Thursday, 24 September 2009

Mary Coughlan does not make sense.

There are splits at the top in Government regarding the implementation of the McCarthy Report (“Bord Snip”) which looks into areas where State spending can be cut.

When standing in for Cowen yesterday, Tanaiste (deputy prime minister) Mary Coughlan declared “there are many recommendations within McCarthy that don’t make sense, many” - much to the consternation of Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan.

Perhaps Mary feels the need for some populist posturing on this one, or maybe she feels a genuine affinity for some branches of the public service as hubby is a graduate of the University of Templemore?

And speaking of which. Matt Cooper had some public servants on his show the other day, discussing the recession and how it was affecting them. One was a prison warder, the other a garda and the other a nurse.

The nurse, as you might expect, focused on the impact of any cuts on frontline health services, which are already stretched (cue debate on the running of the HSE and where the money goes).

In contrast, the garda spoke only of having suffered “four pay cuts” already. When Cooper, incredulous, expressed ignorance of any such pay cuts, it turned out the garda was referring to the pension levy (paid by all public service employees), the health levy (which we all pay), the 1% income tax levy (which we all pay) and its increase to 2% (which again, we all pay). And this following revelations that the last Garda overtime bill was €155 million, with one individual pocketing a top-up of €80,990 in separate “extra payments”.

If McCarthy is looking to prioritise cuts in the public sector, there might be some pointers for him there.

Would would Mary think?

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bigphathar said...

Mary? Think? A little optimistic? :)

The Gombeen Man said...

think the charitable view is that she suffers from foot in mouth syndrome, BP. The less charitable - which I subscribe to - is that she know's exactly what she's at.

Sometimes, anyway!