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Archive for the ‘accounting gimmickry’ Category

TD’s unite to give themselves a pay rise

in case you missed this

By John Drennan

Sunday November 07 2010

As the country faces economic meltdown, TDs and senators are planning to improve their already plush terms and conditions.

An official estimate of the money required to run the Dail in 2011 ‘sneaked’ through the Dail last Thursday reveals that the recession stops at the gates of Leinster House.

Did you Know?

In a touching scene, deputies across all parties suspended hostilities and agreed to the estimates without a single objection.

The estimates reveal that the cost of a Dail which serves fewer people than the population of cities such as greater Manchester, will in 2011 come to €112,983,000 — which represents a drop of just €1.2m (or 1 per cent) on last year’s spending.

But expenditure on the perks and services enjoyed by our TDs and senators will actually increase in certain areas next year.

The cost of salaries for TDs, senators and secretarial assistants will increase, while salaries of staff like those in catering and behind the Dail bar will decrease.

The estimates for 2011 reveal that there will be an increase in the postal and telecommunications service, which allows TDs and senators to send out promotional literature to their constituents.

The budget for delegates to ‘other parliamentary assemblies‘ has increased by 50 per cent and the ‘grant in aid’ for ‘inter-parliamentary activities’ has also increased by a whopping 40 per cent.

Even this, however, is dwarfed by the increase in the budget for allowances in respect of former members of the houses of the Oireachtas, which has been increased from €49,000 to €149,000.

At a time when pensioners fear losing entitlements such as free travel, the estimates also contain an increase of the ‘grant in aid’ to parliamentary pensioners from from €10,084,000 to €10,562,000, indicating that Dail and Seanad pension recipients will be unique within the country in actually securing an increase next year. The estimates also reveal that there will be a substantial increase in the Budget for televising Dail and Seanad proceedings, which provides TDs and Senators with much-desired coverage.

Though some minimalistic cuts are revealed in the anticipated expenses of TDs and senators, one source noted that “when the increases are taken in the round, TDs and senators will not be losing a penny in salaries and expenses next year”.

– John Drennan

Sunday Independent

Comment

Here we have a perfect example of our public representatives sucking us dry  these blood suckers will still have a neck to come calling in the next few months to our doors our homes and tell us how hard things are going to get and they are the people to make the hard choices on our behalf  and we should vote them back into the Dail .

 Do not vote in any of the existing TD’s ever again  give them their P45 ASAP

He could be talking about Ireland

I agree we need to be concentrating of  industrious business ,why can’t I but Irish made shirts, shoes, Irish made bicycles, for god sake Irish made anything?

75% of our business here in Ireland is services, and we are now been forced to become debt servicing junkies by Cowen and his cronies.  

Unless we get up off our collective backsides we will be forced to vote in twiddle dummer when we get rid of twiddle Dee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kja5aCYuocU&feature=player_embedded

spreads tell a story

CDS spreads  

Mr Lenihan, these figures tell the Irish People the real story the spreads cannot be dismissed and you are going to have to come clean on the true nature of the Banks derivatives time bomb

No more account gimmickry! No More drip, drip losses!

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Is it time to let AIB go?

Allied Irish Banks' crest

Image via Wikipedia

Is it time to let AIB go?

namawinelake | November 2, 2010 at 11:51 am | Categories: Irish economy, NAMA | URL: http://wp.me/pNlCf-Kw

It sounds like the kind of decision a family around the death bed of a loved one faces. Though perhaps the comparison isn’t in the best taste, the reality is that the venerable 185-year old bank is facing insolvency and it is only the dogmatic government strategy of maintaining a duopoly of “Irish” banks not to mention over €10bn of public funds and significant ECB funds that is keeping the bank afloat. This entry examines the status of AIB and the cost of keeping it alive.

Firstly for our international friends, AIB is Allied Irish Banks PLC – note the plural “Banks”. It has nothing to do with the biggest failure in Irish corporate history, Anglo Irish Bank which is referred to domestically simply as “Anglo”. AIB was conceived in 1825 with the opening of a bank called Provincial Bank and over the next century and a half merged with other domestic banks to give us the Allied Irish Banks that we know today. Alongside Bank of Ireland it is seen as the rock of Irish banking.

