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Posts tagged ‘Ivan Yates’

Judicial peacocks need to have their elaborate wings chopped !

Judicial Pay !

Looking last night at the Vincent brown talk show (hosted by Ivan Yates) I was appalled by the outrageous half-baked attempts by the  panel to keep the issue of pay for the Judicial peacocks within their own “sphere of influence” by claiming that the independence of the Judiciary would be in jeopardy. These people come across as pampas and arrogant!This is a perfect example of insiders, elite and “snout’s in the trough codgers” trying to muddy the waters. These codgers have managed to create a double wall around themselves excluding themselves from the rest of us mere common citizens .They live in a Parnell universe where they have become unaccountable and can do as they please without  fear of criticism. They cannot be fired and they have build up enormous pomp and ceremony that successfully intimates the ordinary Joe soap .These peacocks should have their elaborate wings most definitely chopped off altogether and no if or buts ! Bottom line it is perverse to try and justify the payment of over 5000 a week to these judicial peacocks who rule
over their own little kingdoms.

here is the link to the program: http://www.tv3.ie/shows.php?request=tonightwithvincentbrowne&tv3_preview=&video=39556


GreekWatch (Day 2 of 13) : “the situation seems desperate”

The IMF and EU teams seem to be working away quietly on their review mission in Athenswhilst the discussions about new austerity measures and privatisations get louder. There were rumours yesterday evening that the Greek prime minister was considering a referendum on new austerity measures though that seems to have been dismissed today with the claim that he is only seeking “consensus” – remember the prime minister controls 160 of the parliament’s 300 seats so “consensus” is a PR exercise, but it is one advocated by the IMF and EU. There were small-ish (by Greek standards) demonstrations on the streets yesterday evening when some 20,000 protesters across a number of cities staged peaceful protests.

Full article at source http://wp.me/pNlCf-1rh.


This morning I nearly fell out of my bed when I heard Ivan Yates and Willy Slattery Head of Ireland State Street in the IFSC take opposite sides to the problems of Irelands Debts .Judging from Mr.Slattery utterances and his categorical support for Mr. Edna Kenny’s declaration that there will be no default speaks volumes. This confirms to me that the Bondholders have indeed their feet under the cabinet table .By voting out the Last government we have unwittingly placed the spokespersons and lobbyists for the Funds industries and bond holders at the centre of power in Ireland .Just listen to this banisters blatant defence of his own interests and that of the international hot money industry in the IFSC. His claim that we now have good transparency in the Finances of the country is laughable and an outright lie. There is estimated 1.75 trillion Euros in managed funds in the IFSC and I would like to know what percentage is been paid in taxes for the secure harbour the Irish government is giving these dubious funds .after all let’s say the government gets .5% that would equate to an instant 8 750 000 000 Billion .in taxes for the hard pressed Irish Government.
Now why did Mr.Slattery not suggest his industry pay this tax??? No he wants the low paid workers and the unemployed to cough up and keep him and his cronies in business in the IFSC.As for Mr. Yates at least he understands that we simply cannot pay these debts as we simply do not have the earnings capacity .
Listen hear to the Breakfast show


Gene Kerrigan

Sunday December 12 2010

By Gene Kerrigan

On Friday, in a spirit of optimism, I rose from my sickbed and paid a visit to the Luxury Hall. Some amongst us surrender to pessimism and hold their heads in their hands, moaning in despair as the draconian Budget goes through. Others play the Blame Game and point accusatory fingers at politicians worn out from making “tough decisions”.

Not Soapbox. We salute the rewards still available in this great little nation. So, we sneezed repeatedly as we left the safety of home and went slip-sliding through the perilous slush in search of the Luxury Hall, and evidence that not all is lost in this benighted ex-republic.

And — adding weighty purpose to my romantic quest — I wanted to know why it is that no matter what measures this Government takes, it continues to make things worse.

