Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I'm sorry for harking back to pay, but the Man with the Golden Anorak can't resist talking about it. He was asked about his pay increase (see earlier blog entries passim) and came out with the following defence. I have left his words in their raw, pure and undisturbed state, uncontaminated by human hand.

He begins in this passage responding to comments by Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny that he earned more than Angela Merkel, Gordon Brown, George Bush and Nicholas Sarkozy.
Note the insinuation that the President of France benefits from opaque - possibly dodgy - arrangements; that the State haven't ponied up a yacht or summer palace for The Anorak; and, ergo, he is "poverty-stricken" compared to the rest.

And this is what he had to say about it in the Dáil today. (I have put the best bits into bold).

The Taoiseach: With regard to the comparisons with French President Sarkozy and others, the Deputy and I know all the arrangements these people have. It is like much of their tax arrangements, as they do not operate a system of transparency. They have all kinds of allowances.

I would like somebody to put all their arrangements up front. Not only do most of these people have permanent and weekend residences but they have holiday residences. They have different rules also as they are the beneficiaries of prolonged holidays, yachts and homes. We do not and should not have those regulations.

Most of the people mentioned by the Deputy would not pay for a cup of tea from one end of the year to the other because they have catering staff in their homes and can use jets for social and other occasions. They are not comparable so we should not do so.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan: We could make an amendment.

The Taoiseach: It would be interesting to write an article comparing them.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Would the Deputy vote for it?

The Taoiseach: It would not be hard for a member of the media to write a glowing article about how poverty-stricken we are compared to other countries.
I suppose I will have to wait for that.
The review body discounted the comparable salaries in the private sector by 15% to reflect the value of public service increases. I would gladly forego the increase to a future date, as happened before, if I believed it would make a whit of difference but it would probably be reported on page 99 of the newspaper.

The reality is that an independent body examined this and came up with an assessment that we decided to phase in over a period. The 2000 agreement is seven years old, so the increase is less than 3% per annum, with the 7.5% paid to us in the interim period in 2005. We have extended it by two years and it was agreed in the report that the next review would be in four years time. There is an 11 year period, therefore, with one increase. Admittedly it is a large increase, I am not arguing that, but it is an 11 year increase of just under 3% over the seven years. That is the position.

Poor man. No butler. No yacht. No summer palace. No opaque tax wheezes. Just 310 grand a year. And having to buy tea for every Jack Billy in the country.


Cian said...

see, its all your fault Harry. He would forego the pay rise if only your lot and their rabid agenda would report it and go out of your way to run 99 pages in order to bury it at the back.

At least he doesn't have to do any more plastic chicken dinners or I would positively weep in sadness.

Feardearg said...

Sarkhozy doesn't have to pay for the tay, but then he doesn't have Paddy the Plasterer and the rest to give the oul' digout when needed.

Cian said...

See it is all your lots fault Harry. If only you would bother covering the story, Bertie would give the whole pay rise back, instead you all keep going with this mad agenda.

When I read of Bertie's hardship I nearly weep. At least he no longer has to eat many rubber chicken dinners.

Dan Sullivan said...

I was looking for a comparable size country to ourselves and came across this about the Swedish ex PM.
13,084.91 EUR per month of a prime ministerial pension for the first year and then that is halved from there on in so a pension of about 60K long term and even with that he must tell if he has income from elsewhere and they will dock him accordingly.
And a New Zealand MP is paid just €56,730, the poor craturs, it must be mudhuts they have to live in compared to Bertie’s basic semi-D. More information here - http://www.finfacts.ie/finfactsblog/2006/10/dail-eireann-overpaid-legislators-and.html

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the questions and answers from the Dail are available for podcast anywhere?

Harry McGee said...

to anonymous: I don't think there are archived sound files for the Dail available on the web. RTE carried some clips yesterday on their news bulletins. And there would have been an extended clip of Bertie's speech on Oireachtas Report on RTE. Harry

Anonymous said...

Don't apologise - it's riveting - like an appalling fight between a couple at a dinner table beside you in a restaurant - you're mortified & fascinated at the same time - is this really our leader? Or does it mean he finally gets the relative poverty issue!!

Bock the Robber said...

I want a job on that independent body. One day a week for five years and all the expenses you can guzzle.

I wonder who's monitoring their performance?