UPDATE:SUPER-RICH IRISH AWASH WITH MONEY!

August 31, 2014 Leave a comment

(SEE ALSO on this Blog:  Tax Evasion by Irish Rich    http://wp.me/pKzXa)

RICHEST TEN PER CENT OF IRISH HOUSEHOLDS  INCREASE TOTAL  WEALTH BY 20 Billion Dollars or 18 Billion Euro in LAST YEAR ALONE!!!

“Of course, much of this wealth generation is coming at the top end: Some 169,000 Irish people were in the top 1 per cent for global wealth in 2016, up by 6 per cent on 2015. In addition, some 7,000 Irish people became dollar millionaires last year”

3.1 per cent, or 110,000 people, now fall into the +$1 million (wealth) category, up from  2.6 per cent, or 91,208 people in 2014.

–  CREDIT SUISSE GLOBAL ANNUAL REPORT 2016

Rise in financial assets (€3.3bn) and in  housing assets (€1.9bn) in 3 months!!- Central Bank Report Q2 2016 

As the Richest 10% of households own 53.4% of total assets (and probably a higher percentage of Financial Assets), This means that the value of shares, bank deposits, bonds, insurance policies held by the richest 10% increased by at least 1.65 Billion Euro in 3 months. These Financial Assets of the Richest 10%  are now almost 37 billion Euro above PEAK BOOM LEVEL (CSO Institutional Sector Accounts)

Not a penny tax is payable on these financial assets

Fiona Reddin, Irish Times Last Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 12:52

Household wealth in Ireland is growing at the sixth fastest pace in the world, according to the seventh annual global wealth report from Zurich-based bank. The total wealth of Irish households rose by $38 billion to $770 billion (€ 725 billion) in 2016, up by 5 per cent on 2015. (Top 10% of Irish Households own 53.4% of all Irish household wealth-Central Bank)

This means that Ireland now has a 0.3 per cent share of global wealth. Back in 2000, we had a share of 0.2 per cent and wealth per head of $91,525.

Ireland is in sixth place in terms of both change in total household wealth (+5.2 per cent) and change in wealth per head (+4 per cent). That puts up behind only Japan (19.3 per cent), New Zealand (14.1 per cent), Hong Kong (8.1 per cent), the Czech Republic (6.8 per cent)and Indonesia (6.4 per cent).

Of course, much of this wealth generation is coming at the top end: Some 169,000 Irish people were in the top 1 per cent for global wealth in 2016, up by 6 per cent on 2015. In addition, some 7,000 Irish people became dollar millionaires last year.

This pace of growth means that, in 2016, wealth per adult in Ireland stood at $214,589 (€202,208), up by 4 per cent or €7,745 from 2015.

Irish median wealth

“Median” wealth indicates the middle wealth value, which is the level that represents more people (as average is swayed by the high net worth). In Ireland it is $80,668 per adult. Irish adults have debt of $50,762 per adult. Ireland’s household wealth previously peaked in 2007 at $222,823, before falling to $176,881 in 2011.

In comparison, wealth per adult in the UK is $288,808, with debt of just $48,893 and median wealth of $107,865. The US has wealth per adult of $344,692, debt of $56,793, and median wealth of just $44,977.

The richest European country is Switzerland, where the median wealth is $244,002, debt is $143,364 and wealth per adult is $561,854.

Rising house prices are behind the resurgence in Irish wealth, which may be why so few of us have yet to feel an uplift. Property accounts for 60 per cent of our wealth ($156,509), compared with 47.6 per cent in the UK, 58.9 per cent in Germany and 28.3 per cent in the US.

According to the Credit Suisse survey, almost a third of Irish residents (31.8 per cent) have wealth of less than $10,000; 23 per cent lie in the $10,000-$100,000 range; 42.2 per cent have wealth of between $100,000-$1 million; and 3.1 per cent, or 110,000 people, fall into the +$1 million category, up from up from 2.6 per cent, or 91,208 people in 2014.

There were no new billionaires, however, with this figure steady on 2015 at five. The US can claim 582 billionaires and the UK 434.

Selling down

The survey also points to a reversal in the trend of Irish people selling down their equity holdings. In 2005, some 22 per cent of the country’s financial wealth was held in equities. This slid to 12.7 per cent in 2014 before advancing again in 2015 to 13.7 per cent. This compares with 44.2 per cent in the US and 12.6 per cent in the UK.

Household wealth in the UK declined by $1.5 trillion, or 10 per cent, the report shows, as “a direct consequence” of the Brexit vote. This means that the number of dollar millionaires in the UK fell by 15 per cent.

“The US had a tumultuous end to 2015-2016, with sharp declines in the exchange rate and the stock market following the vote to leave the EU,” Credit Suisse said in the report. “The outlook is very uncertain, both for the economy and household wealth.”

Global wealth advanced by 1.4 per cent to $256 trillion, reflecting lacklustre economic growth. It is expected to reach $334 trillion by 2021, according to Credit Suisse.

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FINANCE BILL-BUDGET FOR THE RICH PASSED BY Dáil

Fine Gael and the following others voted for the Finance Bill ( Budget for the Rich):

Mattie McGrath, Michael Lowry, John Halligan, Finian McGrath, Dr Michael Harty, Seán Canney, “Boxer” Moran, Denis Naughten, Shane Ross, Katherine Zappone

Fianna Fáil Formally Abstained

11 Deputies did not vote (not included in formal Abstentions (staon))

Dáil Record of Voting is carried below

Budget For The Rich

The overall effect of the budget is Rich Top 5% of income recipients  on average incomes of 186,000 Euro per year will now Pay 172 million less USC/Tax than in 2015

No Tax was imposed on Financial Assets of individuals which are now well above peak boom level. The shares, bank deposits, insurance policies etc of the top 10% of households are now 35 BILLION above peak boom level in 2006

Hospitals, Schools, Housing , Welfare WILL REMAIN UNDER-FUNDED by the Gvernment’s own admission. Restorations of these public services are the subject of “5 year plans”, medium and long term strategies etc.  For example, there is no commitment to end homelessness (over 6000 in emergency accommodation and still rising) within a year.

There is no provision for further restoration of pay and pensions beyond that set out in the Lansdowne Rd Agreement and FEMPI ACT 2015

Dáil Record

Question put: “That the (Finance) Bill do now pass.”

The Dáil divided: Tá, 58; Staon, 30; Níl, 38.

Staon Níl
      Bailey, Maria.       Aylward, Bobby.       Adams, Gerry.
      Barrett, Seán.       Brassil, John.       Barry, Mick.
      Breen, Pat.       Breathnach, Declan.       Boyd Barrett, Richard.
      Brophy, Colm.       Browne, James.       Brady, John.
      Burke, Peter.       Butler, Mary.       Broughan, Thomas P.
      Byrne, Catherine.       Cahill, Jackie.       Buckley, Pat.
      Canney, Seán.       Calleary, Dara.       Burton, Joan.
      Cannon, Ciarán.       Casey, Pat.       Collins, Joan.
      Carey, Joe.       Chambers, Jack.       Collins, Michael.
      Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.       Chambers, Lisa.       Coppinger, Ruth.
      Coveney, Simon.       Donnelly, Stephen S.       Crowe, Seán.
      Creed, Michael.       Dooley, Timmy.       Cullinane, David.
      D’Arcy, Michael.       Haughey, Seán.       Doherty, Pearse.
      Daly, Jim.       Lahart, John.       Ellis, Dessie.
      Deasy, John.       Lawless, James.       Ferris, Martin.
      Deering, Pat.       Martin, Micheál.       Fitzmaurice, Michael.
      Doherty, Regina.       McGrath, Michael.       Funchion, Kathleen.
      Donohoe, Paschal.       Moynihan, Aindrias.       Healy-Rae, Danny.
      Doyle, Andrew.       Moynihan, Michael.       Healy, Seamus.
      Durkan, Bernard J.       Murphy O’Mahony, Margaret.       Kenny, Gino.
      English, Damien.       Murphy, Eugene.       Kenny, Martin.
      Farrell, Alan.       O’Brien, Darragh.       McDonald, Mary Lou.
      Fitzgerald, Frances.       O’Callaghan, Jim.       Mitchell, Denise.
      Fitzpatrick, Peter.       O’Keeffe, Kevin.       Munster, Imelda.
      Flanagan, Charles.       O’Rourke, Frank.       Murphy, Paul.
      Griffin, Brendan.       Ó Cuív, Éamon.       Nolan, Carol.
      Halligan, John.       Rabbitte, Anne.       O’Brien, Jonathan.
      Harris, Simon.       Scanlon, Eamon.       O’Reilly, Louise.
      Harty, Michael.       Smith, Brendan.       O’Sullivan, Maureen.
      Heydon, Martin.       Troy, Robert.       Ó Broin, Eoin.
      Humphreys, Heather.       Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
      Kehoe, Paul.       Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
      Kyne, Seán.       Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
      Lowry, Michael.       Pringle, Thomas.
      Madigan, Josepha.       Ryan, Brendan.
      McEntee, Helen.       Ryan, Eamon.
      McGrath, Finian.       Smith, Bríd.
      McGrath, Mattie.       Stanley, Brian.
      McHugh, Joe.
      McLoughlin, Tony.
      Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.
      Moran, Kevin Boxer.
      Murphy, Dara.
      Murphy, Eoghan.
      Naughten, Denis.
      Naughton, Hildegarde.
      Neville, Tom.
      Noonan, Michael.
      O’Connell, Kate.
      O’Donovan, Patrick.
      O’Dowd, Fergus.
      Phelan, John Paul.
      Ring, Michael.
      Rock, Noel.
      Ross, Shane.
      Stanton, David.
      Varadkar, Leo.
      Zappone, Katherine.

 

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Paul Murphy and Richard Boyd Barrett.

Question declared carried.

 

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RESEARCH DOCUMENT INCLUDING DETAILED CALCULATIONS

SO YOU BELIEVE THAT INCREASED INVESTMENT IN PARTICULAR PUBLIC SERVICES COULD ONLE BE DONE AT EXPENSE OF OTHER PUBLIC SERVICES?

THAT PAY AND PENSION RESTORATION FOR ONE GROUP CAN BE ONLY DONE AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHER PUBLIC SERVANTS?

Or

Funded by an increase of 4% in top Income Tax Rate?

THIS IS RUBBISH!! It IS JUST PROPAGANDA OF THE SUPER-RICH AND THEIR SERVANTS IN POLITICS AND IN THE MEDIA

 

READ ON!!!!!

 

IN GDP PER HEAD IRELAND IS WEALTHIER THAN GERMANY, UK, US, FRANCE, ITALY

IRELAND IS RANKED 8th in World.

BUT Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.—Bertlesman Institute Report (GERMANY), Irish Examiner, Sept 16, 2015

Super-Rich Irish Awash With Money

Full Details http://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

 

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TOP 10%  Have increase in Net Financial ASSETS of 35 billion since peak boom level in 2006

Not A Penny in Property Tax Tax is Payable on This huge Gain

But households in negative equity have to pay LPT

 

Financial Assets are one form of Property

 

Positive Financial Assets include shares, bank deposits, insurance policies. Negative Financial assets include mortgage debt, credit card debt etc

Financial assets do not include dwelling houses, farms , workshops, business premises-these are fixed assets

Recent Corrected  Figures for Financial Assets of Households (Individuals not companies) have been issued by Central Statistics Office

Institutional Sector Accounts (Financial) 2015 (millions)  Households

Gross Financial Assets    Total liabilities       Net Financial Asets.

2015        363,316              160,459                        202,857

Peak Boom 2006                                                                   132,032 m

The total Gain since peak boom level (2006)           70,825m

Top 10% own 53.8% of all household Assets  (Financial +Fixed)

Assuming they own same % of net Financial assets(they probably Own a higher percentage)

2015              53.8% of 202,857 =109 Billion

2006               53.8% of 132,032= 74  million

NET FINANCIAL ASSETS INCREASE for Top 10% of Households since PEAK BOOM=35 Billion Euro

 

Why Doesn’t the Government cancel the concession to the super-rich, end the lock-out and re-open the schools?

Income Tax and USC Relief To  High Incomes Over Two Most Recent Budgets Totalled Over  172 Million Euro

Government Concession to Top 5% of Income recipients (110,000 units) with average incomes of 186,000 EU per year  Detailed Calculation wp.me/pKzXa-oM

( Assuming One third of units or c. 37,000 in this high Income bracket  are self-employed- There were 85,000 self-employed with paid employees and 231,000 without employees active in irish economy in 2014)   Stats below show that there are 18% self-employed in workforce (including part-time employees, minimum wage employees etc)

 

 

 

Budget 2017 Tax/USC Concessions to top 5%

                Employee Gain 353 Eu    Self Employed Gain 353+400=  753 eu    (400 is a tax credit)

Top 5 %   Average income 186,000 Eu  Number of Units    110,000                Tot Gain

Employees              73,333               25,886,549

Self-employed               36,667              27,610,251

All                                                 53,496,800

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Budget 2016

 

Employee Gain 902 Eu    Self Employed Gain  902+550+  1452Eu     (550 is a tax credit)

Employees          73,333                 66,146,366

Self-Employed        36,667               53,240,484

All                  119,386,850

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Concession To Top 5%  Over  2 Years     All               172,883,650

 

 

595,000 euro per year is the average income the TOP 10,000 income Recipients

None of these are Public Servants-ALL IN PRIVATE SECTOR

Assuming all these are self-employed, They received 22.98 Million of The 172 million in tax concessions in last budget

 

Irish Economy 2014: Number of employees remains below bailout quarter of 2010
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
May 27, 2014 – 6:08 AM
Email this article
Printer friendly page

(Thousands)

All self-employed                                                  318.3

Employees(Including Schemes)                               1,541.2

Schemes                                                                    85.0

Actual Employees                                                       1,456.2

Actual Self Employed +Actual Employees         =        1,774.5

% Self-Employed                                                      =  18%

 

600 Million in Tax Concessions to Hotel Owners in last Budget   

Full Details http://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

SIPTU PRESIDENT JACK O’CONNOR CONTRADICTS NOONAN’S FALSE CLAIM THAT GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY SAME

                                                                                                          

 LEVEL OF INCREASE TO ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS AS WAS GIVEN TO GARDAI

600 million in tax concessions (VAT REDUCTION) given to owners of hotels which have fully recovered in Budget –Jack O’Connor (SIPTU)

BUT ONLY 290 MILLION PROVIDED FOR RESTORATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE PAY AND PENSIONS UNDER LANSDOWNE RD/FEMPI-THE GOVERNMENT MADE CHOICES

Mr O’Connor said: “We utterly reject the assertion that there is no money and that it is a choice between pay increases and services for the public.

“This is an absolutely false dichotomy. The fact of the matter is that the Government made choices in the budget. For example, it decided to continue to gift business in the hotel and hospitality sector with special VAT concessions costing more than €600 million (VAT REDUCTION) per annum at the tax-payers expense. They chose to do so despite the fact that the industry has fully recovered.

Mr O’Connor said the Government was also prepared “ to splurge a further €46 million on gifting for the wealthy through cutting capital taxes”

BUDGET 2017:  HIGHEST  INCOMES ATTRACTED  HIGHEST TAX/USC RELIEF

Minister Noonan: “Tax and USC reductions have been targeted at those on low and middle incomes”

NOT TRUE !!!  

Those over an annual income of 70,000 Euro are getting 146 million  in Tax/USC Relief or almost 50% out of total relief of 300 million in Budget

The 300,000 over 70,000EU per year are getting at least 40 million more in tax relief than the 324,000 in the 30,000 to 40,000 category (average industrial wage 36,500).

A TD is getting an extra 7 euro per week from Jan 1.  A person on average industrial wage(36,500 per year) is getting an extra 3.42 Euro per week,

A person on minimum wage (18,720 per year) is getting Tax/USC relief of 2 Euro per week . 

A rich business person (self-employed) on 200,000 per year is getting 14.5 euro per week from Jan 1

An adult social welfare recipient including pensioners is getting a social welfare increase 5 Euro from March 1 which is equivalent to 4 Euro per week from Jan 1

 

IN GDP Per HEAD IRELAND IS WEALTHIER THAN GERMANY, UK, US, FRANCE, ITALY

IRELAND IS RANKED 8th in World. 