During the property boom in the 2000s the bank was a late participant in the mania but there is evidence that once it arrived at the party it wasted no time in trying to catch up with the existing party-goers. The Minister for Finance estimates that the bank’s remaining NAMA loans are worth 40c in the euro (including long term economic value).

Its most recent set of accounts for the first six months of 2010 show that the bank had assets of €169bn, liabilities of €160bn and capital of €9bn. So it is a huge business in an Irish context but clearly solvent by reference to these results. Unfortunately the results don’t reflect the true condition of the loan assets. The cumulative provision for losses on NAMA loans in the interim results was 26% – that is, the loans were worth 74c in the euro. The most recent ministerial estimate is 40c in the euro. This should result in a further loss to AIB of €5.5bn. But NAMA loans form a small part of AIB’s total loanbook and the company will have some €81bn of non-NAMA loans (plus €4.5bn of €5-20m formerly NAMA loans) once NAMA has absorbed the poison. The cumulative provision on these loans in June 2010 was just €3bn (note 22 on page 83). Given that these loans include commercial property and business lending in a state which has suffered the greatest contraction in GDP amongst developed countries in modern times, I would suggest that provision is utter fantasy.

Like some shady cash-in-hand sole trader, AIB maintain a second set of books under the auspices of the Financial Regulator who in March this year set out the capital requirements for AIB and other banks (the Prudential Capital Assessment Review). In September using this second set of books, the Regulator announced that AIB needed raise €10.4bn by the end of this year. AIB’s strategy was to dispose of some assets and then to raise additional equity underwritten by the State. There is a detailed entry on these capital raising efforts here but in summary the bank disposed of its Polish operation (still subject to approvals) which yielded €2.5bn capital from the €3.1bn sale price and yesterday AIB held an EGM in which shareholders approved the sale of the bank’s stake in US bank M&T which should add €0.9bn to the capital coffers. The bank announced yesterday that it was placing the sale of the UK operation on hold (though there appears to be some back-pedalling on these comments this morning). Unless there is some dynamic between the UK sale and capital that means that the bank still needs €7bn in new capital in the next 60 days. And there is only sucker with that level of available funding that is willing to invest in what is likely to be an insolvent bank, and that’s the government who seem intent on placing just under one half of our National Pension Reserve Fund (that’s the €3.5bn invested in preference shares last year and the €7bn now needed as a proportion of the €24bn funds in the NPRF) in one basket (case) – AIB.

The government strategy seems chauvinistic (“we need a duopoly of Irish banks”), knee-jerked, immoral (not a word you’ll often see on here but taking money from the pension fund to prop up an insolvent bank is flagitious when there are other options to protect a functioning banking system), recklessly risky (one half of the pension fund is “invested” in one company in one sector). AIB should be taken into 100% state ownership immediately, the State should assess the value of any shareholdings in AIB (I expect they are worth nothing), negotiate with the €4bn+ of junior bondholders the company had at June 2010 and assess if senior bondholders might make a contribution to the insolvent bank. Only then should the State assess the systemic importance of AIB and should probably seek a buyer for the rump of that company. Even if the state is left with only one Irish bank so what? We have a Financial Regulator with 520 staff that should be able to regulate a restricted market to combat uncompetitive practices and when the Irish economy recovers other banks may see prospects here.

If on the other hand, we maintain the pretence that AIB is a viable bank then €7bn will need be found in the next 60 days. At the very best we are set to lose €1.8bn if we continue with the madness of the NPRF underwriting a share issue at €0.50 per share when the shares are presently trading at €0.35. With the healthiest Irish bank, Bank of Ireland, having to borrow 3-year funds at 5.875% last week (excluding costs) in a market where mortgages and commercial lending is still available at 3%, the prospects for profitability at AIB are slim in the context of the NPRF’s investment strategy which allows it invest in any market across the globe.

It is time to say our goodbyes and pull the plug.

source http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/is-it-time-to-let-aib-go/

Comment:

Unfortunately this government is hell bent on holding on to this once trophy bank along with the top notch gangsters and X Politicians at the helm who will not vote themselves out of this sought after gig

Since the Minister of Finance himself says that the still remaindering loans are only worth 40c in the euro this alone tells me that the bank is gone beyond repair, as every one of his pronouncements on figures have been totally out.  I expect that you wouldn’t even get 10 cent on the euro The cost is irrelevant as the down trodden taxpayers are going to pay up.This Bank is dead and powering billions into it is tantamount to treason.

