A few months back, this current Government was agonizing over whether to give pensioners an extra five euro a week. In some pubs in Dublin today, five euro would't buy you a pint!
But they certainly agonized for a long time with much Dail debate on the issue. For the suspicious of you out there, the point of the long debates was to buy the votes of the one block who always vote, the elderly. Looked at sarcastically, it was a fiver-a-vote.
But at the same time, a monetary top-up for TD's and Ministers was also on the table and for reasons of, ah, discretion, (cough!), this was deferred until the pension with the extra fiver was passed in the budget.
But the greedy fuckers didn't take long to opt for the top-up for themselves in these times of austerity, did they? The very smallest top-up amounts to over a tenner a week, but that's not all. The Indo. covers it well, detailing the real impact on wages of several of the high profile bluffers. Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath, that famed working class hero, is entitled to €15,829 per year extra on top of everything else. That's over €300 a week extra!
I did a sarcastic piece back last November entitled, "Leading by Example," and in it I cited the many perks these guys and gals already have on top of their bloated salaries, in return for what they have to offer. That these need to be topped up at this time, (or any time actually), is a fucking scandal.
We read for example that, "The Irish Sun investigation shows Eamon Ryan can get €5,520 a year for being the whip of the Greens — even though the party has only one other TD — which would bring his salary up to €92,778." That's Eamon-'tax the poor and give it to my personal green projects'- Ryan and the lad is a mere part-timer in the Dail. That €92,778 a year for Eamon is mere spending money for him. They really have to be joking!
If you go for a twenty to thirty grand a year job today they want you to have twenty-five years experience in their field, be twenty-five years of age max. and a degree in nuclear physics would be a bonus. There is absolutely no qualification required to be a TD. Worse still, there are no training courses you could go on to become one. In fact, it's who you know not what you know that gets you in the door.
Personally, I don't think one of them is worth the money we give them. Oh! The odd one is likable but are any of them truly competent? Hand on heart now, could you honestly say any one of those leeches has a positive effect on your life? Me neither, so why do we continue to pay for them?