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Archive for the ‘attack on old age pension’ Category

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?

European bank stress test scam!

European bank stress test – official estimates signify NAMA is unintentionally overpaying for loans and undermine DoF’s claims about the Bottom

namawinelake | July 24, 2010 at 6:28 am

The Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) together with the EC and ECB has published its eagerly awaited results of stress-testing 91 European banks. The two Irish banks included in the exercise, Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks passed the stress-test which set out to examine the capital base of banks in two scenarios – a benchmark scenario and an adverse scenario. Good news for BoI and AIB – seven other European banks didn’t pass the test.

As stated in the report “the benchmark scenario was based on the EU Commission Autumn 2009 forecast and the European Commission Interim Forecast in February 2010, with several adaptations to reflect recent macro-economic developments in a number of countries. The adverse macro-economic scenario was based on ECB estimates”. The assumptions for Ireland are summarized below together with the calculation by the CEBS of the effect on commercial and residential property prices

For information, here is a round up of recent predictions/projections for the Irish residential market:

For information, the ESRI published this week recovery scenarios for the State  – the high growth scenario and the low growth scenario. Both scenarios forecast 2010 GDP to contract by 0.4% and unemployment in 2010 to reach 14%.

What makes the stress test fascinating from the point of view of NAMA is its forecasts for commercial and residential property prices. It’s benchmark scenario is for a 15% compound decline in residential in 2010 and 2011 with drops in both years, a 19% compound decline in commercial in 2010 and 2011 with drops in both years. There is no projection beyond 2011. NAMA has chosen a Valuation Date of 30th November, 2009 pursuant to section 73 of the NAMA Act by reference to which NAMA is valuing the loans being transferred from the financial institutions.

How much does property need recover by 2020 assuming

1. Prices stop falling at the end of 2011

2. All property is sold in December 2020

3. 67% of property is located in Ireland

4. 33% of property is located in the UK

5. Property in the Ireland and the UK is split 50:50 between commercial and residential

The table below what recovery needs happen if NAMA is forced to rely on the recovery of the property market to break even – remember in the draft Business Plan is that the recovery was a flat 10% over 10 years. With the CEBS benchmark scenario, the recovery would be 24.7% and in the adverse scenario 41%. Both of these represent significant changes to NAMA’s draft Business Plan. To emphasise, assuming prices stop falling after 2011, the compound rate of growth needed would be 2.5% per annum for each of the nine years in the benchmark scenario and 4% in the adverse scenario.  These compound percentages might be rendered meaningless if there is significant default and NAMA’s interest receivable falls below its interest payable.

Perhaps a more interesting implication from the benchmark scenario is related to the question of whether NAMA is overpaying for loans now by paying for loans according to the 30th November, 2009. The answer is a resounding yes and if you compare forecast prices at the end of 2010 with the 30th November, 2010, there is an implication that NAMA is overpaying by something in the order of €3-6bn again based on the following assumptions:

1. NAMA acquires the loans by reference to a valuation date of 31st December 2010

2. Price changes in the month of December 2009 have been ignored

3. The LEV remains at a constant 11% above CMV

4. 67% of assets are in Ireland

5. 33% of assets are in the UK

6. The split of assets between commercial and residential is 50:50

Now of course the above is very much a simplification. NAMA’s assets may not correspond to general commercial and residential forecasts – where is development land for example? NAMA will have 7% or so of assets in the Rest of World. NAMA’s LEV as a percentage of CMV may change. So far this year in Ireland residential is off 5% (to the end of Q1) and commercial 8% (to the end of Q2) and the UK is broadly positive, so we have some way to drop before we get to the EU benchmark scenario. There are other assumptions but it is a fair representation, I believe, to say that we are overpaying by billions for NAMA loans by reference to current values – some overpayment was planned via the Long Term Economic Value device but the overpayment being referred to here is on top of that.

