promised to protect the public sector and social welfare expenditure.

There's no point the electorate whining about lack of 'reform' when a member of the coalition has a mandate to reject this 'reform'.
You're probably right. I'm coming around to the view that only a renewed Tallaght Strategy, or something similar, will have the will to do what is necessary. It's clear at this stage that Labour simply isn't cut out for governing in a recession, even though their policy of soaking the middle classes hits their support harder than others
 

Mentalist Clientelist

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It seems that the Croke Park talks are going to break down anyway. That will be the Government's cue to cut the pay and pensions. Forget about fewer numbers, cut the bloody pay bill.

The media are complicit in much of this aswell. Anyone who says anything remotely sensible about cutting pay or pension rates is called "right wing". The politicians are scared senseless of being called right wing. It's the death knell for any politician (see PDs). The narrative in the media has to be given some balance.
 

sic transit

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In an environment with a lack of real growth we are somewhat stymied. While the deficit is the big ticket number the PNs do represent a fair tranche to have to address annually and they leave a bad taste in the mouth. McGee is right, but like many of the rest of us is offering comments on change moving at a frustratingly glacial pace. For those who have never seen it in an organisation resistance to change potentially has the ability to derail any progress permanently.

I am not sure why the consultant is in there again and they are such easy targets. They are overpaid but bar annoying everyone what exactly can be done? They can't be beaten over the head and told to suck it up. It is noteworthy that one measure to reduce pay , that of new nurses is being fought tooth and nail. While they may have a point it does look like another example of Irish fairness - anyone but me.
 

Orbit v2

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He could.

Thats not what the people wanted.

A vetoing block of them want no cuts to public sector wages or social welfare.

I see no other way to interpret the Labour vote (and SF, ULA etc).
It's entirely the prerogative of the leader of the largest party. And it's only a matter of tradition that the two biggest right of centre parties alternate that role in opposition to each other - same for the left wing veto you talk about.
 

gijoe

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The analysis is spot on in saying that teaching and medical staff pay in Ireland is way out of step with others. What needs to happen is that wages across the public service are reset closer to the UK equivalents and the pensions currently being paid are also reset to these new pay levels for existing pensioners as well. Do that and tens of billions gets wiped off the country's pension liability. Some welfare rates also have to take a hit including the €188 basic payment but the benefits that pensioners get has to take the biggest hit - especially in the range of tax reliefs they get.
 

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