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Ireland’s coalition proposals are strong on rhetoric but need more depth

Taoiseach-in-waiting Enda Kenny will be in at the deep end as Ireland’s coalition attempts to deal with the country’s economic plight. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

The campaign rhetoric seeps through Fine Gael and Labour’s freshly minted “Programme for Government” unveiled Monday after they agreed the terms of the coalition which hopes to lead Ireland out of recession and the clutches of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Its opening gambit is a declaration of “common purpose” noting that on 25 February (election day, in case anyone had forgotten) “a democratic revolution took place”.

It solemnly goes on to talk of Ireland facing “one of the darkest hours in the history of our independent state” and invokes the great Albert Einstein by saying we should “learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow” and how an “unprecedented level of political resolve” is needed to get the country on its feet again.

Although it is clear on some things – such as reversing the cut in the minimum wage, which is against the terms of the IMF bailout – by and large the rhetoric in the document is going to get the coalition only so far.

With regard to banking and the IMF/EU bail out, here are the main pledges:

Interest rate
• “We will seek a reduced interest rate.” This it is likely to get as there is wide acknowledgement that the 5.8% rate is unsustainable. The question is how much by?

Credit ratings
• “We will attack the utmost priority to avoiding further downgrading of Ireland’s sovereign credit rating.” It fudges the detail on this though and says it will set further capital spend by the state at “a level consistent with national debt sustaintability”.

Bank recapitalisation
• “We will defer further recapitalisation of the banks until the solvency stress tests are complete.” This is the big one. The PCAR and PLAR tests being undertaken will be complete at the end of March and are widely expected to expose even further need for recapitalisation at AIB. If AIB is worse than expected and Anglo Irish is as bad as chairman Alan Dukes has indicated, could we be talking about a second bailout? Dukes reckons Ireland will have to go cap in hand for another €15bn (£12.8bn) just to save the Irish banking system.

Sale of AIB assets?
• “We remain committed to a smaller banking system” but it says “to limit further calls on the state to cover bank losses from distressed asset sales, bank deleveraging must be paced. This is interesting. The coalition is obliged under the deal with the IMF to shrink the size of the banks but which would cause greater damage – losses from a fire sale or the continuing liquidity problem which require even greater capital injection than presently foreseen. Interestingly, one proposal, according to the Sunday Business Post editor Cliff Taylor, is to split AIB and possibly Bank of Ireland into two banks – one dealing with core assets and the other with non-core assets.

Credit for small businesses
• “We will ensure that an adequate pool of credit is available to fund small and medium-sized businesses.” The devil will be in the detail here as there is a widespread feeling that the lack of credit is smothering SMEs in Ireland. (If you are a small business and have experience of this please email me on guardian.dublin@gmail.com as I would like to return to this issue).

Restructuring bank boards
• “The new government will restructure bank boards and replace directors who presided over failed lending practices.” This is well-meaning but possibly doesn’t go far enough – what about staff in bailed-out banks, senior executives and middle management, who presided over failed lending practices?

End transfers to NAMA
• “We will end further asset transfers to NAMA, which are unlikely to improve market confidence in either the banks or the state.” Again, specifics are needed. It it going to end all transfers that haven’t happened or set a threshold – say all property development loans under €5m?

Transparency at NAMA
• “We will insist on the highest standards of transparency in the operation of NAMA.” Again, what does this mean? Those involved in the establishment of NAMA say it is politically popular to demand greater transparency but that NAMA, like any bank, will retain “customer confidentiality”.

Global pool of finance managers to be assembled
• “We will openly construct a pool of globally experienced finance services managers and directors to be inserted into key executive and non-executive positions in banks receiving taxpayer support.” International banking executives won’t be forming an orderly queue for these jobs unless there is some detail on pay scales and these are currently capped at the highest levels.

All it says on remuneration is this : “All remuneration schemes at banks subject to state support will undergo a fundamental review to ensure an alignment of interest between banks, their staff and the taxpayer.”

Bank bonuses
• “We will ban all bank bonuses …”

… I made that one up. Bank bonuses don’t get a mention, as far as I can see. This is possibly because bonuses in the bailed-out banks were effectively banned by the finance bill rushed through the Dail in January government through a 90% tax on bank bonuses.

However, it is the culture of bonuses even at the lowest levels in banking that lead to the reckless lending in the first place and some sort of policy detail on this would have not gone awry here.

The document is detailed and full of the right kind of rhetoric. For this week. After that it’s straight in at the deep end for the taoiseach-in-waiting Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan, who is expected to be named finance minister as they try to persuade Europe to save Ireland from bailout number two.
source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/ireland-business-blog-with-lisa-

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

Developers score €200,000 salaries from NAMA

Developers score €200,000 salaries from NAMA

 Some of the country’s most indebted developers – some of whom now owe the state billions after their debts were taken on by the National Asset Management Agency – have agreed new deals with NAMA which will see the agency invest in their new dealings – and pay them wages of up to €200,000 a year.

The deals, reported in today’s Sunday Times, mean that the developers – who owe between €1bn and €3bn – have been told they can pay themselves the bumper salaries as part of an arrangement which will see the agency split the profits on the sale or trading-out of some assets, once the developers’ performances exceed certain targets.