I was already somewhat buoyed up. Having been away earlier this month, I missed the decision of Dermot Ahern to retire from politics because of his painful arthritis. Like most of us with a touch of arthritis, I can’t afford to retire. What buoys me up is that we live in a country rich enough to treat Dermot with the respect due to a politician whose towering achievement was the introduction of an anti-blasphemy law.

I’ve worked twice as long as Dermot has been a politician, and like the rest of us I’ve never had a wage that came within an ass’s roar of the €128,000 annual pension lined up for him (on top of a €160,000 golden handshake). The evidence that we can afford such generosity to a man of unremarkable talents fills me with hope. No country that can afford such generosity is truly broke.

Onwards to the Luxury Hall.

This is the large area of the Brown Thomas department store given over to exquisite goods imported from all over the world. It’s the realm of Tiffany and Cartier and Prada. Where goods are tastefully displayed under glass, lit with care and watched over by shop assistants dressed to match. Here, instead of soulless piped music, shoppers are entertained by a piano that tinkles softly, the keys touched by invisible fingers — programmed to delight.

Many shopping playgrounds are pitched at our aspirations. Not here — this is for those who have arrived in the Premiership of consumerism. It’s a place of peace and hope amid the uncertainty and distress of modern Ireland, and on Friday it was busy. I love to browse there, encouraged that this country is far from the beaten docket that some imagine. Many of the goods have no price tags. If you need to ask, you can’t afford it. There’s stuff here that even Dermot Ahern couldn’t afford.

And, when you tire of the Luxury Hall, you can take the escalator to the recently opened Marvel Room. Why do we need a Marvel Room when we have a Luxury Hall? Oh, silly. Because we can afford it.

Perhaps some of the AIB crowd, hugging the bonuses they earned by running their bank into the ground, might seek self-esteem there. Or Ivan Yates, encouraged that the Budget reflects so well the things for which he campaigned as a journalist, might indulge himself.

Ivan became a TD at 21 (I was at his selection convention, a witness to history in the making). He served as a minister for two-and-a-half years and retired at 43, to look after his chain of bookie shops (about five-dozen of them, now). He has a lucrative media career, where he rails against such extravagances as free TV licences for pensioners (“let’s bite the bullet and cull these cows”). He seems affronted that “average teacher pay is €52,000” and that “favourable pension terms lie at the end of the rainbow”.

Mr Two-and-a-half-years-in-office has been on a political pension since the age of 43. The pension is now close to the level of a teacher’s salary. Okay, so it’s not the €98,000 we splurge on Bertie, but Bertie did a lot more for the. . . Well, let’s not go there.

If Ivan wanted to buy me something from the Marvel Room, I’d suggest the Louis Vuitton whiskey case, at 16 grand. Only kidding, Ivan. Put your chequebook away. Perhaps a more appropriate gesture, from one hack to another, would be a nice pen. Mr Vuitton has a lovely biro, in 18-carat gold and alligator skin, at €1,110.

The Marvel Room, too, was busy on Friday. I enviously eyed a Mont Blanc pen, a John Lennon Special Edition, at a mere €650. It came with — and I’m not making this up — a replica single of Imagine.

I hummed, “Imagine no possessions. . .” Ah, John. My favourite 16-year-old wondered why they hadn’t thrown in a copy of Working Class Hero.

The Christmas present list would be a doddle at the Marvel Room. Lots of five-grand handbags, a candle for €210 and a candle-lighter at €180. Don’t curse the darkness, light a candle, right?

A purse for your iPod at €495, a Tiffany pendant at €11,250 or a pair of Annoushka earrings for 25 grand. The Marvel Room offers a shopping bag with “LOOT” printed on the side. At €165, it will “make your teen the envy of all their friends”. Ah, values, values.

They do a nice line in Juicy Couture — last time I saw that brand was in London recently, in Harrods (oh, I get around), below an enormous advertising slogan that might be a mantra for our times: “Let Them Eat Couture.”

From my sick bed, I had read former President Mary Robinson’s sermon to the citizens on how “greed was the main problem”.