Shut this toxic toilet down now and save us the poor taxpayers a little bit of pain!

Thomas

Residents movement for political change

Angela Merkel consigns Ireland, Portugal and Spain to their fate

Angela Merkel consigns Ireland, Portugal and Spain to their fate

Germany has had enough. Any eurozone state that spends its way into a debt crisis or cannot adapt to a monetary union set for Northern rhythms will face “orderly” bankruptcy.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Published: 5:37PM GMT 31 Oct 2010

Angela Merkel needs a treaty change to prevent the German constitutional court from blocking the bail-out fund as a breach of the EU law

Bondholders will discover burden-sharing. Debt relief will be enforced, either by interest holidays or haircuts on the value of the bonds. Investors will pay the price for failing to grasp the mechanical and obvious point that currency unions do not eliminate risk: they switch it from exchange risk to default risk.

What were investors thinking when they bought Greek 10-year bonds at 26 basis points over Bunds in 2007, below the spread between British Columbia and Quebec?

 “We must keep in mind the feelings of our people, who have a justified desire to see that private investors are also on the hook, and not just taxpayers,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Or in the words of Bundesbank chief Axel Weber: “Next time there is a problem, (bondholders) should be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. So far the only ones who have paid for the solution are the taxpayers.”

These were the terms imposed by Germany at Friday’s EU summit as the Quid Pro Quo for the creation of a permanent rescue fund in 2013. A treaty change will be rammed through under Article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty, a trick that circumvents the need for full ratification. Eurosceptics can feel vindicated in warning that this “escalator” clause would soon be exploited for unchecked treaty-creep.

Mrs Merkel needs a treaty change to prevent the German constitutional court from blocking the bail-out fund as a breach of EU law, and a treaty change is what she will get. “This will strengthen my position with the Karlsruhe court,” she admitted openly.

One might argue that bondholders should have been punished for their errors long ago. The stench of moral hazard has been sickening, on both sides of the Atlantic. An orderly bankruptcy along lines routinely engineered by the International Monetary Fund is exactly what Greece needs. It makes no sense to push Greece further into a debt compound spiral by raising public debt from 115pc of GDP at the outset of the “rescue” to 150pc at the end of the ordeal.

If you strip out the humbug, the Greek package allows banks and funds to shift roughly €150bn of liabilities onto EU governments, or the European Central Bank, or the IMF. Greek citizens are being subjected to the full pain of austerity under false pretences, without being offered the cure of debt relief.

It is in reality a bail-out for investors. There is a touch of cruelty in this. Needless to say, the Greek Left has noticed. A socialist dissident from the “anti-Memorandum” bloc (ie anti EU-IMF) is likely to win the Athens region in coming elections.

Note too that the ruling socialists have fallen to 25pc in the Portuguese polls, while the Communists and hard-left Bloco are together up to 18pc. Ain’t seen nothing, you might say.

Yet opening the door to bondholder haircuts at this delicate juncture – with spreads reaching fresh records in Ireland last week, and Portugal struggling to pass a budget – is to toss a hand-grenade into the eurozone periphery.

We now know that that ECB’s Jean-Claude Trichet warned EU leaders on Thursday night that it was dangerous to stir up this hornets’ nest, and moreover that the politicians did not understand what they were unleashing. He was slammed down acrimoniously by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who later denied that he lost his temper.

“Mr Trichet expressed a number of reserves. There was a debate, there is always a debate, but the European Council took its decision,” he said.

“It is wrong to say I was irritated. You can reproach heads of state for all kinds of things in a democracy, but I don’t think you can reproach them for not being aware of the seriousness of the situation,” he snorted.

Mr Sarkozy was not going to let his Brussels `triomphe’ slip away after stitching up EU affairs once again in a pre-emptive deal with Germany and imposing his will. The notion that the Franco-German axis still runs Europe is potent politics in France, even if the decisions actually reached are often of little value or – as in this case – ill-advised. Such is the chemistry of EU summits, where mad things happen.

Spain’s premier Jose-Luis Zapatero knew he had been mugged. “We need to listen carefully to what the head of the ECB says about the rescue mechanism. Great care is called for because this message is risky,” he said.

