It is time to return to modesty and good example from our national politicians according to Kilkenny Labour Party councillor, Seán Ó hArgáin, who also called for an end to the practice of paying Ministerial pensions to Dáil deputies who continue to hold seats in Dáil Éireann. Cllr. Ó hArgáin was speaking at the A.G.M of the Graiguenamanagh Labour Party, which was also attended by Labour Party Ireland East candidate Nessa Childers.
“It is simply outrageous that the people who have enforced a huge cut on ordinary public servants simply for the privilege of having a decent pension continued to allow those who have not retired from work to claim considerable pensions. Former Government Ministers in all parties should have wait to claim their pensions until they retire or lose their seats.
I think it is time to return to standards of modesty and decency in politics. While we want to see decent rates of pay for politicians, some of the practices being accepted now cannot continue.
In terms of wages, it is simply madness that the Irish Taoiseach is paid hugely more than the President of the United States, Barack Obama, or British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. It is even more outrageous that we continue to allow our top bankers to be paid four times as much as US bankers wages have been capped at, even after us, as taxpayers have bailed out the businesses they have run into the ground.
It is time in my view for ordinary workers to demand that the pain of this recession is borne by all, particularly those in the private sector whose businesses are going reasonably well, or those who got away with paying precious little in the past ten years thanks to Fianna Fáil’s tax breaks for their wealthy friends.
I will be attending the ICTU demonstration in Dublin on Saturday and hope that ordinary working people will join in and send a clear signal to those in power that while we are all willing to play a part in finding solutions to our economic difficulties, we expect the burden to be fairly distributed.”