While the banks and politicians bear some blame for extinguishing the republic, “it’s our own mistake as Irish people, collectively”.

It’s refreshing that we can afford a pension of around €140,000 for an ex-President who didn’t even finish her single term before running off to a better job. And €51,000 a year for Dermot Gleeson, former chairman of AIB (he gets the pension because he was Attorney General for two-and-a-half years). And €52,000 for Goldman Sachs man Peter Sutherland (AG for three years). And — oh, the evidence that we’re a thriving, generous country goes on and on.

So, you see, there is hope.

The message from our betters is that the problems were caused by our collective greed, and now we’re all in this together. We need to incentivise the unemployed and the lower paid (by lowering their income); and incentivise the wealthy (by protecting them). In a private phone call last week, according to Emmet Oliver in Thursday’s Irish Independent, EU officials, “told international investors that even a new Irish government will not be allowed to remove the protection which has been given to senior bondholders in the banks”.

This is not comment or speculation, and Mr Oliver doesn’t make things up. The EU decides what the incoming government is “allowed” do. And German, Dutch and French bankers who lost their gamble on Anglo will have their bets refunded out of our pockets — or the country will be shredded by the EU and the bond vigilantes.

Now, the weighty, purposeful question — why does the country sink further with every ‘solution’ offered by this Government?

Because it doesn’t understand the enormity of the debt crisis, across Europe. And its consequences. It tried to preserve the insolvent Irish banks, and brought down the State. And now the effort to save the system of structural inequalities deflates the real economy and puts the whole system at risk.

There’s a choice between engineered change and disorderly collapse. And it’s heartbreaking that our elite seem to have chosen the latter.

source http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/gene-kerrigan/gene-kerrigan-we-no-longer-have-the-luxury-of-time-to-prevent-collapse-2457758.html

Sunday Independent

I’m too sick to even comment!

Budget 2011 (Ivan Yates has his ideas)


As we get closer and closer to the December budget we are going to get a platter of suggestions and true to form here is one I came across  a few days ago

This is just a flavor of what is going to be on the dissecting table in the Department of Finance in the coming weeks and Fine Gael is the lead with this one not much difference from FF here! So if you’re going to vote for Fine Gael you can expect to see some or all of these measures acted on


By columnists/ivan-yates

With prior EU approval required, the heavy lifting for budget day will be done in the next few weeks. It’s time to get down and dirty with the specific measures to close our fiscal deficit by the required €4.5bn. My blueprint requires slaughtering sacred cows.

More than 70% of current spending comprises welfare or payroll costs. Savings are impossible without addressing these head on.

The Department of Social Protection spends €22bn out of €50bn. If old age pensions can’t be cut, the axe must fall on fringe benefits. €966m is being spent on free schemes — without a means test. Pensioners have been exempt from cuts to date. This is despite a significant reduction in the cost of living. Current pensioners receive defined benefit private pensions that will be unattainable to younger generations.

Imaginative innovations of the 1960s need to be reviewed. The staggering costs are as follows: free travel scheme, €626m; free electricity/gas, €165m; free telephone rental, €120m and free TV licence, €55m. These could be phased out over a two-year period, with a 50% subsidy applying for one more year. These universal benefits are currently payable irrespective of income. Should Fergal Quinn, Michael Smurfit and George Hook really have access to free travel and other fringe benefits?

Administrative arguments about the impossibility of child benefit reform are redundant. The British review in the mid-1990s concluded that means testing and taxation was unworkable because of cohabiting couples and current year incomes. Apparently, you could not discriminate constitutionally against married couples relative to unmarried partners. Because of the inadequate database on the latter, there was a veto on change.

The British chancellor George Osborne cut through this confusion by abolishing child benefit where one parent earns more than £50,000 (€56,600) per annum from 2013. We can follow suit. We could halve child benefit under the same circumstances for those between €50,000 and €100,000 per annum and abolish it where one income exceeds €100,000 per annum. We could save €800m out of child benefit costs of €2.26bn.

However distasteful, this would be much more equitable than flat-rate cuts that are envisaged.