BUT Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.—Bertlesman Institute Report (GERMANY), Irish Examiner, Sept 16, 2015

 

WIKIPEDIA

IMF uses Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) as a basis for comparison .                                                 PPP basis is arguably more useful when  Comparing generalized differences in living standardsbetween nations because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries, rather than using only exchange rates, which may distort the real differences in income. This is why GDP (PPP) per capita is often considered one of the indicators of a country’s standard of living,[2][3] although this can be problematic because GDP per capita is not a measure of personal income. 

 

 

International Monetary Fund (2015)[
Rank Country Int$
1  Qatar 132,870
2  Luxembourg 99,506
3  Singapore 85,382
4  Brunei 79,508
5  Kuwait 70,542
6  Norway 68,591
7  United Arab Emirates 67,217
8  Ireland 65,806
9  San Marino 62,938
10   Switzerland 58,647
 Hong Kong 56,878
11  United States 56,084
12  Saudi Arabia 53,802
13  Netherlands 49,624
14  Bahrain 49,601
15  Sweden 48,199
16  Australia 47,644
17  Austria 46,986
18  Germany 46,974
 Taiwan 46,833
19  Denmark 45,723
20  Iceland 45,666
21  Canada 45,602
22  Belgium 44,148
23  Oman 43,707
24  Equatorial Guinea 43,522
25  United Kingdom 41,499
26  France 41,476
27  Finland 41,109
28  Japan 38,142
29  South Korea 36,612
30  New Zealand 36,136
31  Malta 36,042
32  Italy 35,781
33  Spain 34,861

 

 

 

 

———————————–

SIPTU PRESIDENT JACK O’CONNOR CONTRADICTS NOONAN’S FALSE CLAIM THAT GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY SAME LEVEL OF INCREASE TO ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS AS WAS GIVEN TO GARDAI

600 million in tax concessions given to owners of hotels which have fully recovered in Budget BUT. . . 

ONLY 290 MILLION PROVIDED FOR RESTORATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE PAY AND PENSIONS UNDER LANSDOWNE RD/FEMPI-THe GOVERNMENT MADE CHOICES

Mr O’Connor said: “We utterly reject the assertion that there is no money and that it is a choice between pay increases and services for the public.

“This is an absolutely false dichotomy. The fact of the matter is that the Government made choices in the budget. For example, it decided to continue to gift business in the hotel and hospitality sector with special VAT concessions costing more than €600 million per annum at the tax-payers expense. They chose to do so despite the fact that the industry has fully recovered.

Mr O’Connor said the Government was also prepared “ to splurge a further €46 million on gifting for the wealthy through cutting capital taxes”

NOONAN FALSELY CLAIMS THAT GOVERNMENT CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY SAME LEVEL OF INCREASE TO ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS AS WAS GIVEN TO GARDAI

BUT he gave 172 million to those on average Pay of 186,000 Euro in Last Two budgets

IRISH TIMES: “In Brussels yesterday, Mr Noonan said it was “simply not affordable” to provide the same level of pay increases to all public service staff as those recommended for gardaí.

Mr Noonan said the Garda pay proposals fell within the parameters of the Lansdowne Road agreement.”-Irish Times 11/08/2016

The top 5% of Income Recipients have average incomes of 186,000 per year. These are now paying 172 million less in tax than before budget 2016

Virtually all those in this income bracket are in the private sector. Even TDs are below it. The Taoiseach and Full Ministers are included. The cohort mainly consists of owners of large businesses, GPs and medical consultants, cosulting engineers, big landlords with rental income, solicitors, barristers, vets, auctioneers, bookmakers, race horse owners and trainers  etc

NET FINANCIAL ASSETS OF RICHEST 10% OF IRISH HOUSEHOLDS ARE NOW OVER 35 BILLION Euro ABOVE PEAK BOOM  LEVEL-CENTRAL BANK REPORT 2015

TOP 10% Gained over 6 Billion in the year 2015 alone

TOP 10% Now Own 53.8% of all Household Assets Including 102.5 Billion in Shares, Bank Deposits, Insurance Policies, Bonds and other Financial Instruments

BUT NOT A PENNY IN ASSETS TAX IS PAYABLE ON THESE FINANCIAL ASSETS!!! These are part of the personal wealth of individuals not of Companies

On The Other Hand the Government Gave a total of 172 Million in tax relief to the top 5% of income recipients on an average income of 186,000 over last two Budgets–(SEE  on this Blog:  Tax Evasion by Irish Rich    http://wp.me/pKzXa)

Central Bank Report 2015 says net financial assets (note 1) of households have increased by + 8 –(-4.7)=12.7 Billion in 2015

Net Financial Assets     2015        192,076 m

Peak Boom                       2006       132,032 m

Gain              60,044m     0r by factor of    1.45

Up by almost 50% since Peak Boom level

Net financial assets of households      2015        192,076 m

Net Financial Assets  “Bust”                2008          69,218

Gain                        122 ,8 58 m or by factor of 2.77

These Figures have been corrected routinely by CSO and the verified figures now are:

Institutional Sector Accounts (Financial) 2015 (millions)

Gross Financial Assets       Total liabilities       Net Financial Asets.

363,316                                            160,459                        202,857

The total Gain since peak boom level (2006) is actually        70,825

Top 10% own 53.8% of all household Assets

Assuming they own same % of net Financial assets=53.8% of 202,857 =109 Billion

53.8% of Gross Financial Assets     = 53.8% of 363,316= 195.5 billion

(reality is probably above 109 billion and below 195.5 billion-PH)

NET WEALTH OF HOUSEHOLD= Gross Financial Assets + Gross Fixed Assets (note 2) less Gross Liabilities

TOP 10% or 165,820 Households  own 53.8% of all net household wealth or almost 2 million Euro each  

Total Irish Household Net Worth   595.7 billion in Quarter 1, 2015   up 2.2% over 3 months   19/08/2015

(These are the personal property of Irish PEOPLE, not of banks or of companies etc)

http://www.centralbank.ie/publications/Documents/Quarterly%20Bulletin%20No.%203%202015.pdf

Note 1:  Financial Assets Are shares, bank deposits, insurance policies. and other FINANCIAL instruments and does not include homes, farms, shops, buildings

Financial Liabilities include mortgage balance, credit card debt and other financial debts

Note 2: Fixed assets include homes, farms, rental properties,workshops, commercial properties, yachts, paintings and other NON-FINANCIAL items owned

———————————————

CSO 2014

The most recent  INSTITUTIONAL SECTOR ACCOUNTS  issued by the Central Statistics Office(CSO) show that the Net Financial assets of Households in 2014 were considerably( c 41 billion Euro) above PEAK BOOM LEVELS in 2006. There is no levy, charge or tax on the vast bulk of these large assets nor has there been as the assets grew over the last 5 years. These assets include shares, bank deposits, Insurance policies etc but do not include homes, letting properties, farms or other fixed assets.Mortgage debt, Credit card debt, and loans held by individuals are negative financial assets. They are subtracted from  gross finacial assets to get the net figure. Consequently the gains of the very rich, those who have net positive assets, have been enormous.

There is no wealth tax on these financial assets. However there is a wealth tax on homes and dwelling houses (Local Property Tax) irrespective of the income of the owner however low.

Interest and dividends are income and are liable to income tax.

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BERTLESMAN INSTITUTE: IRELAND VERY RICH BUT AMONG WORST IN WEALTH DISTRIBUTION

Irish Examiner Sept 16

The growing number of poor people in crisis-hit countries and among young people threatens the existence of the EU, warned the prestigious German think-tank which carried out the study.

Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.

Irish Times Sept 16

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/ireland-urged-to-do-more-for-its-vulnerable-population-1.1929914

“Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation ranked Ireland 18th among the EU 28 members, below Poland and Slovakia, in a survey of social justice in Europe.

“The foundation cited Ireland as an example of how high GDP per capita did not translate automatically into social justice for the population. “Ireland has a similarly high GDP per capita,similar to Sweden, but ranks considerably below average when it comes to social justice and counts as one of the biggest losers in the country comparison,” the report noted.” (Irish Times)

It is true that public finances are in an appalling state.

But this is because:

1)successive governments have refused to impose sufficiently high taxes on the incomes and assets of the super-rich Irish to pay for necessary public services

2) The current and previous government have agreed that the citizens of the state should pay the 67 Billion Euro which LARGE international investors had lent to privately owned Irish Banks when the banks crashed.(small shareholders were not rescued)

The official statistics on incomes and assets set out below show the obscene wealth of the super-rich Irish at this time. In summary, the top 10,000 income recipients have average declared incomes of 595,000 euro per year each. The financial assets (shares, bank deposits) of Irish households had already climbed back above 2006 boom levels in 2012

From 2010 to 2012 the wealth of the top 300 Irish rich has increased by 12 Billion Euro from 50 Billion to 62 Billion or a gain of 200 million euro each ( Nick Webb,Business Editor, Sunday Independent, March 11 2012)

The overwhelming majority of  the  super-rich are active in the private sector of the economy. 

BUT ALL RECENT GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS FOR INCOME TAX RELIEF WOULD GIVE GREATEST BENEFIT TO THE SUPER-RICH AND NOTHING TO THE POOREST!!

——————————

NET FINANCIAL ASSETS OF HOUSEHOLDS NOW 60 BILLION ABOVE BOOM  LEVEL-CENTRAL BANK REPORT 2015

BUT NOT A PENNY IN ASSETS TAX IS PAYABLE ON THESE FINANCIAL ASSETS!!! These are part of the personal wealth of individuals not of Companies

Central Bank Report 2015 says net financial assets of households have increased by + 8 –(-4.7)=12.7 Billion in 2015

Net Financial Assets     2015        192,076 m

Peak Boom                       2006       132,032 m

Gain              60,044m     0r by factor of    1.45

Up by almost 50% since Peak Boom level

Net financial assets of households      2015        192,076 m

Net Financial Assets  “Bust”                2008          69,218

Gain                        122 ,8 58 m or by factor of 2.77

CSO 2014

The most recent  INSTITUTIONAL SECTOR ACCOUNTS  issued by the Central Statistics Office(CSO) show that the Net Financial assets of Households in 2014 were considerably( c 41 billion Euro) above PEAK BOOM LEVELS in 2006. There is no levy, charge or tax on the vast bulk of these large assets nor has there been as the assets grew over the last 5 years. These assets include shares, bank deposits, Insurance policies etc but do not include homes, letting properties, farms or other fixed assets.Mortgage debt, Credit card debt, and loans held by individuals are negative financial assets. They are subtracted from  gross finacial assets to get the net figure. Consequently the gains of the very rich, those who have net positive assets, have been enormous.

There is no wealth tax on these financial assets. However there is a wealth tax on homes and dwelling houses (Local Property Tax) irrespective of the income of the owner however low.

Interest and dividends are income and are liable to income tax.

———————————————–

The obscenely unequal and unfair distribution of wealth in Ireland (See Further Down)

is  replicated in the Entire Capitalist World 

62 richest have more wealth than 50% of world’s population!

Richest 1% now wealthier than the rest of the world, Oxfam says

blomberg Jan 18

The charity called on governments to intensify efforts to reduce inequality

Oxfam says the richest 1% of the world’s population own more than the rest of the world

The charity called on governments to intensify efforts to reduce inequality

The richest one per cent is now wealthier than the rest of humanity combined, according to Oxfam, which called on governments to intensify efforts to reduce such inequality.

In a report published on the eve of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the anti-poverty charity cited data from Credit Suisse in declaring the most affluent controlled most of the world’s wealth in 2015. That’s a year earlier than it had anticipated.

Oxfam also calculated that 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.5 billion people, the bottom half of the global population, compared with 388 individuals five years earlier. The wealth of the most affluent rose 44 per cent since 2010 to $1.76 trillion, while the wealth of the bottom half fell 41 percent or just over $1 trillion.

The charity used the statistics to argue that growing inequality poses a threat to economic expansion and social cohesion. Those risks have already been noted in countries from the US to Spain, where voters are increasingly backing populist political candidates, while it’s sown tensions on the streets of Latin America and the Middle East.

“It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world’s population owns no more than a few dozen super-rich people who could fit onto one bus,” said Winnie Byanima, executive director of Oxfam International. “World leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis has so far not translated into concrete action.”

Oxfam said governments should take steps to reduce the polarisation, estimating tax havens help the rich to hide $7.6 trillion. Politicians should agree on a global approach to ending the practice of using offshore accounts, it said.

“Don’t just look at the very bottom, who have nothing, but look at the bottom 50pc – they own almost nothing of the country.These are the facts. This is not opinion. This is Ireland.”-David McWilliams

DIVISION OF NET WEALTH IN IRELAND-David McWilliams

As the election looms it’s worth looking at the real division of wealth By David McWilliams

To View Charts paste this link into browser:

http://olearylp.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/17th-December-2015.pdf

A little while ago, I presented a programme on RTÉ called ‘Ireland’s Great Wealth Divide’. The aim of the documentary was to highlight the significant and persistent divide in wealth that exists in Ireland. The reason it is an important issue to highlight is that even when the economy recovers, the benefits will not be evenly – or even remotely evenly – spread and this wealth divide has significant, long-term ramifications for the health of the society.

At the time of screening, there were some people who, like climate change deniers, continued to express the opinion that the wealth divide in Ireland was not a big deal and that it might be overstated.

This is not the case, and in the past few weeks, two other major studies – one by TASC and one by the OECD – have added to the canon of work proving that the divide in wealth in this country is a serious issue and that in the past few years, the divide between the income of those at the very top and those at the bottom has also increased.

This divide is important, because if people get left behind they may give up hope. Having wealth or having even a meagre stake in society changes the way people view themselves and the way they view the future.

For example, consider this one experiment involving a group of poor American families. Some of the parents were given a small savings fund, which was to be set aside for their children’s university fees when the kids grew up.

The kids were then assessed for cognitive reasoning every two years and, by the fourth year, the children whose parents had the small education fund were performing better in all tests than those who hadn’t received the fund. The implication of this is that the parents with this small stake in the future were changing their own behaviour towards their children’s education, such as reading to them, paying more attention to their homework and so on. This is extraordinary, because it reveals what having a stake in society, having something to aim for, does to people. It focuses people and gives them something to believe in.

If people have something small – a savings fund, a bit of wealth, a sense that they matter and that their future is in their hands – they change their behaviour for the better. Now armed with this type of thinking, look at the two almost identical charts. These show how wealth is divided in Ireland. One chart represents the estimates of the international bank Credit Suisse and the other represents the findings of the Household Finance and Consumption Survey. These charts are taken from the recent TASC paper published last week entitled ‘The Distribution of Wealth in Ireland’. I urge you to read it if you have any interest in the future of this society.

If we look at the share of the wealth owned by the top 10pc, top 5pc and top 1pc in Ireland, we see similar evidence produced by both reports. According to the survey carried out by the CSO the top 10pc own 53.8pc of the wealth of this country; the top 5pc own 37pc of the wealth; and the top 1pc own 15pc.

FIGURE 1 HFCS CHART

According to Credit Suisse, the concentration at the top is even stronger. Its estimates suggest that the top 10pc own 58.6pc of the wealth; the top 5pc own 46.4pc; and the top 1pc own 27pc. Even taking into account the slight disparity, the concentration of wealth at the very top in both studies is extraordinary on any democratic basis.

FIGURE 2 CREDIT SUISSE CHART

Indeed, because the CSO data is from a survey in which it asked people to declare their wealth, there is a very strong possibility that at the very top the very rich decided to understate their wealth, so the very rich might have played down their assets. The difference between the two is the split within the 10pc; not the split between the top 10pc and the rest. In both studies, the top 10pc own over half the wealth of the country.

