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Posts tagged ‘Alan Shatter’

Something fishy about insolvency ‘solutions’

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By CHARLIE WESTON

There are 96,500 residential mortgage accounts that are three months or more in arrears. Many of these homeowners are never going to be able to get back to a situation of meeting their full monthly repayments, never mind their other debts

Just four debt deals involving mortgage borrowings were done a full year after the new Insolvency Service of Ireland was launched. This begs the question, was the new service designed to work at all?

There is a crying need for debt relief for ordinary households – unpalatable though that is for those who were careful not to over-borrow during the property boom.

The troika demanded that the Government put a process in place to resolve this household debt mess.

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) was the solution that the Government, and specifically Justice Minister Alan Shatter, came up with.

Mr Shatter rejected all advice, when he was steering legislation setting up the ISI through the Oireachtas, that a system that gives the banks an effective veto over all insolvency deals was not fit for purpose.

It now looks as if events have proven Mr Shatter wrong and his critics right. He promised, when he launched the ISI, that he would reform it if it was seen to be failing. He needs to act on that promise.

Advocacy groups for those in mortgage arrears claim that banks are now frustrating ISI deals because they lose all control with these…

full article at source: http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/charlie-weston/something-fishy-about-insolvency-solutions-30154305.html

Religious won’t compensate Magdalene survivors

Orders will assist government to assemble records and care for former residents still in their care, but won’t pay

The 4 religious orders responsible for running the Magdalene Laundries have told the government they won’t contribute to the fund set-up to compensate survivors.

The Irish Times reports that the Mercy Sisters, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Sisters of Charity, and the Good Shepherd Sisters have told the Justice Minister they will not pay into the fund, which could cost up to €58 million.

However, it’s believed the orders will assist the government in assembling records and they’ll continue to look after former residents who remain in their care.

Minister Alan Shatter is due to brief his Cabinet colleagues on the issue this morning.

Chief-Executive of Barnardos, Fergus Finlay, says the government should insist that the orders pay compensation:………………………

full article at source: http://www.newstalk.ie/reader/47.301/11586/-/

**In memory of a dear friend Kathleen Keegan .RIP.**

Alan Shatter T.D. Minister for Justice

Q.       What has Alan Shatter T.D. Minister for Justice and Defence in the Republic of Ireland got in common with the former Soviet Union?

A.        He believes in releasing criminals from prison prematurely so that society can become even more unstable thus destroying the morale of the police force  the army and the general populace at large.

see also :http://www.herald.ie/news/early-release-plan-for-inmates-lashed-by-victims-families-3096347.html

Fine Gael called “LIARS”

English: Alan Shatter TD at a Fine Gael press ...

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In terms of top prize for political incompetence in 2011, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example than the farce that has surrounded the issue of Upward Only Rent Reviews (UORR) in commercial leases; remember both Labour and Fine Gael had promised to abolish UORR terms in existing commercial leases so that tenants would no longer have to pay rents which were set in better economic times, and particularly at the peak of the Celtic Tiger when commercial rents were twice today’s levels.

The commitment stymied the commercial property market where transactions dried up as neither buyer nor seller knew what rental terms would apply after the Government’s intervention. And Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter issued frequent updates where he re-affirmed the commitment, and for many months the stock response to requests for updates from the justice ministry was that a bill would be brought before the Oireachtas before Christmas 2011. And a framework including detailed legislative provisions went to the Attorney General in October 2011.

full article at source: http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/fine-gael-called-liars-in-metre-high-lettering-on-grafton-street-premises/

Comment:

I am not surprised this shower are only looking after the many landlords sitting in the Dail .

Rent supplements are keeping the property prices artificially high and I am surprised that the IMF hasn’t demanded that the government cut this subsidy to private landlords. Property prices are set to fall a lot further as this new penal tax on people’s homes will deter new owners and may even prompt others to sell out of the rental property business for good .I stated in a posting two years ago that we would see Dublin apartment prices come down to the mid thirties (thirty five thousand Euros) Well a friend of mine told me he sold a one bedroom apartment for 47,500 including a park space  two months ago and he is convinced that we will see apartments in the mid twenties in two years time .I would agree with him. I am currently living in Germany and I am renting a one bedroom apartment for 300 Euros a month and 100 extra for heating. I could buy this apartment for 42,500 and this would be in a similar area to D4 in Dublin! Around the corner there is a house with 3 bedrooms and I could buy this for 123,000 and I might get it for 115,000 if I had cash!

I cannot see any improvement in Ireland as long as we have incompetent political gangsters running the country we need a new revolution and cleaned all these public leaches out of the system a new political setup must be brought about centred on the needs of the ordinary citizen and not on the servants of the people as they call themselves. Cronyism must be stamped out.