Another British government welfare reform is a cap on total payments per household. Should child benefit be paid beyond the fourth or fifth child? The disincentive to work is greatest where there are large numbers of dependants. Total state benefits per household could have a cash ceiling of the industrial average wage or €40,000 per annum. To earn this money, net of income tax, requires extraordinary gross pay levels.

Last year’s budget adjustment to public sector pay did not extend to pensions. Total state occupational pension costs are heading towards €3bn per year. Smart actuarial experts assess the current total state liability on the cost of future public service pensions at €108bn. Given our demographics, with a huge increase of those of pension age by 2030, we must act to mitigate this fiscal time bomb.

An immediate two-tier cut in pensions is now appropriate, along the lines of last year’s pay cut. For example, 5% under €50,000 per annum, along with a 10% reduction over this pension threshold could be achieved.

The link between pensions and contemporary pay grades has to be terminated and replaced with cost of living/inflation increases — reviewable every 10 years. Private sector workers face only defined contribution schemes.

The Croke Park deal has yet to deliver real savings. Blather about redeployment, efficiency and productivity from ministers won’t deliver reform. Each department needs to be given a set objective amount to be saved in 2011 and each year thereafter. This could be achieved by altering the sick pay scheme to reduce absenteeism. In a hospital, closing down the maintenance department and replacing it with subcontractors may be the expedient efficiency. In the Department of Transport it could result in some of the 37 subsidiary organisations being amalgamated.

A central voluntary redundancy package, based on five weeks pay per year, needs to be implemented. Multi-annual targets for numerical reductions are required. The Bord Snip report set out a template for this in each department comprising a total of 17,300 less staff. All public bodies must stop the practice of using up unspent money at the end of each year.

Nothing in life is free. Governments tried to convince us otherwise. Ultimately, these panaceas are economically unsustainable. In 1996 third-level education fees were abolished and the entitlement to free access was established. The beneficiary must be liable for the cost of this valuable service. More open competition between universities, colleges and institutes should be based on price and quality. A phased reduction of state subvention would oblige these education dons to cut their cloth according to the market measure. It is patently unfair that an early school-leaver, now a manual labourer, should subsidise the wealthiest kids in our most esteemed educational facilities.

In 2002 it was decreed that household water should be free. By 2050, the world’s scarcest commodity will be water — not oil, fossil fuels or food. EU directives require us to charge for water supplies. In rural areas you have to pay the full cost whether sinking your own pump, procuring a private group water scheme or are on a public supply meter. Free water is unappreciated, disrespected and wasted.

A SEMI-STATE company could replace our local authority water provision. Water could be provided and paid for in the same way as a phone, gas or electricity by a commercial utility provider. Deferring liability until metering is in place is a cowardly cop-out. An immediate minimum flat charge of €3 per week is modest and reasonable.

Colm McCarthy’s proposals to rationalise and amalgamate quangos have been subject to the most intense obfuscation. This can no longer be tolerated. A zero budgeting principle needs to apply. Senior civil servants are guilty of facilitating obstruction by bodies under their aegis. Petty turf wars have been sponsored by compliant secretary generals and ministers. They have allowed themselves to see their cabinet role as defending their patch.

A general repeal of legislation giving statutory effect to these organisations needs to be threatened. The myriad of partnership boards, regional bodies and county structures amounts to a maze of bureaucracy — each with its own human resources and accounts departments. These are no longer affordable and don’t provide essential core public services. €2bn can be saved through a deferral of Metro North, the National Children’s Hospital and other capital projects. This menu is without recourse to tax increases or cuts in rates of welfare. Just like a tooth extraction, the anticipation is worse than the actuality. The gaping hole heals and new normality asserts.

Let’s bite the bullet and cull those cows.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Thursday, October 14, 2010

Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.ie/opinion/columnists/ivan-yates/lets-get-rid-of-all-those-freebies-and-put-a-ceiling-on-child-benefits-133426.html#ixzz12nSaaY1n

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