The interesting aspect of these studies is the sense that Irish people know things aren’t right. We feel that something is not right and every time we are asked we say that we would prefer the society to be fairer. In the programme ‘Ireland’s Great Wealth Divide’ we conducted our own survey, where we asked people what they thought was the gap between the top 20pc and next 20pc and so on, down to the people at the bottom. We asked what you thought the gap was, then what you thought it “ought” to be and then we revealed what it actually was.

The gap between what you thought it was, what you thought it ought to be and what it is in reality is a huge one.

The consensus from a Red C poll of 1,000 people commissioned for the documentary was that Ireland’s richest 20pc had 60pc of the country’s wealth and that the poorest 20pc have 11pc.

The reality? The most affluent 20pc in Ireland actually own 73pc of the country’s wealth and the poorest 20pc own just 0.2pc. As for the top 5pc, their combined wealth is nearly double that of the entire “squeezed middle”.

Now look at the people at the bottom in Ireland in the two charts. While there are slight variations, the overall message is very clear. The charts are broken down into the top 10pc and down to the bottom 10pc.

Don’t just look at the very bottom, who have nothing, but look at the bottom 50pc – they own almost nothing of the country.

These are the facts. This is not opinion. This is Ireland.

As we head into an election year, it’s worth considering just how many people are being left behind, how many are being shut out. Consider how many people wake up with no hope, no stake, no way of seeing how they play a role in our society, no way of seeing a road map to a better future.

That’s what the wealth gap is all about. It is undeniable and it is persistent. Shouldn’t this be the main electoral issue next year in the year that we celebrate the centenary of a Republic that was supposed to cherish all the children equally?

But will it be?

————————————————————-

Top 10,000 had greater income than IFA General Secretary over 7 years.

Over the 7 years,he got 3.5 million, they got 4.16 million each. The top 10,000 club, almost exclusively private sector, are to get just below 11 million EXTRA between them next year and every subsequent year from Lab/FG government in tax and USC concessions in Budget 2016

Average Gross Income of top 10,000=595,000 Each(PQ reply from Minister Noonan to S Healy TD)

Total Gross Income of TOP 10,000=5.95 Billion=5950,000,00 Euro

USC and Tax Concessions- Budget 2016

Employees            6,667 X 902=6,013,634

Self Employed:    3,333X 1452=4,839,516

Total     10,000       =10,853,150

(assuming one third self-employed and two thirds of 10,000 are employees. calculation:Deloitte Budget calculator)

—————————————————————

AVERAGE INCOME OF TOP 10,000 is Above that of  IFA General Secretary

IFA General Secretary on 535,000 Euro per year in 2013

Top 10,000 income recipients have average salary above this (Dáil Reply to Seamus Healy TD by Finance Minister, Noonan)

Top 10,000    Average Income   €595,900 %  AFTER TAX INCOME 364,000


Central Bank Report  2015 

TOP 10% or 165,820 Households  own 53.8% of all net household wealth or almost 2 million Euro each  

Total Irish Household Net Worth   595.7 billion in Quarter 1, 2015   up 2.2% over 3 months   19/08/2015

(These are the personal property of Irish PEOPLE, not of banks or of companies etc)

TOP 10% or 165,820 Households  own 53.8% of all net household wealth or almost 2 million Euro each

http://www.centralbank.ie/publications/Documents/Quarterly%20Bulletin%20No.%203%202015.pdf

TOTAL NET FINANCIAL ASSETS of Households were 165 Billion in 2013. Increase in Financial Assets from the 2008 (“Bust”) to 2013 was 93 billion or an increase 51% of Gross Domestic Product(GDP) . There has been further annual increases since then.  There is no wealth tax on these massive gains. Finacial assets are shares,bonds, bank deposits etc less mortgages, credit card debt, etc. As the value of homes is excluded, financial assets are more heavily weighted towards the super-rich than all wealth. Most households with a mortgage are likely to have negative financial assets though not in negative equity.  

Incomes of Super-Rich  (Individuals and Jointly Taxed Couples-Reply to Parliamentary Question)

Top 0.46%   10,000      Total Income   €5,959m       Income per Year Each  €595,900   

Top 1%        21,650      Total Income    €8,742 m     Income per year EACH  €403,760

Though 80% to 88% of this income is technically subject to income tax at 40%, these are paying a maximum of 27% of there overall income in income tax. They are major beneficiaries of tax breaks. They all received 747 Euro per annum in tax relief in Budget 2015!

See Further Down for Full Details

DISTRIBUTION OF NET WEALTH AMONG HOUSEHOLDS  Derived From Central bank Report Q1 2015

Irish State  No. Of Households 1,658,243    CSO  2011

Top 1%  16,582    Net Worth= 15% of 595.7 billion    =  89.36 Billion    Per Household   5.389 Million

Top 5%  82,910    Net Worth=38% of 595.7 billion    =226.37 billion      Per Household  2.730 Million

Top 10%  165,820  Net Worth= 53.8% of 595.7 billion =320.49 billion   Per Household    1.933 Million

UPDATE MAY 12

TOP 10% OWN OVER HALF OF IRISH WEALTH

Irish Examiner Tuesday, May 12, 2015

By Peter O’Dwyer
Reporter

More than half of the country’s net household wealth rests in the hands of just 10% of the population, while people in less well-off sectors of society owe more than they own.

CSO research shows the top 10% of the country’s richest households own 53.8% of net wealth — defined as real and financial assets minus debt.

The top 5% of households can lay claim to almost 38% of net wealth while 15% of the wealth lies in the pockets of the richest 1%.

At the opposite end of the scale, the data paints a darker picture as the poorest 20% of households owe more than they own.

The figures illustrate the two-tier society that has developed across the country, partly as a result of government policy, according to Fr Sean Healy of Social Justice Ireland.

“These figures emphasise that it was profoundly wrong of the Government to prioritise the better-off in society in the last four budgets,” said Fr Healy. “As resources become available in Budget 2016 and beyond, priority should be given to those hit hardest during the recession — Ireland’s poorest.”

With some of the country’s richest individuals experiencing large-scale losses in the past seven or so years, the level of inequality has not risen to a major degree. However, low- and middle-income families have been badly affected.

“Some people on exorbitantly high incomes have lost out despite recent budgets favouring them and, consequently, inequality has not risen dramatically,” said Fr Healy.

“However, those already struggling to survive have been stretched even further. This was not an accident, this was the result of Government decisions.”

With the Government flagging an equal split of additional funding between spending increases and tax cuts when it announced the budget in October, a much fairer manner of distributing the benefits of recovery would be to put twice the amount into restoration of services, Fr Healy said.

Recent research by the Central Bank points to a higher level of wealth inequality in Ireland than the eurozone average. However, it is less than that in the US.

Research indicates that countries with higher economic inequality suffer from greater unemployment, social instability, and reduced investment, although other academics dispute these effects.

Although open to a degree of statistical error due to the challenges in accessing relevant data, the Irish wealth gap appears to have widened over time, according to Tom Healy, a director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute.

Since the 1980s, a range of factors, including taxation policy, changing demographics, and house price fluctuations may have driven the changes.

Research carried out by Brian Nolan of the ESRI in 1987 showed that the top 10% of the population then owned 42% of net household wealth as opposed to 53% in current times. The top 1% then owned 10% of net wealth. This has now risen to 15%

Mr Healy said wealth distribution has not tended to feature in public discourse here to the same degree as in some other European countries.

“While comprehensive data are hard to come by, Thomas Piketty in his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, managed to track the main trends and composition of wealth in a number of large countries such as Britain, France, and Germany,” Mr Healy said.

“Here in Ireland, discussion of wealth has been an under-researched and under-reported area until comparatively recent times.”

Mr Piketty’s best-selling book put the distribution of income and wealth back in the public consciousness last year.

Update April 29

Political Promises In Spring Statement As Government  Allows  Super-Rich To Make Huge Gains While It Crucifies The Poor  With Austerity And Water Charges

Deputy Seamus Healy TD (Tipperary) Speaking in Dáil yesterday

This Spring Statement is effectively an election manifesto of sorts with the bulk of the promises made to be implemented after the next general election. It is a series of political promises but we know well what happens to political promises. They are made to be broken, according to the former Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Deputy Rabbitte, who said that is what politicians do at election time – they make promises they fully intend to break after the election. That is what happened in 2011 and this Government cannot be trusted or believed. What we have heard today in this Spring Statement is effectively pie in the sky.

It is important to note what this Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition promised in 2011 and what it did with its promises and commitments. We heard a lot about a democratic revolution but we hear very little about it nowadays. Fine Gael told us that it would burn the bondholders and that not another cent would be given to the banks. The Labour Party went even further and said that it would be Labour’s way and not Frankfurt’s way. Its infamous Tesco-style advertisements promised no cuts to child benefit, opposition to domestic water charges and so forth. It contained very specific promises and lines such as “Look what Fine Gael have in store for you” and “Fine Gael – Every Little Hurts”. The Labour Party in government went on to cut child benefit, with a loss of up to €1,500 for many families. A Labour Party Minister is now implementing the introduction of domestic water charges, having gone around north Tipperary in the last election campaign asking people to vote for him to ensure that Fine Gael could not introduce such charges. We were also told that the Labour Party would protect the vulnerable, a point to which I will return later.

This Fine Gael-Labour Party Government continued the austerity of the Fianna Fáil-Green Party Government and did exactly the opposite to what it had promised. Government policy in the past four years has deliberately increased the income and assets of the super rich in society. It ensured that austerity affected only low and middle income families while there was a recovery for the wealthy and the super rich. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin, spoke about sharing the fruits of economic growth. He said that a functioning society is a fair one, where the fruits of economic growth are shared among all of the people, which demonstrates both dishonesty and hypocrisy. We know for a fact, as referred to by other speakers, that very wealthy people have increased their income and assets hugely during the course of this recession. An article in the Sunday Times last weekend pointed out that Ireland’s super wealthy now have a combined wealth that surpasses the heights reached at the peak of the Celtic tiger era. Ireland’s 250 richest people have increased their wealth by more than 15% in the past year to €75 billion, equivalent to 30% of Irish GDP. The number of Irish billionaires has increased from nine last year to 13 this year. There have been huge increases in the financial assets of the super rich as confirmed by the Central Statistics Office. The increase in assets from the time of the bust in 2008 to 2013 was €93 billion or an increase of 51% of GDP and there have been further increases since then. The situation is exactly the same with regard to income.

A very small proportion of very wealthy people have huge incomes. The 10,000 wealthiest have average incomes of €595,000 per year, a figure supplied to me by the Minister, Deputy Noonan. That wealth situation was confirmed about a month ago by the Sunday Independent rich list of the 300 wealthiest people in Ireland. Those 300 people have €84 billion between them. So the super-rich have done very well out of this recession while ordinary people have paid for it which they had no hand, act or part in creating.

On the other hand, it is instructive to look at what has happened to ordinary low and middle-income families. A recent Central Statistics Office report, the SILC report, shows that 400,000 children are living in households experiencing multiple forms of deprivation, of whom 135,000 are suffering daily material deprivation. The number of children living in consistent poverty has doubled from 6% to almost 12%.

The Labour Party claimed it would protect the vulnerable and particularly social welfare recipients. What is the record of the Labour Party and the Tánaiste in social welfare? She protected the social welfare recipients and low and middle-income families but I am afraid the cuts she introduced in recent budgets have devastated ordinary people and undermined the social welfare system.

It is important to mention some of those cuts, which I call the dirty baker’s dozen cuts: child benefit was cut by up to €1,500 per annum per family; cuts to the back-to-school allowance; cuts to maternity benefit; cuts to the fuel allowance; abolition of the telephone allowance; cuts to the household benefits package; cuts to jobseeker’s allowance; new qualifications for State pensions particularly affecting women who are out of the workforce to rear their families; the carer’s respite grant was cut by €325; farm assist payments cut; back-to-education allowance cut; exceptional needs payment cut; increase in eligibility for State pensions; taxation of maternity benefit; abolition of illness benefit for widows and lone parents who work; huge cuts, of course, to one-parent families with another huge cut coming on 2 July; cuts to rent allowance; and abolition, unbelievably, of the very small bereavement grant.

The so-called recovery is a recovery for those who are already wealthy and it certainly means continued austerity for low and middle-income families. The public does not trust or believe the Government. They know that what the Government says does not transfer into action. They know that middle and low-income families have been crucified by the Government. They want to see the Government going to the country and calling a general election. The Government has absolutely no mandate for what it has done. The public believe that it simply cannot be trusted. This Spring Statement is simply an election manifesto of sorts, one that the public will not believe and one that should be put to the country sooner rather than later.

Update April 17     HUGE RISE IN ASSETS OF SUPER-RICH CONFIRMED BY CSO

As usual this aspect of the CSO release was ignored by media

Increase in Financial Assets from the 2008 (“Bust”) to 2013 was 93 billion or an increase 51% of Gross Domestic Product(GDP) . There has been further annual increases since then.

These Assets have more than doubled. There is no wealth tax on these massive gains.

In 2013 Net Financial Assets of Households were 26 Billion Euro above 2006 “boom” level. The super-rich are now richer than they were at the height of the boom

Between 2011 and 2013 NET FINANCIAL ASSETS OF HOUSEHOLDS INCREASED BY OVER 40 Billion EURO

Only 17 billion of this was due to paying down debt giving a rise of 23 billion due to appreciation of financial assets in the two years concerned.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014 at constant (2012) prices is 181.33 Billion Euro-Central Statistics Office(CSO)

As financial assets of many households are negative due to mortgage, credit card and loan debt, it is a reasonable assumption that the net financial assets of the wealthiest 5% are comparable to the net financial assets of all households at 165 Billion Euro

Central Statistics Office(CSO)   April 15,2015      Institutional Sector Accounts  Table 5B

http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-isanff/institutionalsectoraccountsnon-financialandfinancial2013/financialaccounts/table5bfinancialbalancesheetend-years2009-2013consolidatedliabilities/#.VTDYutzF-QE

Financial assets include shares, bank deposits and insurance policies on the positive side. Liabilities, which are deducted to get net financial assets include mortgage debt, credit card debt and bank loans to households (eg car loans)

Financial assets do not include any fixed assets such as homes, buy-to-lets, farms, land, business premises or factories and workshops.

As there has been major appreciation of property values as well as financial assets , the increase in the overall net wealth of the super-rich since 2008 is far greater than indicated by the financial figures below

Financial  Assets Households(millions)    TA=total assets         TL=total liabilities        NA=Net Assets

TA                     TL                    NA

2006           310,899          172,052                   138,848          

2007            310,711          199,036                   111,675

2008           281,650           209,774                     71,876

2009         306,338              207,272                     99,066

2010         316,375               194,250                   122,125

2011         315,028               190,056                    124,972

2012         333,654                179,554                    154,100

2013         342,735                177,805                     164,930

2014        348,092                   168,716                      179,376

————————————————————————————————————————-

Irish Rich Get New 25 Billion Bonanza as 135,000 Children Suffer Multiple Deprivation!

The Contrast Could Not Be More Stark!!!!!

In 2013 Net Financial Assets of Households were 26 Billion Euro above 2006 “boom” level and more than double 2008 “bust” level. Gross Financial Assets were 18 billion above the 2006 peak level.

In 2013, net financial assets of households rose again by  25 billion, only 7 billion of which was due to paying down debt.

The Gains For the Rich got virtually no media coverage as usual

These are the most recent statistics issued by  The Central Statistics Office (CSO).In another recent release by the CSO, the SILC Report, it is shown that we now have 400,000 children living in households experiencing multiple forms of deprivation and 135,000 children are suffering daily material deprivation. The number of children living in consistent poverty – meaning they are living both at risk of poverty and experiencing deprivation – doubled from 6 per cent to just under 12 per cent between 2008 and 2013

Financial assets include shares, bank deposits and insurance policies on the positive side. Liabilities, which are deducted to get net financial assets include mortgage debt, credit card debt and bank loans to households (eg car loans)

Financial assets do not include any fixed assets such as homes, buy-to-lets, farms, land, business premises or factories and workshops.