I do believe that eventually the people will rise up but then even I will be surprised at the extent of the violent reaction against the political leaches that are now sucking the country dry and the collaborators, eager to serve the corrupt moneymen in Europe. The people will have their day they always do eventually  so Fine Gael you are been warned the day of reckoning is coming !

Howlin’s compromise on pay rejected by the Taoiseach

L-R: Brendan Howlin pictured during the Labour...

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By Ken Foxe

Brendan Howlin, the Minister responsible for overseeing a pay cap for special advisers, tried repeatedly to come to a compromise agreement on the pay of Ciaran Conlon.

The negotiations over the bumper salary of €127,000 that was finally set out for Mr Conlon show that Brendan Howlin had serious concerns about it and did not believe it could be justified under any circumstances.

He also said it would set a poor example and would provoke other Ministers into seeking higher pay for their advisers, or ask for salaries – that were already agreed – to be renegotiated.

full article at source:http://thestory.ie/2011/12/20/howlins-compromise-on-pay-rejected-by-the-taoiseach/

Comment:

On the bases of this information there should now be a full independent investigation into what if any undue influence or conflict of interest this bizarre action by Mr Kenny has .This whole business stinks to high heaven and smacks of payback big time! This must be challenged; Kenny must answer to the people why this man can command this king of salary when the vast majority of the people are scraping by just to put food on the table! How long more are the people of Ireland going to allow this kind of blatant cronyism continue????

 

Why are we even putting up with this crap?

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said the increasing number of prisoners being committed to custody is the greatest challenge facing the Irish Prison Service.

The IPS Annual Report shows there were over 17,000 committals to prison in 2010 – an increase of over 11% on the 2009 total.

Minister Shatter said this was having a knock-on effect on the high number of prisoners on temporary release.

The report also shows that committals under sentence of less than three months increased by 27% last year.

The Department of Justice said this increase can be attributed to a rise in the numbers committed for non-payment of court ordered fines in 2010.

There were over 6,000 such committals in 2010 – an increase of 39%

source:http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0825/prisons.html

Comment:

Why are we even putting up with this crap?What kind of justice is this? The poor and the down trodden get pushed into jail; while the fat cat gangsters from the Banks and the
building industry stay in their trophy homes and piss of the Switzerland and places like it .These figures prove that there is one law for the rich and one for the poor. We need a movement from the ground up that will remove this sham of a republic that only looks after insiders. First action should be for all of us to refuse to pay our mortgages now.

The politicians bailed out their pals in the building industry and the banks but the ordinary Joe soap can get stuffed and put into prison if he does not pay his TV licence. Time to call a halt to this obvious scam!

People of Ireland wake up now and take back our country from the mouthpieces of “Austerity for the poor“!

 

Retail rents down 50% from peak in Ireland

By namawinelake 
Property powerhouse and NAMA valuation panel member, CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) yesterday published its quarterly overview of the retail property sector in Ireland. It’s a funny old report as it mixes together some statistics on retail generally and elsewhere confines its reporting to shopping centres or indeed two  streets.  Whilst a little light on detail, it concludes that rent levels are still falling, though at a reduced pace and average retail rents in Ireland are now down 50% from peak levels in 2007.  The note also claims that rent levels continue to come under pressure which suggests further declines in the short term at least.
The report confirms the challenging environment faced by retailers with retail sales excluding cars down 5% year-on-year (car sales benefited from a scrappage scheme which has distorted buying behaviour). Footfall on two ofDublin’s main shopping streets,Grafton StreetandHenry Streetis down 4-10% year on year, suggesting there are fewer customers. On a more positive note,Irelandhas attracted the presence of more global brands.
As regards capital values, the report cites the IPD property index which for retail premises indicates that prices are some 65% off peak levels. There was not one single retail investment transaction in Irelandin Q1, 2011 according to the report and although not stated, the inference is that sales transactions have tailed off across all retail sectors.
The reason? The challenging general economic conditions can’t be helping but the report identifies the proposed (or “threatened” or “committed to”, depending on which side of the debate you stand) abolition of Upward Only Rent Review (UORR) leases which may mean that commercial tenants see their rents falling to open market rents. UORR leases may have rent levels twice that of current open market rents. The Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland yesterday called for urgent clarification of intentions in respect of the issue from the justice minister, Alan Shatter.
Interestingly the report concludes that vacancy levels are more or less stable, with vacancy on the two survey Dublin Streets actually dropping considerably in the last 12 months. Because the report seemingly examines shopping centre and retail park vacancy, it is unclear if the “stable” claim applies across the board. Certainly many towns up and down the country seem to have no shortage of vacant premises, though these will not be in shopping centres.
And lastly, the report seems to adopt a curious position on the IMF/EU Memorandum of Understanding commitment for Q3, 2011 “the government will conduct a study on the economic impact of eliminating the cap on the size of retail premises with a view to enhancing competition and lowering prices for consumers and discuss implementation of its policy implications with the Commission services” (PDF page 79). CBRE say “in our opinion, eliminating the current cap would not necessarily enhance competition or lower prices for consumers” No evidence is offered in support of that opinion.

source: http://wp.me/pNlCf-1sq

comment:

Since retailers are paying 50% less in costs when are the prices coming down in the shops?