Eurozone sovereign states must issue €915bn in new bonds next year, according the UBS, either to roll over debt or to cover very big deficits – though it is hard to outdo Ireland’s deficit of 32pc of GDP in 2009. Yet investors have just been told in blunt terms to charge a hefty risk premium on any peripheral debt that expires after 2013, with great confusion over what happens even before that date. Can any investor be sure what the terms will be if Ireland or Portugal needs to access the EU’s bail-out fund next week, or next month, or next year? Are haircuts already de rigueur?

A study by Giada Giani at Citigroup entitled Bondholders Moving Back Home said data from the second quarter reveals a sharp drop in foreign ownership of debt from Greece (-14pc), Portugal (-12pc), Spain (-8pc), and Ireland (-5pc).

Local banks have stepped into the breach, borrowing cheaply from the ECB to buy their own state debt at higher yields in a `carry trade’ that concentrates risk. These four countries account for the lion’s share of the €448bn in ECB funding for banks (Spain €98bn, Greece €94bn). Frankfurt is propping up this unstable edifice. Mr Trichet may well fret.

A strong case can be made that Spain has decoupled from other PIGS in pain, though the deficit will still be 6pc next year, and the economy is at serious risk of a double-dip recession as wage cuts and higher taxes bite in earnest. But none are safe yet.

An ominous pattern has emerged across much of the eurozone periphery: tax revenue keeps falling short of what was hoped. Austerity measures are eating deeper into the economy than expected, forcing further fiscal cuts. It goes too far to call this a self-feeding spiral, but such policies test political patience to snapping point.

There is little that these nations can do in the short-run as EMU members. They cannot offset fiscal tightening with full monetary stimulus or a weaker exchange rate – as Britain can. All they do can is soldier on, sell family silver to the Chinese and Gulf Arabs, beg the ECB to join the currency war to bring down the euro, and pray that the fragile global recovery does not sputter out.

Chancellor Merkel is ultimately correct. A mechanism for sovereign defaults is entirely healthy. Had it been in place long ago, EMU would have been stronger. The proper timing for this was at the Maastricht Treaty, or Amsterdam, or at the latest Nice, but in those days the EU elites were still arrogantly dismissive about the implications of a currency union. To wait until now borders on careless.

source http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8100412/Angela-Merkel-consigns-Ireland-Portugal-and-Spain-to-their-fate.html

Comment :

Angela you are forgetting it was the reckless lending practices of the Deutsche Bank to the Irish Banks and in particular to Anglo Irish Bank in the first place that got us into this mess.

The German Banks were guilty of breaching their own criteria and their own rules and regulations for the fast buck, they became gamblers’ and they are lucky that the Irish Government is full spineless traitors

Who have sold out their own people to these casino bondholders .If this was the US they would be told go take a swim up the Mississippi and don’t come back.

Just one word about the latest change to the treaty of Lisbon there will have to be a referendum here in Ireland to ratified this change and the Irish government will now try to Wesel out of this necessity so we have a Ramond Crotty situation all over again! See http://thepressnet.com/2010/11/01/a-tribute-to-mr-raymond-crotty/

Taxpayers getting shafted once again

The Irish Times – Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Q&A

MARTIN WALL

Who will benefit from the early retirement/voluntary redundancy schemes? 

The schemes will be primarily aimed at staff in managerial/administrative and clerical grades in the HSE, voluntary hospitals and in voluntary health service agencies funded by the HSE. They will also be offered to support staff, such as catering, portering, cleaning and maintenance personnel. Approval for applications from these grades will depend on the number of management and administrative staff who apply and on the basis of the overall budget for the scheme not being breached.

How many people will leave? 

This will very much depend on the categories of staff who opt for the packages. The Government has capped the budget for the schemes at €400 million and if a large number of senior managers choose to go, it will restrict the overall numbers.

Minister for Health Mary Harney said about 4,000 managerial and administrative staff could leave. The HSE said it was estimating that between 3,000 and 5,000 personnel could go.

How do the two schemes differ? 

There is a voluntary early retirement scheme, which is open to employees over 50. This provides for immediate payment of pension entitlements on retirement with no actuarial reduction in respect of payment prior to minimum retirement age. Full lump-sum entitlement will also be paid and payments will not take into account the salary cuts introduced in the public service earlier this year.