Total F. assets     Total Liabilities        NET F. Assets

2006           310,899          172,052                   138,848          

2007            310,711          199,036                   111,675

2008           281,650           209,774                     71,876

2009           304,885           206,620                      98,264

2010            311,372           194,219                       117,153  

2011              310,093        189,982                        120,111 

2012               324,381          184,467                        139,914

2013                   342,735       177,805                        164,930

Nov 30

Anglo Bondholder List Leaked

International Financial Institutions Which invested in Anglo and to whom an Irish Government Paid Out 30 Billion Euro. We are now paying off the money borrowed for this purpose to other international financial institutions!

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/list-of-bondholders-in-anglo-irish-bank-leaked-110903209-237728261.html#=

UPDATE  Department of Finance Confirms Budget 2015 “Give-Away” to Rich

Department of Finance Press Officer Confirms that those on incomes over 100,000 Euro will gain a net 747 Eur per year from the combination of the tax and USC measures in Budget 2015

Sir, – The editorial “Taxing the self-employed” (October 24th) stated that the divide between PAYE workers and self-assessed workers has “widened further with the Government’s decision to make the self-employed pay an 11 per cent rate of universal social charge on earnings over €100,000”. To suggest the divide has widened as a result of changes introduced in Budget 2015 is simply not true.

The marginal tax rate for the self-employed earning over €100,000 has not altered with the changes introduced in Budget 2015. In 2014 self-assessed workers earning over €100,000 face a 55 per cent marginal tax rate comprised of 41 per cent income tax, 10 per cent USC and 4 per cent PRSI. Following the introduction of the measures introduced in Budget 2015, a self-assessed worker earning over €100,000 will continue to pay 55 per cent tax; however it will now be comprised of 40 per cent income tax, 11 per cent USC and 4 per cent PRSI.

These changes to rates will result in an increase in net income for the self-employed taxpayers at all income levels.

The factual position is that a single PAYE worker and a single self-assessed worker earning €100,000 will see an increase of €747 in their net income in 2015, as a result of the Budget 2015 changes. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN LOUGHNANE,

Press Officer,

Department of Finance,

Dublin 2.

UPDATE        Ireland More Prosperous than France and Germany!!    Irish Examiner Nov 3

“It might sound like a contradiction, but austerity hasn’t ruined our prosperity, according to a global study.

A report by the influential Legatum Institute places Ireland 12th out of 142 countries in its annual prosperity index, published today. That maintains the position we held last year and may signal an end to the slide that has seen us drop from a high of ninth in 2009. It also puts us one place ahead of Britain, and, somewhat surprisingly, two places ahead of Germany, while France could only manage 21st, Spain 26th and Italy 37th.

Norway makes the number one slot for the sixth year in a row. The index does not measure economic performance alone, but assesses countries on 90 indicators which are then collated under eight headings.”

August 30,2014

Because of the publicity given to bankruptcies of very rich Irish people, it maybe inferred that the Irish  rich generally are doing very badly. But it must be remembered that for every developer who bought over-priced sites and assets, there was another person or persons who has the large sum of money paid by the developer.

Many people also wrongly believe that Ireland has become a very poor country due to the banking crash. This may lead them to excuse cuts by government in spending on  health, education and other public services.

BUT NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!!

“Ireland is still one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Gross Domestic Product (total of all goods and services produced) per head of population in Republic of Ireland is greater than that in Germany, France and the UK”  (Nevin Economic Research Institute Report 2012)

Irish Examiner Sept 16

The growing number of poor people in crisis-hit countries and among young people threatens the existence of the EU, warned the prestigious German think-tank which carried out the study.

Despite Ireland being one of the richest countries in the EU, the study reveals we are nearly last when it comes to distribution of wealth, ranking 18th — in the bottom-third of the EU(28) countries along with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Latvia.

Irish Times Sept 16

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/ireland-urged-to-do-more-for-its-vulnerable-population-1.1929914

“Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation ranked Ireland 18th among the EU 28 members, below Poland and Slovakia, in a survey of social justice in Europe.

“The foundation cited Ireland as an example of how high GDP per capita did not translate automatically into social justice for the population. “Ireland has a similarly high GDP per capita,similar to Sweden, but ranks considerably below average when it comes to social justice and counts as one of the biggest losers in the country comparison,” the report noted.” (Irish Times)

It is true that public finances are in an appalling state.

But this is because:

1)successive governments have refused to impose sufficiently high taxes on the incomes and assets of the super-rich Irish to pay for necessary public services

2) The current and previous government have agreed that the citizens of the state should pay the 67 Billion Euro which LARGE international investors had lent to privately owned Irish Banks when the banks crashed.(small shareholders were not rescued)

The official statistics on incomes and assets set out below show the obscene wealth of the super-rich Irish at this time. In summary, the top 10,000 income recipients have average declared incomes of 595,000 euro per year each. The financial assets (shares, bank deposits) of Irish households had already climbed back above 2006 boom levels in 2012

From 2010 to 2012 the wealth of the top 300 Irish rich has increased by 12 Billion Euro from 50 Billion to 62 Billion or a gain of 200 million euro each ( Nick Webb,Business Editor, Sunday Independent, March 11 2012)

The overwhelming majority of  the  super-rich are active in the private sector of the economy. 

BUT ALL RECENT GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS FOR INCOME TAX RELIEF WOULD GIVE GREATEST BENEFIT TO THE SUPER-RICH AND NOTHING TO THE POOREST!!

Read also UPDATE:Poorest Pay Most Tax on this Blog 

Average Per Capita Wealth

Gross Domestic Product (total of all goods and services produced) per head of population in Republic of Ireland is the 7th highest in EU-Higher than Germany, France and the UK  (Nevin Economic Research Institute Report 2012)

                            WEALTH OF IRISH SUPER-RICH

Financial Assets of Households      (Table 3 Institutional Sector Accounts Central Statistics Office 2012)

Total financial assets          Total Liabilities              NET Financial Assets

2006     310,899                  172,052                                         138,848

2007      310,711                199,036                                           111,675

2008      281,650                 209,774                                           71,876

2009      304,885               206,620                                             98,264

2010      311,372               194,219                                             117,153

2011      310,093               189,982                                             120,111

2012      324,381                 184,467                                            139,914

These figures show that net personal financial assets of all households have increased by 68 billion or by almost 100%(almost doubled since the low point of 2008 and both total financial assets and net financial assets are now above the peak 2006 level. (Table 3 Institutional Sector Accounts, CSO 2012)

Financial assets are mainly shares and bank deposits, the bulk of which are held by the rich. Houses, farms and business premises are not  financial assets and are not,therefore, included. The liabilities are bank loans,overdrafts, credit card debt, and household Mortgage Debt, the bulk of which are held by those on low and middle incomes

Thus the total financial asset figure is the better measure of the assets of the rich as many households have negative net financial assets.

 Average Per Capita Wealth

GDP per capita is the 7th highest in EU-Higher than Germany France and the UK  (Nevin Economic Research Institute Report 2012)

(This wealth is distributed most unfairly. According to Central Statistics Office (CSO) this unfairness has been worsened by the state budget for 2014- PH)

 Incomes of Irish Super-Rich 

The table below is compiled from a table issued by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan in reply to a parliamentary question on Oct 3,  2012 .  It is based on projections by the Revenue Commissioners of expected earnings and expected revenue in the current year(2012) given the distribution of incomes in 2009 and subsequent developments. NB Below Revenue=tax+PRSI+USC. Effective tax rate includes income tax, PRSI and Universal Social Charge

Income Tax 2012

Below  NO.=number of  earners; G.I.=Gross Income of all earners ;

Av. I.=Average Income per Earner, REV.=Total Revenue from all earners; E.T.R.=effective tax rate

Earners               NO.         G.I.             Av. I.         REV.     E.T.R

Top 10,000  10,000  €5,959m   €595,900  €2,321 m  39%         Average AFTER TAX INCOME 364,000
Top 1%  21,650   €8,742 m     €403,760   €3,349 m   38%       Average AFTER TAX INCOME     349,000
Top 5%  108,250  €20,122 m  €185,885   €7,145 m   36%       Average After Tax INCOME       €120,000

 

Top 10%  216,500  €29,600 m   €136,710  €9,849 m   33%    

Average after tax Income   €91,500   

  • Earners may be individuals or couples who have agreed to be taxed jointly. Revenue commissioners do not provide data for individuals only.
  •   revenue=income tax+ PRSI +Univ. Soc. Charge (effective      tax rate includes USC and PRSI)

Less than 6% of income recipients earning over 100,000  are in the public service and a large proportion of these are medical consultants

All of the top 10,000 tax payers who have  an average income of €595,900 each (Reply by Michael Noonan to parliamentary question)  are in the private sector.

From 2010 to 2012 the wealth of the top 300 Irish rich has increased by 12 Billion Euro to 62 Billion or 200 million each ( Nick Webb,Business Editor, Sunday Independent, March 11 2012)

POOREST IRISH PEOPLE PAY MOST TAX!

Poor People Pay most Tax—-NERI   Aug  28, 2014

NEW research from the Nevin Economic Research Institute (funded by Irish Trade Unions) shows that the bottom 10% of the Irish Population pays the highest percentage of their income in tax whereas the richest 10% pay only 29.6% of their income when all direct and indirect taxes are taken into account.

BUT ALL RECENT GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS FOR INCOME TAX RELIEF WOULD GIVE GREATEST BENEFIT TO THE SUPER-RICH AND NOTHING TO THE POOREST!!

More detailed discussion on this matter can be found in my post UPDATED: POOREST PEOPLE PAY MOST TAX    on this blog

Categories: Uncategorized

What Would A Sinn Féin Led Government Do?

July 2, 2014 1 comment

See also on this blog “Irish Sovereignty and Political Realignment of the Irish Left” and  Sinn Féin’s 32-County Organisation would not survive Coalition

UPDATE MAY 12

REAL CRISIS In Sinn Féin Deepens With Re-Election of Tory Government-  (Statement by Villiers)

What would a Sinn Féin led 26-County government do if a minority Fianna Fáil coalition partner VETOED taxation of Super-Rich in order to end austerity?.

scroll down

// From irishtimes.com – Villiers: Sinn Féin should ‘stand by what they agreed’ on reform – Mon May 11 19:47:21 IST 2015//

To Read Sinn Féin View As Reported By Brian Feeney (SDLP) Click Below   

http://republican-news.org/current/news/2015/03/sinn_fein_right_to_pull_rug_fr.html#.VVGwA45VhHw

(Reappointed Tory Northern Secretary)Villiers: Sinn Féin should ‘stand by what they agreed’ on (WELFARE) Reform

Mark Hennessy

Sinn Féin must “get to grips” with Northern Ireland welfare cuts because the British government will not pay for a more generous welfare system than exists elsewhere in the UK, the newly reappointed Northern Secretary has said.

Theresa Villiers retained the Northern Ireland portfolio when prime minister David Cameron named his cabinet following the Conservatives win in last week’s general election.

Ms Villiers said there had been meaningful discussions about welfare over the past few weeks, “but, frankly, it is difficult for those ever to take place during a general election”.

She dismissed speculation that direct rule by London is looming.

“I think we are some way off that, to be honest.” she said. “Without a budget, the institutions will become increasingly dysfunctional and unable to carry out their basic functions, so it does jeopardise their credibility and even their sustainability. But I don’t see that we are at a cliff edge of imminent direct rule.”

No orders

Facing calls from Alliance Party leader David Ford to put pressure on Sinn Féin to reach a deal on welfare, Ms Villiers said Mr Ford knew “perfectly well” that she can not “order them to take a different position”.

“That is what devolution is all about. If you want to persuade parties, you have to do it by convincing them. There is nothing mandatory that you can do to change their mind.”

However, Ms Villiers warned that Northern Ireland’s budget would quickly become “dysfunctional” unless a deal was reached.

Asked if she feared Sinn Féin’s stand was being dictated by its ambition to make gains in the general election in the Republic, due next year, Ms Villiers replied: “Regardless of what is driving this, it needs to be fixed.”

She added: “Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams have been negotiating in some shape or form for 20 years. They signed up to a package of top-ups on welfare reform, which they for many months hailed as a great triumph. It was a generous package, a sensible package.

A good deal

“They should stand by what they agreed. Yes, there may have been some misunderstanding, but they agreed it, they signed up for it, they went out and championed it. It is a good deal for Northern Ireland,” Ms Villiers told The Irish Times.

“It is not possible to insulate the Northern Ireland Executive from the kind of difficult decisions that every single other elected administration in the Western world has had to make over the last few years.

“It simply isn’t possible for it to be absolutely completely unaffected,” she said. “We have done our very best in terms of the generosity of the settlement that we have given and we have supplemented it even further.”

Ms Villiers expressed hopes that an agreement can be reached.

“I believe that we can get through this issue. It will continue to be difficult because austerity is not at an end. But this has to be done, because unless it is the Executive’s finances become increasingly dysfunctional.”

UPDATE MARCH 13

Support Workers on Strike in Northern Ireland Today!

Public service workers are holding a one-day strike to-day against the cuts contained in the Stormont House Agreement.

Northern workers again give a lead to all!

THIS IS A UNIQUE EVENT. The strikers are taking action against cuts agreed by all the main parties in the UK and Ireland who brokered or supported the AGREEMENT—Fine Gael/Labour, Tory/Lib Dems, Sinn Féin, DUP, UUP,SDLP

Under the Stormont House Agreement, Stormont ministers are obliged cut £1.3 billion, more than 10 percent of the region’s budget, by 2019.

Unite regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said in a statement: “Without standing up to this, we can expect another four years of even more punishing austerity budgets.”

UPDATE March 12,2015

The Real Crisis in Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin Attitude to Austerity in All-Ireland Causing Deepening Crisis in Party

In August 2014, in my piece on this blog ” Sinn Féin’s 32-County Organisation Would not Survive Coalition” I said : “Already the pressures on Sinn Féin as a result of being a 32-county party in a partitioned Ireland are becoming evident. In Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin has vetoed Tory welfare cuts. This has led to reductions in the British financial subvention and increased tensions within the Stormont executive. Supporters of the party will say that this would have happened in any event. However, it is a fact that it would be seriously damaging to Sinn Féin in the Republic if it had supported such cuts. In addition, it would appear strange to northern nationalists if Sinn Féin were imposing cuts in Belfast while fulminating against such cuts in Dublin”

Since I wrote the piece, Sinn Féin has done a deal on cuts in the 6-counties with the Unionists and the two governments through the Stormont House Agreement.   But now the party has had  to step back from that deal under pressure from southern workers and northern workers. Southern workers will not trust a party and continue to support it at elections on the basis that it will end austerity in the south if it is simultaneously imposing austerity in the north.  Tomorrow  trade unions in the six counties hold a one day strike against the cuts in jobs and public spending in the Stormont House Agreement.

The right wing of Sinn Féin want to be in coalition administrations in Stormont and Leinster House. The revolutionary republicans, genuine socialists and conscious workers north and south see the lifting of austerity throughout the island as the first priority. This is causing severe tensions in Sinn Féin.

Claims by Sinn Féin leaders that they were misled by the DUP and Stormont officials in elation to the Agreement do not bear examination.

The crisis in Sinn Féin which I expected to reach its peak after Sinn Féin joined a coalition in Dublin (either as a majority or minority party) may now occur earlier or progress more quickly than I anticipated.

I carry below an opinion piece by Eamonn McCann in the Irish Times to-day.

I believe that mobilisation for Irish unity , independence and sovereignty will be a key factor in the Irish Socialist Revolution.

As Secretary of the NationaL H-Block Trade Union Committee which organised work stoppages in support of the H-Block prisoners, I believed at that time that it was totally wrong to demobilise the mass movement in the South after the death of Bobby Sands and to seek an internal solution in the six counties.

Union protests pushed Sinn Féin to Pull out of Agreement

Eamonn McCann

Irish Times   Last Updated: Thursday, March 12, 2015, 05:00

One of the factors behind Sinn Féin’s decision on Monday to pull out of the Stormont House Agreement was a series of trade union demonstrations tomorrow calling for rejection of the agreement.