The creditors are also to be allowed to keep their homes if the targets are met – but if such targets are not met, NAMA reserves the right to repossess their family homes and sell them off.

The developers involved have also been told to cash in their pensions plans, which contain millions stockpiled in retirement funds, to be used as working capital for their businesses.

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Developers involved include Treasury Holdings owners Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett, Liam Carroll, Seán Mulryan of Ballymore, Bernard McNamara and Joe O’Reilly.

A NAMA spokesman told the Sunday Times that the business plans submitted by the developers which required agency approval had run into thousands of pages in some cases, and that all had substantially reduced their office overhead expenses.

While the spokesman would not speculate on the individual salaries being paid to developers, he said they had seen their wages drop by between 50% and 75%.

German war reparations

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It took Germany 90 years to pay off 25 billion in war reparations for the First World War.
The US gulf will need 20$ Billion to clean it up .

Ireland is now been saddled with debts of 36.5 billion and that’s just Anglo Irish Bank plus the other banks another 14 billion a nice round 50,000,000,000:00
How long will it take for this little country to pay off this private debt?
Cowen and Lenihan will go down in history as the most incompetent politicians in Irish History and the leaders of the opposition parties coming in close behind.
This country needs competent men and woman in the dail and not selfish leaches sucking our country dry.

Anglo Irish Bank is dragging us all down!

 
Wednesday, September 29 · 12:30pm – 2:30pm

Location St Stephen’s Green


Created By

More Info The Right To Work Campaign will be joining the Irish Trade Union Congress protest at the Dail on Wed September 29th- we will be marching from Anglo Irish Bank at 12 noon and then joining the Congress protest at the Dail at 12.30pm.Sept 29th is the 1st day back for the Dail and is also the 2nd anniversary of the banking guarantee.The 23 Billion we gave Anglo Irish Bank is enough to employ everyone on the Live Register for 3 years on 33,000 a year!Get this government out!
No more Anglo Irish Bailouts!
We want jobs and services!
Stop the Cuts!For leaflets and posters contact 0872604143Let’s make this a real focus for all the anger out there against this incompetent government!

 

Comment:

 As a non-aligned and  advocate for the middle ground and free enterprise I strongly believe that the support the government is giving this corrupt and clearly bankrupt private Bank in not the responsibility of the Irish Taxpayers and I also firmly believe that the Irish government has created a fatal disaster for the country by bailing out their friends .One has to now ask questions why this disastrous course was ever taken .This stinks to high heaven and fraud is written all over this action by lenihan and Cowen  .

This must stop now and criminal charges must be brought against the architects of this national disaster.

The Full story has still to come out from the Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland again I call on them to come clean on their derivatives positions.

I intend to go to this demonstration to-morrow as

 I believe we in the middle ground should be seen and on the ground and we need to become vocal otherwise we will be left behind nobody else will fight our cause and our cause is the peoples cause.

Now more than ever we need to stand united against this blatant attack on our democracy by the political elite and their cronies.

PS 

Anybody in Wicklow looking for a lift contact me at e-mail provided before 10.30  29.09.2010

 

 

 

Related Articles

Green’s still supporting the Fianna Fail mantra

The Green Party has pledged to pursue a major reform agenda over the next Dáil term in a bid to ensure there is no reoccurrence of the banking crisis.

Speaking after the party’s think-in in Co Carlow, party leader John Gormley said “restoring financial stability and reforming the banks and the planning system were a priority”.

“We must learn from the lessons of the past and make sure that the problems we are now facing, never happen again,” he said, adding that the party wanted to restore the public’s faith in politics and State institutions.

He said measures have already been taken to stabilise the banking system and the planning process was being overhauled.

The party also said it wanted to see the introduction of a ban of corporate donations and a directly-elected mayor for Dublin.

He said reform of local government and the establishment of a new electoral commission “will see the biggest shake-up in Irish politics in decades”.

Other priorities include the introduction of the Climate Change Bill and measures to improve people’s quality of life, such as a Bill on noise.

 

Comment:

Well there you have it, the greens solution to all our countries problems

Keep dumping billions into bankrupt banks and bail out wealthy developers and keep Fianna Fail in power as long as possible.

Overhaul the planning process, with little or no building going on that should not be a problem!

500,000 citizens will be delighted that your top priorities are for a climate change bill

(Whatever that is) and making criminals out of noisy neighbours.

Sorry no jobs stimulus package, no re-training program, no new measures for mature students to get back into education, in fact absolute nothing, not even the word  job” is in the  party’s think-in, in Co Carlow.

But wait they might want to have the nations butterfly population counted, now that would keep some of the unemployed busy!

These power addicts will not get the time of day when they go knocking on peoples doors here in Wicklow .They have shown their true colours by adopting  the culture of Fianna Fail spin and cronyism and consequently  they have dumped their core values shame on them!

They have helped to rune this country by agreeing to Fianna Fail’s demand to set up NAMA.

They have helped to pour billions into the toxic Anglo Irish bank and colluded with Fianna Fail to deprived citizens of their right to political representation by holding off on local elections.

There are not the same greens that presented themselves to the Irish public.

They did not tell the voters that they would sell out to Fianna Fail if offered merks and perks and ministerial positions

They can make all the promises they like now, no one will ever trust this green shower ever again!   

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