The voluntary redundancy scheme will involve a severance payment of three weeks’ pay per year of service in addition to statutory entitlements, subject to an overall limit of two years’ pay. This could see some senior managers getting €300,000.

Is there a deadline for applying? 

Applications will have to be submitted by November 19th. Staff who take a package must leave the health service by December 30th.

Will all applications be accepted? 

Applications from managerial/ administrative staff will be prioritized and will be approved automatically, subject to the overall €400 million budget not being breached.

How will services be maintained? 

Management plans to use the provisions of the Croke Park agreement to redeploy staff or introduce more flexible work practices. Much will depend on the type of staff who actually leave. It may be easier to maintain services in administrative areas than if a large number of porters or catering staff, for example, from one organization took the packages.

Why are these packages on offer now? 

Since the establishment of the HSE in 2005 there have been questions raised as to why there was no rationalization of administrative and managerial staff given that 11 health boards were being amalgamated. On at least two occasions in recent years the HSE and the Department of Health drew up proposals for a voluntary redundancy scheme but these were rejected by the Department of Finance.

source http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/1102/1224282482579.html

Comment:

Having signed the Croke Park deal the government now have realized it was a disaster for the taxpayers of the country with 70% of the Health Services Budget going on salaries, this commitment should never have happened because the country could not afford to shelter any group of state employees if it was going to make any real savings  

So Not only is the HSE now closing down services and hospital beds they have now found 450,000,000:00 Euros to allow these middle management to retire laden down with these bumper benefits

Earlier this year we were told citizens will have to work an extra 3 years for the state pension (68)

With this deal thousands of state workers get to have their state pension up to 18 years earlier and this when the country is broke?

We the taxpayers were told back in 2005 that the rationalization of administrative and managerial staff was one of the reasons for the establishment of the HSE in the First place, given that 11 health boards were being amalgamated.

Now the taxpayers are again getting a raw deal here and the ordinary Joe public is been shafted once again having to foot the bill again! If you thought things were bad in the Health Service think again we are about to feel real pain now thanks to Harney.

Harney your hands are stained with blood and you know the country hasn’t got this 450 million it has to be borrowed why don’t you go and take all your cronies with you?

A Tribute to Mr. Raymond Crotty

A Tribute to Mr. Raymond Crotty
1925-1994
Economics Lecturer
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Ludwig Von Mises
Quote:
“Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders. No one
is relieved of his share of responsibility by others and no one
can find a safe way for herself if society is sweeping towards
destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own self interest, must
thrust themselves vigorously into the intellectual battle.”

An Irishman whose life was a real example of the moral
imperative exemplified in the above quote was Raymond
Crotty. Through his actions and writings he tried to do the
right thing. He tried to make a difference.

“Our Enemy the State“, so said Raymond, in 1988 in his
book “A Radical’s Response”. In this treatise Mr. Crotty,
former farmer and economics lecturer at Trinity College, tried
to explain how Ireland was being exploited by its domestic
political groupings. Through his efforts the constitution was
correctly used to try to protect the Irish people from what he
saw as abuse of privilege by an immoral political class. This
class, he believed, was using the resources of the Irish people
for their own selfish benefit. In order to take his high court
action to protect the constitution and safe-guard the right

to a free ballot on fundamental legal changes he pledged, as
security, the title of his own family home. In fact he and his
wife faced possible bankruptcy in the event of failure on the
legal front. What would Mr. Crotty be advising us now about
possible solutions to the predicament Ireland now faces? I will
use some quotes below to try to give you some inkling of a
possible answer to that conundrum.

“Sixty years on (1986), the Irish economy is back again to
a position similar to that of 1922, immediately after the
break with Britain…….Joining the EEC seemed, in 1972, the
answer to 50 years of failed self-government. Fifteen years
of membership of a Community comprising all the former
colonial powers has done nothing to alleviate, but much to
aggravate the problems of Ireland……This happened also with
the earlier Union with Britain, which brought untold hardship
on the Irish masses, while, as intended, securing the position
of the elites who engineered the Union. The new EEC Union
likewise has resulted in wholesale loss of jobs, a quadrupling
of unemployment and an increasing extreme dependence on
subsidies from, and credit through, the EEC.”