All major public sector unions in the North will be on strike. Most schools and, it is expected, all social security, Housing Executive and civil service offices will be closed. No buses or trains will run. Marches and rallies opposing the economic components of the agreement will be held in Belfast, Derry, Strabane, Enniskillen, Omagh, Magherafelt, Cookstown, Dungannon and Craigavon. (Interest declared: I represent the NUJ on Derry Trades Union Council.)

Over the past month, more than 100 meetings have been held in union offices, community centres and rooms above pubs urging attendance at the protests. Some have been small, others have drawn reasonable audiences of 50-100. This has been the most extensive union operation in the North in living memory.

The demonstrations may not be as big as union optimists expect. The success of appeals to the wider community is far from guaranteed. Enthusiasm sits alongside a degree of cynicism. References to the Grand Old Duke of York have regularly been heard.

20,000 job losses

The unions’ main concern is that the agreement involves the loss of 20,000 public sector jobs. Assurances that there will be no compulsory redundancies have cut little ice. When the jobs are gone, they’re gone for good. Union density is significantly greater in the public sector than in private businesses. A reduction of 20,000 in the workforce would not only lengthen the dole queues but cost the unions almost 20,000 members.

The prospect of being at loggerheads with the unions has dismayed many in Sinn Féin. The party’s ardfheis in Derry last weekend heard an address by Ictu president Jack Douglas, extolling its adherence to the union cause. To the delight of the party, Siptu general secretary Jack O’Connor chose the occasion of the Labour Party conference in Tralee a fortnight ago to hail Sinn Féin as a potential friend of Labour in government.

The party will be acutely aware that many of those who march tomorrow are likely to have voted Sinn Féin in the past.

The vehemence of the unions’ denunciation of the agreement has taken many aback. Leaflets and advertisements have been headed “No Deal! . . . No one voted for our elected politicians to do a deal like this. It is bad for workers, for all communities, for society and for equality.”

This is the first time trade unions have opposed a Stormont deal. On every previous occasion, they have hailed the outcome as a welcome contribution to the consolidation of peace.

Sinn Féin will also have been aware that, despite chaotic disagreement between the two main parties as to what was actually agreed, some past statements on the Assembly record are damning. Responding to claims that the party only discovered last weekend that its Executive partner was interpreting the agreement to mean that “top-up” payments would not apply automatically to all present and future recipients of disability living allowance, the DUP has repeatedly quoted its Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey in the Assembly on February 14th:

“The disability protection scheme . . . involves making a financial payment to those DLA claimants who are unsuccessful in their claim for personal independence payment and who subsequently appeal the disallowance decision . . . A financial payment should be made to those claimants and continue until the appeals service has made a decision on the claimant’s appeal.

“[Another] element provides support for those claimants who receive a lower level of payment under the personal independence payment . . . This will involve a . . . payment that will continue for a specified period depending on the date when the claimant is reassessed for personal independence payment.”

Inexplicable

The DUP argues that it is inexplicable in light of these and a number of other apparently unambiguous statements that Sinn Féin can have believed what it now says it believed.

Green Party leader Steven Agnew MLA, whose attempts to amend the Welfare Bill were systematically voted down by both main parties, described as “irresponsible” Sinn Féin’s claim that no claimant would lose out under the agreement it had put its name to.

The fact that Sinn Féin is now opposing at least some of the cuts which most observers see in the agreement has been welcomed by claimants’ organisations and community and union groups. But the fact that the party has taken such a long and winding road to reach this point has not encouraged confidence that the way ahead will be straightforward.

The numbers mobilised by the unions tomorrow may tell a tale of more relevance to the chances of the agreement surviving than many of the matters widely canvassed since the start of the week.

UPDATE August 8,2014-I discuss here two important Articles from the August edition of Sinn Fein monthly magazine, An Phoblacht, published on August 1.  The articles themselves are carried below my comment. The  coverage of the earlier part of this  discussion is carried further down-Paddy Healy

Further UPDATE Sept 20,2014

There are two further contributions to the political discussion on the way forward carried in the September edition of AnPhoblact. One is by Jack O’Connor, General President of SIPTU, Irelands giant 32-county  union, and arguably the organization through which historically Irish workers became  “a class for itself”. SIPTU remains affiliated to the Labour Party which is the junior partner in the Coalition government which has been in power for over 3 years. It is worth noting that SIPTU supported Joan Burton in the Labour party leadership race. Because of the collapse of the Labour party from over 200 seats to 51 in the local elections, the Labour Party is almost solely dependant on SIPTU support for its continued existence.

The other contribution is by Jimmy Kelly who is General Secretary of the Irish Region of UNITE THE UNION which also covers all 32 counties but is bigger in the 6-county area. UNITE has always been to the left of SIPTU in the 26-counties. The Irish Region of UNITE has now dissaffiliated from the IRISH Labour Party, but UNITE as a whole remains affiliated to the British Labour Party.

These contributions are carried further down in this blog.  I will address their content in the near future

There are a number of opinion pieces in the August edition of An Phoblacht. Two are of particular importance because they are written by Sinn Féin members-Cllr Eoin Ó Broin and SIPTU NEC Member  David Connolly who represents members employed in the community sector..

The editorial in An Phoblacht contains the statement “Reactionary parties, north and south, who champion these cuts need to explain to those who elect them why they are so keen to punish the most vulnerable.——They should join with Sinn Féin and growing numbers of others fighting against austerity and cuts”. Presumably the editor is inviting the right wing parties- FG, FF, DUP, UUP who are implementing the cuts to join SF in opposing the cuts. If this is not political small talk, it is very dangerously confusing. It would be in line with a view that FF and FG could change sufficiently to be suitable partners for coalition government with Sinn Féin as a minority element. Sinn Féin leaders-Gerry Adams, Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty have not ruled out such a position. The most recent opinion poll shows Sinn Féin and the main governing party, Fine Gael in equal first position when statistical survey error is taken into account.
It is important to recognise that the O Broin and Connolly positions are indeed “another view” even if they do not go nearly far enough and are generally fudged . Neither contribution deals sharply with the coalition issue which is the issue. All else can be forgotten as mere political rhetoric if actual coalition with FF and/or FG in government is effected.

The piece by Eoin Ó Broin is heavily weighted against coalition as a minority partner with FF,FG. He says: ”The experience of our Left republican predecessors in Ireland must be fully understood” and goes on to mention Clann Na Poblachta, The labour Party, The workers Party etc.

However he does not mention let alone sharply oppose participation in coalition as a minority party explicitly as he does in his blog . This is worrying. It is particularly necessary to sharply oppose coalition well in advance of the issue arising in practice. If the Free State wants SF in coalition, the pressure exerted on the party will be massive. All will change in the media. Pro-coalition Sinn Féin leaders who have been vilified for decades will be portrayed as great saviours of the Irish people etc. They will be praised by EU and American leaders who are allies of the Free State. Unless the left republicans are very clear on their position and well prepared, they will be steam-rolled. New reasons will be dredged up to convince members that coalition is needed to save the Irish people from much worse. It may be claimed that entry into coalition is necessary to “save the peace process” and to save northern nationalists from a return to one-party unionist domination etc It would not be difficult for the British government, the Free State authorities and the US to “ready up” such a situation

The best part of the contribution of David Connolly  is :” As presently constituted, the Irish state is incapable of change.” He also advocates joining with community organisations in a mass movement against austerity. All this is very positive. However he does not even mention the elephant which is blocking the road ahead for Irish workers. SIPTU is by far the most important of all Irish working class organisations and sets all agendas both political and economic. But its current leadership is a key support to the government’s austerity agenda and the main barrier to mobilisation of workers. It had also been deeply implicated with Fianna Fáil and the entire Irish elite in creating the circumstances in which an economic collapse was inevitable. For example, the ICTU which it dominates, was represented on the board of the central bank which allowed an outrageous level of foreign borrowing by the banking sector. Despite the savage austerity visited on workers by the Labour Party in government, unlike UNITE The UNION, SIPTU remains affiliated to the party and vigorously defends its role in government. The SIPTU leadership uses the old explanation used by all capitulators and collaborators-it would be even worse for workers if the Labour Party was not in government.

To create a wide mobilisation against austerity, The SIPTU leadership must be removed or, at a minimum, pushed aside. For a leading elected representative of workers to remain silent on these matters is inexcusable. It would not be at all surprising if, after the Labour Party is wiped out,  the SIPTU leadership puts strong pressure, both in public and in private, on Sinn Féin to replace it in coalition. Is the Sinn Féin leadership keeping lines open to the capitulationist trade union leadership?

Some years ago, Gerry Adams said that if SF had entered a joint executive with Unionists at Stormont, it would have no difficulty in principle with being in coalition with any party in Dublin.
Since the recent elections, Sinn Féin leaders (Gerry Adams, Mary Lou McDonald, Pearse Doherty) in several interviews have failed to rule out coalition with FF and/or FG in response to direct questions. They have said that abolition of the property tax is a red line issue or precondition for entering a coalition government. In response to further questions they have refused to set out any other red line issue including abolition of water charges, rejection of the Fiscal Treaty, or any particular initiative in relation to Irish Unity
The strongest position taken in public is that of Cllr Eoin Ó Broin who says that Sinn Féin should not enter a coalition in which Sinn Féin was in a minority. Some spokespeople have also said that Sinn Féin would prefer to be in a Sinn Féin-Labour-Left coalition.
The Dublin government is bound by the EU Fiscal Treaty. In the Dáil Caoimhín Ó Caolain on behalf of Sinn Féin has described this as an austerity treaty which flies in the face of the 1916 proclamation in that it is the negation of Irish sovereignty.

Whether Fianna Fáil and/or Fine Gael are the majority or minority party in a coalition, each party will insist on implementing this Treaty.
Why has Sinn Féin not made rejection of this Treaty a red line issue for participation in coalition?

THE Adams statement which inferred that if SF had entered a joint executive with Unionists at Stormont, it would have no difficulty in principle with being in coalition with any party in Dublin is seriously wrong and misleading. It may lead supporters to believe that since participation in the Stormont Executive has done no electoral damage to Sinn Féin support in the six counties, that participation in a coalition government in Dublin would not necessarily damage Sinn Fein support in the south.

The two situations are entirely different.
The northern executive is merely a mechanism for regional administration within the United Kingdom. It is not and it does not purport to be a sovereign government. It is a fact that the majority of northern nationalists have continued to support Sinn Féin as it participates in this body. Indeed Sinn Féin has ousted SDLP as the leading party in Derry in the recent elections.It is my view that northern nationalists see this continued participation as a guarantee against the return of institutionalised discrimination in the allocation of houses, other public services and to lower status in society generally.
The Dublin parliament is a totally different matter.

Despite severe de facto limitations on its actual powers, it is technically a sovereign parliament and is viewed as such and expected to act as such by the population.
There is no threat of a return to domination by a Unionist caste as in the north.
I believe that participation by Sinn Féin in a government in Dublin which did not deliver significant economic gains to the majority of the population and did not make serious progress in enhancing Irish unity and sovereignty would lead to a collapse in electoral support for Sinn Féin. The party would follow the downward road travelled by Clann na Poblachta, The Workers Party and the Labour Party. If Sinn Féin participated in a government which implemented austerity in accordance with the Fiscal Treaty, it would be wiped out.
Ireland is facing a major historical turning point. The decision of Sinn Féin on coalition in Dublin will be central to the outcome.

I believe that the depth of the historical turning point which Ireland is facing in the next two years is being underestimated . Things cannot go on in the old way because the people of the 26 counties will not tolerate increasing austerity for much longer. They have only voted against austerity. The main cohorts have not yet fought through strikes, demonstations etc but this is on the way as it is now becoming widely understood that restraint will not work. The outcome of the recent elections has accelerated this process. I believe that political crisis will be the most intense since the civil war.
I believe that the notion that Sinn Féin will be able to “play a long game” in opposition while retaining coherence is mistaken. Sinn Féin, in its membership and support, contains a number of political components. At one pole are the revolutionary republicans and at the other are the capitulationist pro-capitalists and there are all shades in between, many simply confused.
It is well to recall that all capitulators claim to be “playing a long game”. Collins said we should settle for a “stepping stone” to Irish Freedom . Brendan Corish said he was fighting for socialism “eventually”. McBride said he had first to remove Fianna Fáil patronage in giving out roadwork and to secure the declaration of a 26-county republic.
After the next election, I believe that the 26 county capitalists will not initially allow a Fine Gael- Fianna Fail coalition. This would leave them with no fall- back position as the more populist FF would be wiped out. This will leave no possibility of a government being formed without Sinn Féin. The problem is likely to be addressed in the context of a significant degree of popular mobilisation on economic issues. The class pressures on the political components of Sinn Féin will be massive as they were in the civil war period of 1921 to 1923.
There will be an intense discussion within Sinn Féin. The issue will not be one of tactical stupidity or cleverness. It is the duty of those of us who understand the positive role that revolutionary republicanism can play in the Irish socialist revolution to do what we can to ensure that the revolutionary republicans are victorious. That is why a serious discussion must take place now so that people cannot be fooled.
Simply denouncing Sinn fein in its entirety as some left wing groups do is counter-productive.
ClannNa Poblachta leader Mac Bride told the small farmer and cottier supporters of Clann Na Poblachta that he had to go into coalition with Fine Gael to break the Fianna Fail ganger system of allocating work on the roads. Collins said the Treaty would give us the freedom to win freedom. We must be ready for the “new fangled” excuses. The need to save “the peace process” and to prevent a return to one party unionist administration in the north is likely to be invoked. But there are always unexpected excuses in politics.

Let us do something positive to protect against capitulation. Let us ask Sinn Féin to publicly commit against coalition with Fianna Fáil and/or Fine Gael and to give an undertaking not to implement the Fiscal Treaty which sets aside Irish sovereignty and imposes continued austerity.
The electorate is entitled to know BEFORE the election
If Sinn Féin made such a commitment it would create a new position which would have to be considered by left wing organisations.

What is important is to positively effect what happens in the FUTURE.
Discussion of previous or current mistakes is important in order to learn from them. There are very many genuine people in Sinn Féin andin left wing groups.
There is wide agreement on the left that entry of Sinn Féin or left TDs into coalition with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael would be disastrous for the Irish People.

There are also several “left” TDs who have not ruled out coalition with FF and/or Fine Gael.

I believe that we should focus in the discussion on getting a public undertaking in advance from Sinn Féin and left wing TDs that they will not go into coalition with FF and/or FG after the next election and that they will under no circumstances implement the Fiscal Treaty which flies in the face of the 1916 Proclamation

An Phoblacht EDITORIAL  Extract

The an Phoblacht editorial says: “Reactionary parties, north and south, who champion these cuts need to explain to those who elect them why they are so keen to punish the most vulnerable.——They should join with Sinn Féin and growing numbers of others fighting against austerity and cuts”
Presumably the editor is inviting Fg, FF, DUP, UUP who are implementing the cuts to join SF in opposing the cuts. If this is not political small talk, it is very dangerous.
It is important to recognise that the O Broin and Connolly positions are indeed “another view”.

Ready For Government? An Phoblacht, Lúnasa, 2014

Another View-Eoin ó Broin (Sinn Féin Councillor)

THERE IS A LOT OF TALK of Sinn Fein in govern­ment these days. Gerry (Adams) is telling us to get ready. Micheal (Martin FF Leader) and Enda (Kenny, Taoiseach and FG leader) are saying no way. The Indo (Irish Independent-main establishment newspaper)is in panic mode.  Things seem to be getting serious.

There is no doubt that Sinn Fein wants to be in gov­ernment in the South. But big questions remain, one of which is: ‘Are we ready?’

The straight answer is no, we are nowhere near ready to participate in government in Leinster House. But there is enough time to get ready, if we use that time wisely.

So what must we do?

The first thing is to learn from the mistakes of the past so as not to repeat them.

The experience of our Left republican predecessors in Ireland must be fully understood.

Why did Clan na Poblachta’s challenge to Fianna Fail hegemony collapse after such a bright start. Was the implosion of the Workers’ Party and the dissolution of Democratic Left inevitable?

We must also take seriously the failure of Labour to have a meaningful long-term impact on Government policy or to permanently break beyond its half-party subordinate role in Southern politics.

International experience must also be understood.