Government set to retain 20 Garda drivers despite shift to private cars

15/03/2011 – 16:32:50

These were the headlines in March

 
Cabinet Ministers are to lose their garda drivers under radical changes to official Government transport announced today.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, President Mary McAleese, Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore and Justice and Defence Minister Alan Shatter will retain the facility for security reasons.

But from May 1 the other 12 ministers and Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett will be forced to supply their own vehicles and have civilian drivers hired, as has been the case with junior ministers.

From June, former Taoisigh and presidents will also lose the trappings of power except for important state occasions after the Cabinet signed-off on the cost-cutting plans.

Both Fine Gael and Labour pledged in the Programme for Government to halve the cost of the transport fleet and free up garda drivers to return to front-line duty.

The cost of running state cars for the last two years has totalled €11m.

The Chief Justice John L Murray and the Director of Public Prosecutions Director James Hamilton will also retain their State vehicle.

In addition to transport cuts the staffing of ministers’ private offices will be cut from 10 to eight and from six to four in constituency offices.

Junior ministers will have staff cut from seven to five in private offices and five to three in constituency offices.

“The combination of these measures will make a significant impact on the cost of Government and reflects the determination of the Government to establish a momentum for political reform,” a government statement said.

The outgoing Fianna Fáil-Green government revealed it was scaling back the trappings of power when Budget 2011 was unveiled last December.

The then Government faced a backlash from the public after ministers were seen driving into a Budget Cabinet meeting at the lush Farmleigh estate in separate sleek cars last October.

Read more: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/no-more-garda-drivers-for-ministers-497398.html#ixzz1LCa2ZrKw

But Today May 2nd

these are the headlines

Government set to retain 20 Garda drivers despite shift to private cars
01 May 2011 By Niamh Connolly Political Correspondent

At least 20 of the current 54 ministerial drivers are likely to be retained from the ranks of the Garda despite today’s shift to private cars and civilian drivers, say Garda sources.

Some 12 cabinet ministers will return their ministerial Mercs and supply their own cars with civilian drivers as a result of the first decision to be announced by the new government on taking office.

Former taoisigh will lose their ministerial cars and drivers from next month, except when they attend official functions. State cars and drivers will still be retained for the President, Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister for Justice, Director of Public Prosecution and Chief Justice, who will each require two Garda drivers on shift duty, totalling 12 gardaí.

Sources said a further ten drivers would be needed to ‘‘substitute’’ for those drivers when they were unavailable for duty, and to be available to former taoisigh attending official functions.

The move to civilian drivers is expected to save about €4 million of the current €11 million cost for the service over a two-year period.

Meanwhile, negotiations are to take place on behalf of retiring Garda drivers for the payment of outstanding overtime in pensions, and the matter may yet go to conciliation

Comment:

This is yet another broken promise from the new government when will the people wake up I suspect we will be facing a lot more broken promises for example higher taxes on the way and more job losses .

I would be surprised if we don’t lose at least another 65,000:00 jobs this year! With the governments lofty growth expectations all but rubbished by the central Bank last week the true nature of the depression in Ireland has yet to be acknowledged. The borrowings requirement will pile on the pressure even more on the countries meagre finances so what does the Fine Gael government decide to do compensate Barristers and tribunal lawyers Well done now go to the back of the class Edna and take out the Fine Gael manifesto and see if you can find any more promises that you can renege on!

List of public sector salaries

List of public sector salaries shows the extent of Enda Kenny’s challenge to impose wage ceilings

April 

“Government has to deliver better value in order to reduce the deficit, avoid job-destroying tax increases and protect frontline services. As part of this reform Fine Gael will… introduce a salary cap of €200,000 for everyone”

Fine Gael’s “5 Point Plan to Get Ireland Working

There was something a little surreal in reading the Department briefing notes handed to the incoming Minister of Finance, Michael Noonan and which were published by the Department of Finance last Thursday evening. The first note came from the Department of Finance’s Secretary General, Kevin Cardiff, a highly experienced civil servant who has been present at many of the nation’s crisis-points in the last three years including that ill-fated meeting at Government Buildings on the night of 28th September, 2008 which gave rise to the guarantee and you may remember seeing him alongside then-Taoiseach Brian Cowen and former Minister Lenihan at the announcement of the IMF/EU bailout last November, 2010. Michael Noonan too has been around for a long time and at 68 years of age next month faces one of the greatest challenges in his career as he tries to restore the nation’s finances. Michael is Kevin’s boss and is likely to be for the next five years. Michael earns €169,275 a year and Kevin, who works for him, is reported to earn €228,446 – 35% more. Surreal.