Thus we can see that all though much has changed since 1986,
unfortunately most remains the same in 2010.

Ireland is now lurching toward financial ruin because
of insolvent banks, fully state guaranteed international
bondholders, high inflation due to a bloated and inefficient
bureaucracy that produces no goods, reckless public sector

borrowing, an unquantified off-balance-sheet derivative
time-bomb, collapsing cash and credit circulation, insolvent
businesses and an incompetent government executive. We
are being lied to with regard to the true nature and extent
of Ireland’s financial afflictions. Many would say that it is
the international financial crisis that caused the problem
however, I believe, it is the failure of our political class to
ethically regulate itself and effectively manage that is the
true source of the current mayhem. This class is working
closely with a golden circle to bail itself out yet will now leave
a “bill of costs” which will cripple the Irish public finances for
decades. This class has sold out the country to a European
Banking elite that forces itself into every aspect of out lives
to the detriment of real freedom. The ongoing erosion of our
liberty is clothed in a veneer of “greater good” but the effect
is social atrophy.

As Crotty predicted, the state is no longer the friend but
the enemy of the average Irish citizen. This situation was
always the case in mainland Europe and throughout the
British Empire. Constitutions were thus developed by
revolutionaries, such as DeValera, to tame the power of the
state. This lesson of history has been forgotten by the “new”
Irish and they have now sold their children’s birthright to
elites but the Irish people are not to blame because they
have been hoodwinked by a privileged social grouping that
protects its dynastic power while ignoring the horrific social
implications of their drastic austerity measures. In other
words they have the income and the assets whilst we and our

children will be left to carry the debt.

Ray Crotty knew in 1986 that borrowing would end in disaster
for Ireland, and we currently who are socially conscious, are
now experiencing a human tragedy unfolding daily as it did
so in 1985. It was not called the “lost decade” for nothing.
However, in 2010 it is much worse because in addition to
unbridled public borrowing there is private debt of nearly half
a trillion Euros. Thus this time the burden is doubly crippling
particularly when you factor in an Irish cost of living which is
now nearly 50% higher than that in mainland Europe. This fact
can be readily verified during any short holiday trip to Spain or
Portugal or Germany.

But Mr. Crotty did not leave it there, he used his considerable
economic intellect to propound a way forward, an analysis
which we know all too well was never followed. His solution
could be applied even now, if only we found the will and the
determination. In 1986 His formula for economic and moral
salvation ran as follows:

“It is not difficult to identify the nature of the change
that is necessary to transform Irish undevelopment into
development. It involves essentially eliminating banking
privilege. In Ireland producers are charged too little for land
and capital and too much for labour. ……All taxes should
be removed from labour (PAYE & PRSI) and the things that
labour buys (VAT). Tax revenue from land and from the
financial system (Banks, Insurance Companies and Building

Societies) should be maximized. In addition, in order to save
revenue and to preclude further borrowing by corrupt and
corrupting politicians, the public (and banking debt should be
renegotiated or) repudiated …..The proposed fiscal changes
would transform Ireland’s undeveloping economy into a
developing one. The state is the enemy of the nation and
has been the cause of its undevelopment this point the Irish
people must comprehend. But even as the nation has been
undeveloped by the state’s actions, the people have looked
more and more to the state to remedy the situation.”

In 2010 The Irish people somehow must start rejecting the
local/international banking system now robbing the national
coffers. Raymond Crotty cries out from the past. He was not
listened to then and we are paying the consequences. This
moral Irishman correctly analysed Ireland economic problems
and history has shown this analysis to be correct. It is not
too late for Ireland to start again but we need this time to
take the right road and choose true national development
not financial bondage. In other words borrowing in not
the answer, productive commercial enterprise is. And the
benefits of this enterprise must flow, as a moral right, to
the average hard working lower and middle class citizen not
financial elites regardless of whether they are of the home-
grown or international variety. This time let us finally listen
and take the right road of hard work, honour and duty not
a phantom dream of lottery wins, quick rich schemes and
reckless speculation. Yes we are in a difficult situation but let
us take the hard choices that lead to real change not cosmetic

As Oscar Wilde, once famously quipped:

“Yes we are all in the gutter but let us chose to look up to the
stars.”

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