Why have European democratic socialist parties suf­fered (electorally and organisationally) from their par­ticipation in Government in France, Italy and Sweden?

 

Progressive forces have squabbled about the best route to a more equal society – reform or revolution?

What explains the return of the Right to government in Norway after the Left coalitions successful two terms in office?

If we want to enter Government to achieve real polit­ical, social and economic transformation then we need to debate and understand these failures in order to develop strategies that allow us to achieve our goals in ways that our Irish and international predecessors did not.

Then there is the question of what kind of social, eco­nomic and political transformation are we talking about.

Sinn Fein policy is strong on end points – we know where we want to get to. But we have yet to map out, in concrete policy terms, how we would get there.

How do you get from a dysfunctional and wasteful two-tier, partitioned health system to an all-Ireland, free-at-the-point-of-delivery, one-tier system? If we can’t answer these kinds of questions then we won’t be able to deliver the change we promise.

There is an urgent need for the party to map out the detail of our vision for Ireland and the route by which we plan to get there – step by step, policy decision by policy decision, across the key areas of political, social and economic life.

But policy detail is not enough. We also need to start building the coalitions for change required to overcome the already existing power alliances of the status quo.

Sinn Fein cannot deliver the kind of transformation we are seeking alone. We need to be part of a myriad of movements for change – some local, some national, some short-term and tactical, some long-term and strategic.

These alliances must be social and political, institu­tional and popular. They must involve people and organisations and combined must constitute a mass movement for a better Ireland.

For over a century, progressive forces across the globe squabbled about which was the best route to a more equal society – reform or revolution?

Today this debate is redundant. There are elements of both philosophies and strategies that are necessary if we are to fundamentally change our society.

Our goal is the radical transformation of the political, social and economic fabric of Ireland. This can only be achieved by securing a critical mass of reforms within the institutions supported by a strong and diverse pop­ular movement for change outside the institutions.

Sinn Fein are trying to do something that all of our predecessors, in Ireland and internationally, have failed to achieve to date.

Our success will depend on many things, including on how well we prepare for government.

What cannot be doubted is the seriousness of our intent. Maybe that’s why the political establishment is starting to panic.

 

Offering A Real Alternative For Government

By David Connolly, Community and SIPTU Trade Union              

Activist

DAVID CONNOLLY IS WRITING HERE IN A PERSONAL CAPACITY

(David Connolly is a member of the National Executive

Committee of SIPTU and is Chair of the Community Sector

 Committee of ICTU-Paddy Healy)

IT’S NOT SURPRISING that much of the focus by the Dublin mainstream media after the recent election successes of Sinn Fein has been on the prospects of the party being cen­tral to the formation of the next government. The results certainly sent real shockwaves through the political establishment.

As a community and trade union activist, my concern is that Sinn Fein maintains a focus on building the wider participation and engage­ment necessary to create a radically alternative political reality that serves all of our people.

Gerry Adams in his oration at the Wolfe Tone Commemoration in June declared: “We are about creating a

New Republic, with new pol­itics and a new way of doing things that puts fairness and equality at the heart of how this country is governed.”

In the struggle to achieve this ambitious and worthwhile objective, electoral activity is only one element. It is necessary to engage with and mobilise a wide range of interests, including civil society organisations, single focus groups and social issue campaigns so as to construct a broad popular movement capa­ble of enforcing a fundamental shift in the way this country is governed and enhancing the prospect of real unity across the island.

As presently constituted, the Irish state is incapable of change. This is evidenced by the continuing litany of acute social issues covered up and unresolved, and in the way the severe econom­ic collapse was foisted on the most vulnerable in soci­ety and the poorest people were punished by the impo­sition of austerity.

The governing elite – the wealthy, the professionals, the senior civil ser­vants and their political representatives – remain in power despite the destruction wrought by them, their associates and their policies.

A whole new political dispensation is required that is much more than the revolving of government between political parties. In this context Sinn Fein has much to offer.

Given Sinn Fein’s experience and evolution over the past three decades, it has very different perspec­tives on fundamental values such as justice, equality, par­ticipation and rights.

In a more immediate way it has been involved in an alternative form of govem­ing in the North; it is dealing with legacy issues arising from conflict that can inform a wider policy and has an international reputation and connections unlike any other political party on this island.

It is an outsider to the cosy political appara­tus that has governed since the foundation of the state. This offers a positive agent for change.

Undoubtedly, the attraction will be to con­centrate on consolidating the electoral victory and preparing for the next general election

Given Sinn Fein’s experience and evolution over the past three decades, it has very different perspectives on fundamental values such as justice, equality, participation and rights

with the prospect of entering government; however, in the longer term, it would be preferable to build a real alternative capable of realising the vision set out at Bodenstown. This requires a more sophisticated approach which must also complement the electoral dynamic.

In effect this will involve the party members, the elected representatives and the leadership reaching out to, participating with and helping to shape and influence campaigns mounted by and involving civic society organisations, including trade unions, NGOs, community and voluntary sector entities and campaign­ing movements involved in working for rights around disability, equality, language, gender, minorities and the broad spectrum of cam­paigning issues.

In other words, to engage not as a passive recipient of people’s issues or as a route to build the party as other political parties do, but through genuine participation bringing the function and role of the party to the centre of

the diverse range of current struggles aimed at securing justice and realising rights.

 

It is necessary to construct a broad popular movement capable of enforcing a fundamental shift in the way this country is governed and enhancing the prospect of real unity across the island

Implementing this approach involves a two­ way process, entailing increased demands on party members to become active in relevant organisations and a willing­ ness on the part of the wide range of activists who com­prise campaigning organisa­tions and movements to work with Sinn Fein as an integral part of achieving real change.

It is the effective integra­tion between political activi­ties and popular movements that will greatly enhance the capacity of Sinn Fein to offer a real alternative for govern­ment, not relying on deals with other parties but pre­senting a powerful, and collective manifesto for change that can help to achieve the vision of a New Republic, a New Ireland.

DAVID CONNOLLY IS WRITING HERE IN A PERSONAL CAPACITY

What would a Sinn Féin led Government Do?-Paddy Healy

Would Withdrawal from the Fiscal Treaty be a Red Line Issue?

Sinn Féin regards the Fiscal Treaty as a fundamental renunciation of the Sovereignty of the Irish People.

  In Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) during the debate on the EU Fiscal Compact ( Treaty) on April 20,2012, the Sinn Féin spokesperson, Caoimhín Ó Caoláin said : “ On Easter Sunday the Taoiseach and other Cabinet Ministers, as well as Oireachtas Members, myself included, stood outside the GPO and listened to the words of the Proclamation. As I speak on the austerity treaty today, I wonder did the Cabinet Ministers hear the same words that I heard: “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.” The Cabinet that stood to hear those words now asks us to put before the people for approval a treaty (The Fiscal Compact) that flies in the face of the 1916 Proclamation. It is a treaty that seeks to negate the right of the Irish people to the ownership of Ireland. It is a treaty that would surrender control of Irish destinies and fetter this and future elected governments, tying them to the failed economics of austerity. The people would have expected such a surrender from the last Government.”

http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20authoring/debateswebpack.nsf/takes/dail2012042000006?opendocument

On RTE on July 18,2014, Pádraig Mac Lochlann TD (Sinn Féin, Donegal North East) said that his preference would be for a government of Sinn Féin, the Labour Party and Left wing TDS. He did not rule out a coalition government with traditional capitalist parties, a position which is in line with recent statements of the leader and deputy leader of Sinn Féin. However his emphasis was distinctly different.

Some weeks ago, Cllr Eoin Ó Broin, who has huge electoral support in the Dublin working class suburb of Clondalkin, opposed SF entering coalition government as a minority partner with Fianna Fail and/or Fine Gael. Clearly, the question of entering a coalition government is now a burning issue in Sinn Féin. This is to be expected as there is a strong possibility that Sinn Féin will be the biggest single party in the Dublin parliament after the next election.

I have dealt with the general issue of coalition in an earlier document. (see below)

Perhaps the most worrying aspect of recent statements by Sinn Féin leaders is the common statement that the abolition of the local property tax would be a red line issue or precondition for participation in a coalition government. Attempts by media interviewers to get the leaders to set out other red line issues failed. For example, all refused to say whether the abolition of the new water charges would be a red line issue. The implication is that abolition of property tax is the only red line issue for the Sinn Féin leaders. Revenue from property tax can easily be replaced by an equally regressive austerity measure.

In fact the tasks to be faced by any government committed to act in the interests of the majority of the Irish people will be massive. I discuss these below. In that context, it may be useful to discuss what the programme of a Sinn Féin-Labour Party-Left government would or should be. It is important to recognise that the degree of economic and political sovereignty of the Irish people is now less than at any time since before the Land Acts of the late 1800s. The Dublin Government has borrowed massively abroad to bail out the large (but not the small) investors in Irish banks. It has also borrowed massively to pay for public services, however reduced, rather than tax the incomes and/or assets of the very rich.

One outcome of this is the payment of in excess of 8 billion per year in debt servicing charges to big international investors by the exchequer alone. The political representatives of these investors, the EU powers and the US Government, have effectively total control of the current Dublin government as it had of its predecessor. A heavily indebted capitalist government can only survive by borrowing and this gives the lenders total political control. Because loans to government mature regularly and must be repaid on time, governments must regularly “roll-over” or replace loans even if it does not need to increase total borrowing.

In addition, through sales of loan books by the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), IBRC and other Irish banks to international vulture capitalists, many more homes, shopping centres, businesses and even farms are now owned abroad than was the case before the crash. When debt servicing costs by government, banks,  householders, private businesses etc are added together, the magnitude of the outflow of value from Ireland is probably unprecedented since before the time of Michael Davitt and the land league. Total external debt, private and public, was over ten times the size of Irish GDP(over 1000% of GDP !!), one of the highest in the world even before the current fire-sales of assets began. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_external_debt

Successive governments have pursued a policy which has made the provision of extra jobs almost solely dependent on multi-national companies when there is not a construction bubble in existence. The recent successful demand by Bausch and Lomb in Waterford for pay cuts raises issues of national sovereignty as well as trade union issues. Now the Irish Government is coming under severe international pressure to change aspects of its low corporation tax regime which is central to its job creation policy.Ultimately the EU and the US will decide what corporate tax regime Ireland is allowed to have.  In summary, successive governments have put the provision of existing and future Irish jobs in the hands of other countries.

The Fiscal Compact requires that the current deficit be reduced below 3% of GDP by end of 2015, that the “structural deficit” be eliminated by 2018 and that the public debt to GDP ratio be reduced to 60% over 20 years. Despite the physical exit of the Troika from Dublin , the government is treaty bound to further reduce the current budget deficit in 2015 to reduce the deficit from 4.8% to 3% of GDP. There has been no recovery of national sovereignty.

The current budget deficit of Germany has been below 3% for a number of years. ” But although the German public deficit stayed within the EU limit of 3 percent of GDP for the third year in a row in 2013, it came down from a budget surplus of 0.1 percent in 2012.” http://www.dw.de/german-economic-growth-flat-in-2013-but-deficit-under-control/a-17362284

The EU has now quantified the budgetary position which would be required to eliminate  the Irish “structural deficit” in order to comply with the Fiscal Treaty. (EU Report on Ireland, March 2014)   The over-all deficit needs to be converted from -4.8 % of GDP in 2014  to +4.9% in 2018. Based on a GDP of 148 billion Euro in 2012, this requires a further 14 billion in cuts and tax rises unless there is significant economic growth. Growth in GDP in 2013 was +0.2% , which means total stagnation as 0.2% is less than the probable error in the estimate.

Germany has no structural deficit.  http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/nd/sp2013_germany_en.pdf

Under the Fiscal Treaty Irish government debt must be reduced (not rolled over) from 102% of GDP now to 60% of GDP over the next 20 years. This requires further significant expenditure cuts and tax rises into the distant future. German national debt to GDP ratio at 57% is already below the 60% figure in the Treaty as can be seen at this link . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt

Fire-sales of assets by the current government may provide it with some short term relief of pressure but only at the cost of increasing debt and austerity above what it otherwise would be in the longer term. In summary, a Sinn Féin –Left Government, would be faced with a very difficult situation, to put it mildly. The extraction of a few hundred million in wealth tax from millionaires, however welcome, would merely scratch the surface of the problem.

In summary, a government cannot act in the interests of the Irish people while implementing the Fiscal Treaty. This Treaty, while its provisions are formally the same for all countries covered, is grossly discriminatory against the programme countries in general and against Ireland in particular. Germany is a net creditor country while Ireland and other programme countries are large net debtors.  See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_international_investment_position

In summary Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil supported a grossly unequal Treaty which had no effect on the German budgetary or state debt position but which crucified the Irish people under every heading!!!

Would Sinn Féin in Government implement the Fiscal Treaty? To do so would be to continue the undermining of Irish Sovereignty and to continue austerity policies with inevitable failure to tackle unemployment. It would be to continue doing what Caoimhín Ó Caolaáin TD (SF) accused the current government of doing in his Dáil speech!!!! Refusal to implement the Fiscal Treaty should be the real red line issue for any left government!

What Would Fianna Fáil Do if Elected?

It  may be useful to discuss what a Fianna Fáil government if elected would do in the context of these constraints. Fianna Fail, with the exception of Eamonn Ó Caoimh TD, supported the Fiscal Treaty and can be expected to implement it. But they will need a political cover. It is inevitable that Fianna Fáil would say that the current government left a complete mess. The “recovery” was a complete fake. Fine Gael and Labour are to blame. Further austerity is necessary to bring about a real recovery!

What Would Sinn Féin Do if Elected???  (To Be continued) (In the document below I say:For my part, I would ,of course, insist that socialists and republicans should not be in any government which includes Fianna Fail and/or Fine Gael even as minority parties. They would veto any real change even from a minority position.)   ( Continued higher up here)

The Exciting Possibility of A LEFT GOVERNMENT by Jack O’Connor, General President SIPTU

OVER the last two elections, upwards of 40% of the electorate, twice as many as previously, opted for ‘Left’ platforms. This raises the exciting possibility of a Left of centre government. However, the scale of the challenge should not be underestimated.

Even on the basis of the most recent polls, the parties of the Centre-Right would still easily command an absolute majority of seats in the Oireachtas. Moreover, if the turnout in the next general election replicates that of 2011, there will be 14 votes cast for every 10 in the locals. All the polls show the “don’t knows” running in the order of 30%. These are the people who will tip the balance.

The next election will not be a plebiscite on austerity but rather a search for solutions. If the Left is to seriously contest to win, it must offer a sustainable economic and social strategy, in the context of globalisation, also taking account of the debt reduction rule of the Fiscal Treaty.

The vitriolically superficial character of our public exchanges should end at once. Labour people should acknowledge that, despite legiti­mate criticisms, the current leadership of Sinn Fein has returned its party to the Left republican course which reflects the outlook of the Democratic Programme of 1919, the 1916 Proclamation and the egalitarian values which extend back through the Fenians and Wolfe Tone to the French Revolution.

Moreover, we should also acknowledge the success of that approach in the Peace Process which now offers the realistic possibility of the reunification of Ireland through consent.

Sinn Fein and people on the non-sectarian Left should acknowledge that, far from selling out and notwith­standing equally legitimate criticisms, Labour in Government has prevented public spending cuts which would have extended to between a further €1.Sbil­lion to €2billion. This would have entailed slashing the basic rates of social wel­fare and outsourcing of public provision on an industrial        scale, resulting inthe ‘Greyhoundisation’ of thousands of jobs.

They should also acknowledge Labour’s role in improving collective bargaining rights and defending the legal infrastructure which protects the pay and terms of employment of more than 200,000 lower-paid workers as well as prevent­ing the wholesale divestiture of public assets at bargain basement prices. All of us should also recognise the critically important role of ”Left Independents” in pursuit of democratic accountability and defending communities. However, they in turn should accept that the attainment of a left of centre government would offer the prospect of much greater progress towards a prosperous, egalitar­ian society.