The same briefing continues to be surreal by stressing that one of the four overarching objectives of policy should be to deliver “improvements in competitiveness and reforms to improve competition and reduce costs” and “further reductions in expenditures will be required and achieving these will require firm control of pay”. Surreal.

Page 190 of the main briefing document deals with the issue of public sector pay above €250,000 – not €200,000 as in Fine Gael’s “5 Point Plan to Get Ireland Working” and sets out some public servants whose pay is in excess of €250,000. The briefing goes on to say “a ceiling on salaries would have the greatest effect in the commercial State-sponsored bodies”. Former Minister for Finance Lenihan said in his Budget 2011 speech on 7th December, 2010 “while there are issues about the contractual position of incumbent post holders, I think the position of the Minister for Finance as a shareholder or statutory stakeholder in these companies can be used to enforce the objective of the maximum salary within a reasonable timeframe.”

Now in fairness to Taoiseach Kenny, one of the first reforms he effected as Taoiseach was the reduction of his salary by 7% from €214,000 to €200,000. And he reduced the Tanaiste’s, ministers’ and ministers’ of state accordingly. But what about existing contracts which provide for salaries in excess of €200,000? “private contracts” might be the defence, but is that the case any more?

Last Monday night on RTE’s Frontline programme, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter referred us to Article 43 of the Irish Constitution in the context of unilaterally changing private commercial lease agreements. That Article includes the following

43.2.2 The State, accordingly, may as occasion requires delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good.

And indeed there are other instances of the “common good” occurring in our Constitution – Article 6, which is an overarching Article, for example says

All powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial, derive, under God, from the people, whose right it is to designate the rulers of the State and, in final appeal, to decide all questions of national policy, according to the requirements of the common good.

So if the justice minister says that the State can interfere with commercial lease agreements in the “common good” then presumably the State can interfere with private employment contracts and change terms including remuneration. That being the case, then what obstacle lies in the way of delivering the Fine Gael “5 Point Plan to Get Ireland Working” pledge to cap public sector salaries at €200,000?

Comment:

The First this I notice is that the Head of the Government is the lowest paid public servant on this list: These salaries are outrageous and if Enda Kenny wants to keep support for this Government he should immediately slash these lottery salaries .There is no justification in paying out such salaries when the country is in the financial meltdown it is in and with the savage cuts in essential services this action is morally justified .Before going off the Europe we need to cut our cloth according to our means !

This makes me feel sick !

Ministerial transport arrangements cuts

Bertie Ahern, the sixth leader of Fianna Fáil ...

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THE NEW GOVERNMENT has decided to cut back on ministerial transport arrangements, with all but three members of the cabinet being forced to supply their own cars from May.

This morning’s cabinet meeting decided that only the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality would still be given a State-supplied car with a full-time Garda driver – with all other members of the government having to stump up for their own cars in future.

Other ministers would still be given drivers, under the new regime that takes effect on May 1, but the car will have to be supplied by the minister themselves – in line with the arrangements already in effect for junior ministers.

Former Taoisigh – including Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen – and former Presidents will also lose their automatic right to an official state-supplied car and a Garda driver, except when they are required in line with important State occasions.

The President, Chief Justice and Director of Public Prosecutions are the only other people who retain a State car with a full-time Garda at the wheel.

In a statement, a government spokesman said that those three, as well as the three exempted ministers – currently Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore, and Alan Shatter – required the use of a Garda driver for security reasons.

The new moves will produce “very substantial savings”, the statement added, explaining that Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett and attorney general Máire Whelan will also lose their full-time drivers and state-supplied cars, and will have to produce their own vehicles in future.

In the case of the former Taoisigh and of former president Mary Robinson, the new transport arrangements come into effect in three months’ time.

The cabinet also decided to cut the maximum permitted number of staff in the private and constituency offices of ministers and junior ministers.

Ministers will now have a maximum of eight staff in their private offices, and four in their constituency offices – reduced from ten and six respectively.

Junior ministers will see the same staffing numbers cut from seven and five respectively, to five and three respectively.

Comment:

Why stop there what about the enormous salaries of the rest of the TD’s X civil servants and perks like free car parking in the grounds of Leister House. It would be better for the controller and Auditor General to first publish a list of exactly what the perks and wage top up’s public representatives get! .We the public don’t really have a clue as to how well X public representatives are looked after !

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