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November 19, 2009



You wrote:

"All the major political parties are supporting another round of fiscal contraction, though they may differ on the balance of tax increases and public spending cuts. In this respect, Fianna Fail has won that particular battle, we are just fighting within the parameters they have set."

Thank you for saying this. I have been asking about where the 4 billion euro number came from, why we have to cut that much, or indeed anything. But the meme has taken root.

My opinion is, Fianna Fail have no desire to address inequality and unfair structures. Indeed I see them as very much invested in the status quo. I see them as looking yearningly at Eastern European workforces and wishing we were still like that; that they had a cheap and pliant labour pool to offer up to the international bigwigs. I feel they are aiming for this whenever they aver that "living standards must fall" and "we must regain our competetiveness."

Are they thinking that way? Am I being unfair in assuming these dastardly motives? I don't know. But that's what I believe they're thinking. And that's sad.



It seems that Sinn Féin are leading the way and are the only party putting forward realistic and deliverable job retention and creation policies. This is the elephant in the room that no other party seems to want to deal with. Unless we get this right more cuts and more tax increases will be neccessary and will will perpetuate the current downward spiral.

While I do not agree with all of their proposals the broad thrust is right. A combination of an economic (job creation) stimulas, cuts in spending, increased revenue and supporting struggling families is the current one. Their policies are the only ones that I have seen so far which are not deflationary.

Finally I have some reservations about the capping of salaries at €100,000 but at the same time I think one of the big problems that the Celtic Tiger created was wage differentials. When you see some at the top of the public sector on salaries 15 times more than those that the basic entrey rate (Brendan Drumm, Roddy Molloy etc) I think the proposal has merit. I am just not sure about the figure.

As you say all in all not a bad days work..


Nice to see Sinn Fein doing something other than robbing banks and murdering protestants.

Proposition Joe

"in any event, as CSO researchers have shown, higher paid public servants suffer a wage disadvantage, especially males, compared to their private sector counterparts"

Surprising that you should rely on the CSO study, given how it and the ERSI work were roundly dismissed by the left. Seemingly dodgy statistics do have a use after all :)

But if we were to follow your argument to its logical conclusion, it would require any public sector pay-cuts to be regressively graduated, given that the same CSO study showed the largest premium for lower-paid public servants. Which of course is not what you would advocate, but it does go to show how cherry-picking stats can lead in the wrong direction.

Michael Taft

Marise - I don't think it is so much that FF or others arguing a deflationary course are necessarily over-the-moon about a low-waged workforce or cutting social welare benefits or reducing the level of public sector services. I am willing to accept that they believe it is in the best interest ofthe economy and in the long-term will create those conditions for prosperity. It is just that they are wrong - demonstrably, verifiably and terribly wrong. The problem is that the debate is so 'shaped' that it is difficult to bring these arguments to a larger audience.

Proposiiton Joe - I'm not aware that the CSO study was roundly dismissed by the 'Left'. I know that at the time (and I may still do) do a blog on the paper by the CSO researchers that I linked to. I think it is a fair representation. There could be other factors taht could be entered into the equation that they didn't, but that can always be said.

And, no, that's the not the logic of my argument since I don't support cutting public sector wages.

Barry - I don't like deleting comments from the blog (that ol' American civil liberatarian in me) so I haven't deleted yours. However, that argument is best held somewhere else if you think it is a profitable line of argumentation.


Sorry Michael. Rush of blood to the head.

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