Realistically, a Government of the Left would not unilaterally “burn the bondholders” or repu­diate the Fiscal Treaty either, given the danger that such a route could become a one-way tick­et to the Stone Age. However, they could shift the tax/cuts burden by €lbillion to €1.5 billion incrementally, from those least able to those most able to shoulder it, in the manner outlined by the Nevin Institute. This would allow for the abolition of both the Property Tax and the Water Charges, which undoubtedly would be popular but hardly progressive.

Deployment of these new resources on build­ing a decent health service, universally available to all, free at the point of use, ending the hous­ing crisis, improving education and public provi­sion otherwise, or making gradual progress on all three simultaneously would be far better.

That would actually constitute a real egalitar­ian agenda.

Of course, some steps could be taken to rebal­ance the Property Tax further, thus rendering it fairer, and to introduce a system of water credits to ensure that everyone had an adequate free supply to meet their basic household needs.

The real challenge for the Left, though, is on the generation of wealth as distinct from the dis­tribution of it.

We must counter the inevitable cuts, public asset divestment and tax competition approach of the Centre Right with a ‘New
Economic Policy’, constructed around public enterprise, strategic investment and skills development.

This in turn should be complemented by a sophisticated elec­toral alliance that is not simply about Labour and others

on the Left serving as transfer fodder for Sinn Fein but which is designed to maximise seat gain to offer the electorate the prospect of a cohe­sive, stable alternative Government.

At the end of the day, the real battle between Right and Left is as it always was – low tax, pri­vate affluence and public squalor on the one hand versus social solidarity, through sustain­able public provision, underpinned by fair taxa­tion, high productivity and a prosperous economy on the other.

BEYOND THE POLITICS OF ANTI-AUSTERITY, By Jimmy Kelly General Secretary og Irish Region, UNITE THE UNION

FOLLOWING the recent elections, progres­sives have still not grabbed the opportunity to drive a new agenda. The Right and employers still dominate the narrative, from taxation to banking policy to economic growth. This challenges all who share progressive values to coalesce and offer a political alternative to the two conservative parties.

But providing a clear economic and social alternative means moving beyond the politics of anti-austerity. This will require honest debate and a radical vision. Challenging the orthodoxy is never easy; it will be even more difficult when the dominant commentary would have us believe that the economy is not only recovering but actually roaring back .That this refrain was rejected by hundreds of thousands in the last election will be of little benefit if we can’ t, together, advance an alter­native vision.

We need to identify several policies to pro­mote long-term, sustainable growth capable of creating full employment with liv­ing wages. Most importantly, the driving force behind economic pros­perity is the level of investment in the economy – public and infrastructural investment, business investment and investment in people’s skill, education and access to the labour market. In all these, Ireland performs poorly. This is not just a result of the recession but something that was apparent before and covered over by the property bubble.

Despite the propaganda, Ireland would have to double its level of investment just to reach the European average.

The deficits are everywhere – from the massive social housing waiting lists, to a creaking water and waste system, to an underdeveloped telecommunications nd energy infrastructure.

In particular, the social housing crisis – with 90,000 on the waiting lists and growing – needs to be urgently addressed. Permanent stable housing is a fundamental social right. To increase social housing would not only vindicate this right, it would drive employ­ment in the badly-hit construction sector.

We also need to address the historically low level of business investment in Ireland. We have the perverse situation where we have one of the highest levels of corporate profit, an ultra-low corporate tax rate but one of the lowest levels of corporate investment. With our corporate model coming under increas­ing international scrutiny, we need a new approach to building a sustainable market economy and export sector.

We need a revolution in education and fam­ily support policies. Increasing investment in education (especially early education) is the one of the best ways to promote future growth. We need a rational, efficient and free public education system at all levels. And we need policies that help families as they attempt to balance work and home life – in particular, a strong public sector childcare network at affordable fees.

Investing in children, families and people’s skills and life opportunities is not a cost – it is the recipe for growth.

We must also accept that our indigenous sector is currently incapable of delivering full employment. We would have to double our manufacturing employment in indigenous companies just to reach the average of other small open European economies. Throwing around money and subsidies will not address this problem (that’s what we have been doing for decades). We need new planning mecha­nisms and the full participation of all stake­holders – that is, workers – to create a dynamic native business sector.

A successful economy will be wage-led. Unite was involved with other groups in the Living Wage Technical Group which calculat­ed the Living Wage to be €11.45. We estimate that over 300,000 workers earn below this hourly level. And this dcesn’ t count those workers with children (who require a higher wage or public services) or those workers stuck in precarious work, unable to find full­time, stable employment.

We need strategies to strengthen labour in the workplace: an increased minimum wage, a more robust Joint Labour Committee syst­em, real collective bargaining rights, and the right of part-time workers to extra hours in the workplace as per an EU Directive that succes­ive governments have failed to implement We also need a strong social wage if we want good public services, income supports and pensions.

Irish living standards are well below the EU 15­ average while deprivation – which affects more than one million people (of whom a quarter are actually in work) – is growing. A

strong social wage would mean substantially increasing employers’ PRSI (social insurance) payments. We cannot tolerate a situation where workers have to pay for their own services ­out of wages which are below those of other countries.

Such a new social compact can only be driven forward by a coalition of progressives based on shared values, a common analysis and determination to ensure that – when the recovery does happen – it is a recovery for people.

Comment By Rory Hearne on article below on Facebook

Rory Hearne
July 19 at 7:01pm
It highlights the need for a political alliance/organisation on the left that makes the case that significant change will only come when working unemployment & marginalised people engage in struggle – themselves & would only partake in a left led gov that would supprt radical transformation – A New Republic -Sinn Fein will come under massive pressure to be responsible & limit their radical policies. Where is the increse on taxes on multinationals or ending ppps & privatisation & expanding public & community & cooperative services. The left still has a way to go to build a popular base in struggle & electoral support – jumping into a market constrained gov would be a disaster

Earlier article   Sinn Féin and Participation in Coalition with Traditional Capitalist Parties Cllr Eoin Ó Broin, Sinn Fein, has ignited a discussion on the attitude of the leadership of Sinn Féin to coalition with Irish traditional capitalist parties. He has enunciated a position of opposition to participation in any coalition government LED by these parties (Fianna Fail and Fine Gael). This is markedly different from the position of the leader and deputy leader of Sinn Féin who have not ruled out such participation. THE CONTEXT OF THE DISCUSSION I believe that WBS (administrator of the Left Wing Blog:Cedar Lounge Revolution)  is correct when he says:” It(Fianna Fail-the main party of Government since 1932) is now in deep trouble because it is outflanked on its Republican side by Sinn Féin. And on its centre left side by… Sinn Féin. On its right side Fine Gael(current majority party in Government) offers an alternative, and an alternative that despite its not great poll position has at least the single great virtue of being in government and likely to remain there after the next election.” For my part,I believe that the European election outcome is the best estimate of the support for parties. European Election %   May 23 FF 22.3 FG 22.3 SF 19.5 Lab 5.3 Others 30.6 FF benefitted from traditional loyalties to local FF families in the local elections and to some extent by the return of conservative voters who had defected to Fine Gael in the 2011 General Election.  Indeed the FF figure in the European elections is inflated by the unusual personal vote of Brian Crowley in Ireland South. (Crowley has now defied the FF leadership and defected to the group which includes the British Tories in the EU Parliament-an indication of the deep crisis in Fianna Fáil) I would go further than WBS. FF cannot recover unless and until Sinn Féin is fatally damaged. FF previously recovered in the fifties after former IRA leader Seán McBride , leader of Clann na Poblachta, entered coalition with Fine Gael. Could it happen again by Sinn Féin entering coalition? The report of an interview with Mary Lou McDonald in the Sunday Times last Sunday (carried below) is deeply disturbing. Though Fine Gael support is diminishing, it is a much more stable political and social formation than Fianna Fáil being deeply rooted in the old Irish propertied and self-employed professional classes. I believe that the real Irish decision makers will prevent a coalition of FF and FG coming to power except as a very last resort. The separate options of governments anchored by FF and FG has been a key factor in maintaining the relative stability of the Free State for decades. A coalition of FF and FG would lead to the rapid disintegration of FF in the context of implementing the Fiscal Treaty. Additionally, the trade union leaders despite their best efforts to protect such a government would be unable to keep workers in check. I believe that the Irish elite will opt for a Fine Gael/Sinn Fein Government. When this becomes very unpopular, Fianna Fail would be available as the anchor of an alternative government. It is the task of socialists and genuine republicans to prevent this elite strategy achieving success. Sinn Féin Leaders on Coalition The position of Cllr Eoin Ó Broin (carried below) is a very different position to that put forward by Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, and Deputy Leader, Mary Lou McDonald (both carried below) and I welcome it as an important step. In the recent local elections, Eoin O Broin headed the poll in the heavily working class South Dublin  ward of Clondalkin. The second person elected was also a Sinn Fein candidate. He is virtually certain to be elected to the Dáil in the next general election. For my part, I would ,of course, insist that socialists and republicans should not be in any government which includes Fianna Fail and/or Fine Gael even as minority parties. They would veto any real change even from a minority position. In this they would be supported by the entire ruling elite and its international allies (remember the Allende Government in Chile). Eoin only rules out Sinn Fein being in a Fine Gael or Fianna Fail LED government. However his position is, indeed, an important step. It ignites a real discussion on the way forward. Councillor Eoin Ó Broin on his Blog   02/07/14 After The Election http://eoinobroin.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/after-the-election/ Posted: July 1, 2014 in Elections, Sinn Féin Tags: Elections Sinn Féin had a good election. We consolidated our position in the North and significantly increased our strength in the South. We are now well placed to make significant gains in the next Dáil election. As we face into that electoral contest two questions will loom large. Voters and the media will want to know who we would enter government with and what economic policies will form the core of our campaign. In the 2007 election we fudged the first question and back-peddled on the second. The electorate punished us for both mistakes. In 2011 we set out a real alternative to the austerity consensus and pledged not to enter coalition with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael. The electorate rewarded us with an extra 10 seats. Of course there was a lot more to these elections than just that – but a central part of the outcome of both contests was our answer to those two key questions. The reason is simple. In Dáil elections most voters are thinking about who they want and who they don’t want in government. They make strategic calculations based on what they think is actually possible. Until recently a government led by any party other than Fianna Fail or Fine Gael was not available, no matter how much some of us may have wished for it. This is changing. The combined support for the two centre right parties is falling. A growing number of people –as indicated in the left of centre vote in 2011 and 2014- want something different. The electorate are realising that a better fairer southern Ireland requires an end to the dominance of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Whether there will be enough of us to end that dominance by the next general election is not yet clear. In large part that will be determined by how we fight the campaign and whether we can convince enough of those people yearning for real change that Sinn Féin is the party that can deliver. We need to come our early and set out our stall clearly. Sinn Féin should loudly declare that we will not participate in a Fianna Fail or Fine Gael led government after the next general election. We want to be in government – but not at any price. We want to be in power to deliver deep and long lasting social, economic and political change. That can-not be achieved in a government where the majority voice is either of the centre right parties. So we should tell the electorate that if they want real change they need a government led by Sinn Féin. If the post elections numbers don’t allow this people need to know that we won’t go back on our word, but will continue to build popular support for a real alternative from the opposition benches. We also need to set out our key political commitments – the red line issues that must form the basis of Sinn Féin participation in any government. We should produce a short pre-election manifesto outlining our key priorities on job creation, tax reform, public spending and political reform. It should be radical, credible and costed. We should print a million copies in pocket book format and go door to door from October. Our aim should be to convince as many people as possible of the merits of our left republican alternative before the election is even called. The next Dáil election has the potential to be a game changer. But that requires us to play a different type of game to 2007 and 2011. If we are serious about the kind of Ireland we want to help create then we need to rise to the challenge. People are hungry for change but they are distrustful of politicians. We have to convince them that Sinn Féin is different – that we mean what we say and will only take office if it means wielding real power to create a better and more equal Ireland

COMMENTS

Séamus says July 2,2014: I think you have to accept that motions to reject coalition with FF and FG and any right-wing party have been defeated at the party’s Ard Fheis.
Eamonn Óg Ó Gallachóir says:
July 3, 2014 at 17:36
An Ard comhairle meeting can rectify that- bring a special meeting if they need, I would include labour in with the right wing to leave them out- questions what u know about left and right

Deputy Mary Lou McDonald, Deputy Leader of Sinn Fein,  in Sunday Times   Sinn Fein: Tax Ideals Up For Negotiation McDonald says pledge could be sacrificed to form government, writes Stephen O’Brien  Sunday Times 29/06/14 MARY LOU McDONALD has admitted Sinn Fein’s promises of a 1% wealth tax on assets over €lm and a48% tax rate for high earners – those paid over €100,000 -could be sacrificed in negotiations to agree a Pro­gramme for Government. The deputy leader of Sinn Fein has revealed her party’s commitment to abolish the property tax will be the only red line in any talks with other parties about formation of a government after the next gen­eral election. “We don’t believe it to be intrinsically a left-wing virtue to tax the family home. The notion is that you tax income, certainly, and that you tax wealth to create a fairer distri­bution,” she said. McDonald admitted the yield from the party’s proposed wealth tax would not be fully costed by the Department of Finance this year, because the Central Statistics Office would not have gathered all the data necessary to measure the likely yield until mid-2015. In 2012, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions estimated that a wealth tax of 1% on assets over €2m could yield €60-€80m a year. Sinn Fein is estimating that its wealth tax – 1% on assets over €lm – could bring in up to 0.5% of GDP or €800m in a full tax year. McDonald said the party would submit all of its budget proposals to the Department of Finance for costing “as a whole”, but it would propose setting aside the yield from a wealth tax for a job stimulus fund. This would mean if Sinn Fein’s estimate of revenue proved to be too high, this would not have an impact on its calculations of the budget deficit. Labour, the Socialist party and People Before Profit would be her preference as coalition partners for Sinn Fein in gov­ernment. McDonald, the favourite to succeed Gerry Adams as party leader, said she would be more comfortable in government with “the party of Connolly” and other left­leaning groups and independ­ents than with either Hanna Fail or Fine Gael. “The dynamic of Irish poli­tics now is different than it was five or 10 years ago. We are in a state of flux, which makes it interesting,” said McDonald. “If the numbers stack up and if the people wish it to be so, of course you could have a left­leaning government. I would have a preference for that, for the simple reason it allows you a lot more political scope to deliver change. It is not that evry party or candidate of the left . . . shares every single policy and detail in common, there is a common dynamic and I think the dynamic is important alongside the policy position.” However, McDonald did not rule out the prospect of coali­tion with either Fianna Fail or Fine Gael, though she agreed a Fine Gael/Sinn Fein alliance seemed “incompatible” and the least likely outcome “given their background, their past”. She said Sinn Fein would not rush into government just for the sake of being there. Asked if her preferred coali­tion option was a hint that she feels Labour will do better than expected at the next election, McDonald said: “No, I think the Labour party is in big, big trouble, worse than that sug­gested by opinion poll figures or election results. “It is almost an existential crisis for the Labour party. Who are they, what do they represent, why are they in gov­ernment? “I don’t have a crystal ball, but I would like to think the party of James Connolly and that tradition in Irish political life would find its feet again, and I think the correct collabo­rators or allies for [that] party are people on the left and the likes of Sinn Fein. “I am always baffled at senior Labour party people going off on a bizarre tangent of feeling that their role in life is to, savage or to stop Sinn Fein … very, very odd. You hear it even from the two candidates for leadership, Alex White and Joan Burton.” In a RedC poll published today, the first since the local elections last May, the Labour party’s support was measured at 7%, down four points on the previous poll and tracking its performance in May. McDonald declined to state what number of seats Sinn Fein would need to win in order to consider entering govern­ment, but did say having 30 TDs would put it “in the mix” in terms of considering the options.   Property tax removal a condition for coalition, says Adams Harry McGee   Irish Times   Last Updated: Monday, June 23, 2014, 10:46 Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has confirmed that reversing the property tax will be a bottom-line issue for the party to enter a coalition government. However, he refused to say if a 48 per cent rate of tax for those earning €100,000 or more would be a deal-breaker. Over the weekend Mr Adams told a Sinn Féin meeting the party needs to begin preparing for government and getting its policy priorities right. Outlining the party’s strategy, he told RTE this morning this will mean developing and working out where best it can stand in preparing candidates and also changing mindsets. “We want to be in government and we want to be ambitious for change,” he said. He said Sinn Féin would not go into government like Labour did and provide a cover for conservative parties. “Let’s get ready to be in government and let’s work out the terms.” When pressed on specific non-negotiable issues for Sinn Féin, Mr Adams agreed it would insist on property tax being scrapped. But in response to persistent questioning on Morning Ireland, Mr Adams would not give the same commitment for the top rate of tax for those earning over €100,000. “We are putting people on alert that we need to be ready for government. This will all be prepared in the upcoming period,” he said. Mr Adams emphasised the biggest difference between Sinn Féin and other parties was its emphasis on core republican values, and the entitlements of citizens to a job, a clean environment and other rights. “We want to see a strategy for Irish unity,” he said, saying Sinn Féin wanted a democratic way of bringing it about with unionists.Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has confirmed that reversing the property tax will be a bottom-line issue for the party to enter government. However, he refused to say if a 48 per cent rate of tax for those earning €100,000 or more would be a deal-breaker. Over the weekend Mr Adams told a Sinn Féin meeting the party needs to begin preparing for government, getting its policy priorities right. Outlining the party’s strategy, he told RTÉ radio this morning that it will mean getting policy priorities right, developing and working out where best it can stand in preparing candidates and also changing mindsets. “We want to be in government and we want to be ambitious for change,” he said. He said Sinn Féin would not go into government like Labour did and provide a cover for conservative parties. “Let’s get ready to be in government and let’s work out the terms.” When pressed on specific non-negotiable issues for Sinn Féin, Mr Adams agreed it would insist on property tax being scrapped. But in response to persistent questioning on Morning Ireland, Mr Adams would not give the same commitment for the top rate of tax for those earning over €100,000. “We are putting people on alert that we need to be ready for government. This will all be prepared in the upcoming period,” he said. Mr Adams emphasised the biggest difference between Sinn Féin and other parties was its emphasis on core republican values, and the entitlements of citizens to a job, a clean environment and other rights. “We want to see a strategy for Irish unity,” he said, saying Sinn Féin wanted a democratic way of bringing it about with unionists. © 2014 irishtimes.com

Categories: Uncategorized

WHAT IS TO BE DONE IN TRADE UNIONS?