Lastly this stress test report comes on the heels of the publication of the EU’s Decision in respect of the first Anglo restructuring plan which was submitted with the DoF’s imprimatur, to the EC in November 2009. The Decision (paragraph 41) revealed that Anglo was planning for property prices were seen to drop in 2009 by 15-19% [actual according to Permanent TSB/ESRI was 18.5%] and continue falling in 2010 and 2011 before starting to rise in 2012. The average decline in property prices in the plan is estimated at 47% peak to trough but in the worst case is 62%. And now with this stress test we have the official EC/ECB estimates that property will continue to drop this year and next. Of course a finance minister has a responsibility to instil confidence but Brian Lenihan’s Bottom statements in September 2009 and April 2010 are now looking distinctly disingenuous and more importantly damaging because the Bottom will come at some point but may overshoot because of a lack of confidence in advice from the government.

source http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/european-bank-stress-test-%e2%80%93-official-estimates-signify-nama-is-unintentionally-overpaying-for-loans-and-undermine-dof%e2%80%99s-claims-about-the-bottom/

comment

Needless to say this whole stress test episode is just a political stage show for the benefit of Joe public  in Euro land .The sad fact is that this test has absolutely no value whatsoever as it does not take into consideration the real dodgy bonds and loans that are the cause of the banking crises in Europe 

The various European politicians have jumped on this and are telling us and the markets that there is no financial crises with our banks and the  European Banks and it’s all a bad dream  that we are all collectively having!.

Cowen and Lenihans assurances that we have turned the corner in 2009 and again in April of this year were lies and dam lies!

How anybody will ever believe a word out of their lying mouths again I will never know!

We now need to wake up and start spending again and where are we going to get the money to spend when we are out of work, when the gangsters in the same “sound banks” are hiking interest rates and pushing people out of their homes as a result of their gambling

The government having poured billions into these same Toxic Banks, are desperately trying to get those of us that still have a little money to invest in these bankrupt banks so they can again start the whole rotten pyramid cycle all over again.Now that the country  is practically bankrupt, they are now about to sell off the last vestiges’ of silver ware the country has left, along with proposed new toll, s on the National roads network, along with home rates and water charges where can we go from here?

500,000 people are out of work and for the last two years none of the politicians in power or the crony independent TD, s that are propping them have done anything for the unemployed

The current government’s unemployment policy is to” let them eat cake “and waffle on about the smart economy

That’s smart all right 60,000 young people left the country last year and the ESRI believes at least 200,000 more will have left by 2014

Clearly the unemployed are only receiving lip service and are way down in the pecking order!

We need a complete change of the political system

Help get rid of the gombeen, s running this country,

Get active on the ground in your own neighbourhoods and do not vote the same leaches back into office

it’s time to change  the system!

The right to work Campaign (2)

Liz Mc Manus on cuts in the Old Age Pension

Labour TD Liz McManus has expressed her grave concern that the Minister for

Social Protection is considering making cuts in the Old Age Pension at

Budget time.

“The Minister’s suggestion that the State Pension could be cut in the next

Budget is very worrying”, said Deputy Liz McManus. “Minister O Cuív has

said he cannot rule out a cut to the State pension because other people

also have a valid claim on the Social Protection budget.

“I am very concerned about this issue because unlike any other social

welfare claimant, a pensioner has virtually no chance of supplementing

their income. They cannot enter training, back-to-work or Community

Employment schemes and the vast majority cannot pick up part-time work.

“By the time the Budget is produced in December, inflation will be on the

rise putting pensioners under extra pressure in 2011. For many older

people reliant on the State Pension a cut would have serious consequences

and could push some into poverty.

“It should also be remembered that pensioners have been hit by prescription

charges, the carbon tax and a 2% cut in their pensions already. If the

Minister is that concerned about his budget he should be pushing Brian

Lenihan to rake in some money by halting tax breaks for the filthy rich.

“Old Age Pensioners are already feeling intimidated as they are receiving

forms from the Department of Social Protection requesting details about any

change in their circumstances. While I am totally in agreement in cutting

down on fraud, these letters are causing unnecessary alarm for elderly

people.

“Minister Lenihan says he must find €3 billion in the next Budget but he

doesn’t have to cut any welfare payments to do it”,

concluded Deputy McManus..

Comment

No Lenihan and Co can find all the billions they like for the banks and by doing so he wants to rob the Old Age Pensioners

This of course is a kite and the crooks in government are testing the waters ,the next kite will be a rumours amount say 30 Euros less for the pension and then closer to the budget they will take maybe 15 Euros and everybody will take a sigh of relief and think they got off lightly

These Gangsters must be dragged and kicking and screaming out of Lenster House

so show up next Tuesday outside the Dail and show them we mean business!

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