Once in a blue moon you might see a letter that is worth reading while flicking through Herald Metro on your way to work.
I'm not joking, it's one of the few things I get to read these days between one thing and another.
Maybe Ibec would consider setting up a special O'Stakhanov Award for model workers such as my good self, who work all the hours natural forces send - increased hours with pay cuts - and had only had one sick day in the past two years or so? And all without complaint. Actually, scrub that last bit.
But what about Ibec - the logical successor to William Martin Murphy's ideal of organised employers? It was whinging last week about the alleged high rate if absenteeism in Irish workplaces, and how it was crippling the country.
Which brings us back to the Metro Herald and the following letter from Bruce. I haven't been able to check any of the figures he quotes - too busy working Ibec, you see - but it looks as though he has put a bit of thought and research into what he has written.
Duvet days? I like the sound of that...
I see Ibec has been harping on about absenteeism costing employers €1.5 billion per annum with employees missing 5.98 days per year, stating the issue “affects the wider economy through loss of potential output and increases spending on social security.
Well that’s a bit rich, given that Ibec members made a run on the Irish banks last year - leading to the tune of €78 billion in corporate deposits leaving the country and leading to the bailout in November. To cover this, the Irish State borrowed €60 billion and used the State Pension Reserve to balance the rest.
Interest has been reduced on this amount to 3.5 per cent, which equals interest alone of €2.1bn to the taxpayer and €4 billion in capital repayment, meaning the actions of Ibec members in 2010 will cost the taxpayer €6.1 billion in 2012.
Add to that the €270 million interest the State would have earned on the Pension Reserve Fund, bringing the total close to €6.3 billion. Based on 1.8 million people still working in the Irish economy, that works out at approximately €3,500 per working person, per annum, in taxes to pay off the bailout.
Given that this organisation is calling for increases in spending on education and the cutting of pay to make us more competitive, while campaigning for the 12.5% corporation tax to remain the same (in other words, everyone else pays except them), they are hypocrites of the highest order.
We taxpayers should have 25 ‘duvet days’ to cost them as much as they are costing us.
Bruce (having a lie-in today)
Well, Ibec. Pot? Kettle?
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