 Bus Workers Victory Heaps Pressure on Union Leaders Who Capitulated to Continued Pay Cuts and FEMPI ANTI_TRADE UNION LAW in Public Service

Lower-paid civil servants seek speeding up of pay restoration-Irish Times

The outcome of the Luas and Dublin Bus pay disputes “needs to be reflected within the public service”-CPSU

Martin Wall  Irish Times, October 1, 2016, 01:00

Lower -paid civil servants are seeking the Government to speed up the pace of pay restoration.Their trade union also said the outcome of the Luas and Dublin Bus pay disputes, which resulted in pay increases, “needed to be reflected within the public service”.It also warned that tolerance of additional unpaid hours which public servants were obliged to work was “running out fast”.

The Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU)wants the €1,000 payment due from September next year brought forward to January.

The union, which has members working in clerical roles alongside gardaí in An Garda Síochána, said it would be watching developments carefully in the campaign by gardaí for improved pay and conditions.

Meanwhile Siptu president Jack O’Connor has said additional money that public service staff would be envisaged to receive under a successor to the Lansdowne Road accord after 2018 should be paid earlier.

He also urged the Government to bring forward the date for paying the second tranche of increases under the existing Lansdowne Road deal, which is currently scheduled to be paid in autumn next year.

Yesterday Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said the Government was worried about the possible “domino effect” of the planned Garda strikes.

Mr Donohoe said that any solution to public sector strikes must be through the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

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GARDA DISPUTE: McGrath and Halligan Support Lansdowne Rd and Anti-Trade Union FEMPI Acts

Independent Minister Finian McGrath told The Irish Times the Independent Alliance were “100 per cent on board” for insisting on maintaining the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

As gardaí plan to take unprecedented strike action for four days, the Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal has told Ministers he is unwilling to agree a special pay deal for members of the force.-Irish Times 29/09

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Support the Bus Workers -For A Day of Solidarity Action!

The five trade unions representing workers at Dublin Bus have organised a solidarity march on Tuesday next, September 27, 12 Noon, Dublin City Centre

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 National Bus and Rail Workers Union (NBRU) has challenged Ross’s INDEPENDENT ALLIANCE COllEAGUES  including ministers Halligan and McGrath“to respond the question which is, do they support the minister on his handling of the crisis which is unfolding in Bus Eireann”

Transport Minister Shane Ross is set to come under pressure from his Independent Alliance colleagues this week after junior minister John Halligan backed bus eireann workers against planned pay cuts-Sunday Times  Justine McCarthy   25/09/2016

But where is Finian McGrath Hiding?

Bus Eireann told the Workplace Relations Commission recently that it wished to hive off  the Expressway service to the provincial regions to a low paying subsidiary company

Under its plan to achieve €7m savings, the company wants to reduce the number of full-time positions at Expressway from 550 to between 400 and 450. Compulsory redundancies have not been ruled out.

 

Currently, Expressway employees enjoy the same terms and conditions as workers in the company’s public service obligation routes, and are full-time staff.

Some private operators, in contrast, do not have full-time staff, and pay daily and hourly rates, while some do not pay pensions.

BUT THE VERY PROFITABLE  BUS EIREANN DUBLIN COMMUTER ROUTES ARE TO BE PRIVATISED

Bus Éireann routes to be privatised in 2016 by the National Transport Authority

120 Dublin–Edenderry–Tullamore

123 Dublin–Naas

124 Dublin–Naas–Portlaoise

126 Dublin–Naas

130 Dublin–Naas–Athy

Tenders  also been  sought for six Waterford routes currently operated by Bus Eireann.

It is Clear that All Bus Eireann Routes are To be Made Profitable through Low Pay and then sold off!!

Extracts from Sunday Times Article

Bus Eireann told the Workplace Relations Commision on Wednesday that it wants to cut pay, consider the option of redundancies and to restructure its Expressway service which is losing 500,000Euro per month due to competition from private operators. (Bus Eireann wants to hive off Expressway into a separate company with lower pay and worse conditions than in the parent company-PH)

Halligan Wants Private operators licences withdrawn and has called for bus services nationwide to be nationalised . . . . . .

Halligan , the minister for training, said it would be “grossly unfair” if Bus Eireann introduced pay cuts and redundancies. “The general public deserves a quality public service but the workers who provide it deserve to work in reasonable conditions and be properly paid.” he said.

“I believe the bus service should be run by the state. I’m against privatising any part of the service. We need to have an economic assessment done to see how the state can control it.”

Dermot O’Leary, General Secretary of the National Bus and Rail Workers Union (NBRU) has challenged Ross’s INDEPENDENT ALLIANCE COllEAGUES “to respond the question which is, do they support the minister on his handling of the crisis which is unfolding in Bus Eireann.

O’Leary said: It would be unconscionable to think politicians whose natural habitat is on the left  of the political spectrum would support such a draconian attack, led it would appear, by one of their allies in the Independent Alliance, on the livelihoods of 800-plus workers in a state owned company”- – – –

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Stand Up To Lord Ross, The Independent Alliance, Fine Gael and CIE

The Outcome of the Transport Disputes will Affect all Workers

In addition to resisting the justified claims of the workers at Dublin Bus, the Government and CIE are now proposing reduce wages and conditions in a part of Bus Eireann by hiving off the Expressway service into a seperate company.

If the Government succeeds in this, the pay and conditions of all workers in the commercial state sector will be in immediate danger. Trade unions will be weakened in Irish Society in General.

Ministers Finian McGrath and John Halligan are members of the Independent Alliance of which senior Minister for Transport, Ross is the effective leader. MvGrath and Halligan purport to be left-wingers and friends of workers.It is time for them to stand up and be counted on the workers side in these disputes by stopping Lord Ross in his tracks.

When INMO, Civil and Public Services Union (CPSU), UNITE and the Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) successfully proposed a motion at ICTU BDC 2013 calling for the repeal of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act, they said  its effect would “knock on” to  the commercial state sector and the private sector. TEEU said the same.

NOW IT IS HAPPENING!!!

All industrial and political means necessary to defeat Lord Ross and the company must now be used.

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A general article on the approach union activists should adopt to combat the capitulatory union leaders is carried below.

STOP PRESS

RESTORATION OF PAY CUTS IN PUBLIC SERVICE???????

New Government-ICTU Confidence Trick

The story about restoration of pay and pensions in the public service is a misleading kite been flown jointly by government and the Public Services Committee of ICTU. It is designed to relieve pressure on union leaders and on government. The timescale , they hope, should see them through the general election. We will be invited to vote Labour to ensure restoration of pay and pensions and the “success” of the talks.

Already the timescale of the Haddington Rd agreement was set to see the government through the next election.

But even the promise of jam tomorrow is completely false. Already unions are negotiating pay rises in the profitable part of the private sector covering about 50% of private sector workers according to  LRC chief Kieran Mulvey in a radio interview.. He has also pointed out that SIPTU has negotiated pay  rises  in 250 employments recently and MANDATE has also done so in large retail employments. Mulvey said these rises were normaly of the order of 2 to 5%. This means they are effectively cost of living rises. Faced with the inevitability of conceding similar rises in the public service, ICTU and Government have decided to call them “restoration”. Because they are the same cost of living rises as in the profitable private sector, there will be in fact no restoration in comparison to the profitable part of the private sector. Those in the public service who get the cost of living rises will have them strung out over years. But Minister Howlins statement indicates that many public servants will not receive “restoration”. This means they will not even receive cost of living rises.

This confidence trick would not be possible without the collusion of the public service trade union leaders who are responsible for a historic capitulation through Croke Park 1, Croke Park 2, Haddington Rd and aove all agreeing to FEMPI, the anti-worker  law.

We are seeing a continuation of the historic capitulation of ICTU in new packaging.

 

 

 

What is to be Done in Trade Unions?

ICTU CONFERENCE UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED EMERGENCY MOTION ON THE FISCAL EMERGENCY MEASURES IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST LEGISLATION at its meeting in Belfast in June 2013:The following motion, sponsored by the INMO, Civil and Public Services Union (CPSU), UNITE and the Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) was unanimously adopted by the ICTU Biennial Delegate Conference:

“ Conference, noting:

  • that the Fiscal Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act undermines the principle of collective bargaining in the public sector and concerned that this may set a precedent for the private sector;
  •  that the legislation provides extraordinary powers to government Ministers to unilaterally vary terms and conditions of employment;
  • that there is no specified end period for this “emergency” legislation; and
  • that this anti trade union legislation has been introduced in the centenary of the 1913 lockout;

calls on the incoming Executive to mount a vigorous, and robust, campaign against this legislation with the goal of seeing it repealed.”

It should be noted that SIPTU, IMPACT, PSEU and the teachers unions voted for this resolution after they had used the Act to force members to accept the Haddington Rd Agreement under which conditions of employment and pensions were significantly worsened. Nothing whatever has been done to implement the resolution in the year since it was passed-surprise! surprise!

The unions  proposing the motion were only too correct when they included in the motion the fact that they were “concerned that this may set  a precedent for the private sector”. Indeed in its recommendation to members to reject Croke Park 2, the TEEU rightly gave as one of the reasons that the cuts would knock-on to the private sector.  

Employers in the private sector, as expected, have now intensified their assault on pay and conditions. Bausch and Lomb, the Greyhound bin company and numerous employers about the country are imposing pay cuts and other worsening of conditions, often, after Labour Court/LRC intervention. For example Bulmers Cider-Showerings and a chemical company , both in Clonmel, have recently imposed pay reductions. The attempt by Iarnród Éireann to cut pay continues.

(The demands of Bausch and Lomb are extremely threatening for workers in multinational companies and for the Irish people generally. The powerlessness of workers and the Irish Government in the face of these threatshighlights the effect of undue reliance on multi-national investment which, itself, is related to the failure to solve the national question in the 1798 to 1923 period with all its implications for economic sovereignty. I will return to this in a further document)

And why wouldn’t employers go on the offensive? Public service unions, including SIPTU, have been telling members for months that they had to vote for cuts under the Haddington Rd Agreement lest worse befall them under the FEMPI Act. Indeed, after the vast majority of public servants had rejected Croke Park 2, ICTU Gen Sec David Begg “intervened” and went on Radio Eireann to say that unions who said that no cuts in the public service pay bill were acceptable were being “unrealistic”!!!!  Private sector employers are now taking him at his word!!! The slogan; “an injury to one is the concern of all” is not solely or even mainly based on altruism.

What is happening at the top of the trade union  movement is a degree of betrayal of Irish workers interests that is unprecedented.    

Trade union activists of my age would have spent a lifetime criticising trade union leaders from my own general secretaries to Mickey Mullen, Fitan Kennedy, Denis Larkin, Tommy Heerey, John Mulhall, Harold O’Sullivan in the early years to more recent leaders such as Billy Atlee and many others for not being sufficiently militant.  But none of these were ever involved in anything remotely like the level of compliance with government that has occurred since the banking crash. Engaging in talks in the context of statutory pay and pension cuts by Lenihan, failing to oppose FEMPI while Howlin was piloting it through the Dail and continuing negotiations in its shadow, allowing government to deduct Home Tax from pay,  agreeing for the first time, under Croke Park 1, that permanent public servants could were liable for compulsory redundancy and therefore had to agree to cuts to avoid it. The level of compliance is also unsurpassed in any of the European bailout countries.

 

 UNION LEADERS SUPPORTING LABOUR HUMILIATED IN EUROPEAN ELECTION!

 

The political earthquake in voting allegiance in recent elections presents huge problems for union leaders. The combined non-Labour Party Left (excluding Sinn Féin) is now bigger than the Labour Party in local government! Big unions affiliated to the Labour Party were unable to deliver votes to Labour. A large banner on the SIPTU building in central Dublin urged votes for Emer Costelloe (Labour Party). There are 11 other trade unions affiliated  to the Labour Party including TSSA, UCATT and Municipal Employees Division of IMPACT. The Irish Region of UNITE had dissaffiliated from the Irish Labour Party before the election. The big retail union MANDATE has not been affiliated to the Labour Party for decades. Because of its pivotal place in the past and present of the Irish working class, in addition to its size, SIPTU (ITGWU)  through its leadership has a special responsibility for the austerity being imposed by the Labour Party in government.

In addition to Sinn Féin heading the European election poll in the Dublin Constituency with over 88,000 votes we see the following in details of the first count:

Socialist Party Murphy, Paul 29953
Labour Party Costello, Emer 25961
People before Profit (SWP) Smith, Bríd 23875

The leaders of SIPTU, the giant general union, were totally ignored by their members.  It is clear that union leaders are totally out of step with the popular mood. Nevertheless, since the election, SIPTU leader Jack O’Connor has  said: “Labour should remain in Government. It is vital there is a voice in Cabinet to challenge austerity” (Cork Echo June 5)     UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!  National mobilisation of members could not even be mentioned as an alternative!

 

Stirrings Among Union Members  

Already, union members are wearying of continued retreats before the offensive of employers in the private and public sectors. Is the unofficial stoppage at Greyhound a harbinger of the great waves of unofficial strikes of the sixties which culminated in the defeat of the employers in the Maintenance strike. Workers in Irish rail, Aer lingus, Bausch and Lomb and the Paris Bakery are either involved or have been recently involved in industrial conflict situations. The blows delivered to the government parties  in the recent elections cannot but give impetus to the determination of workers to resist economic attacks in their employments. Collaboration with austerity  governments has reached an all time intensity in recent pay reduction deals in the public service. The trade union leaderships are the praetorian guard of pro-austerity governments. But the worm may now be turning—–.

The Irish trade union leadership has been unusually compliant since 1969. That was the year in which an elected cross-union strike committee of maintenance craftsmen inflicted a historic defeat on Irish employers as a whole. The craftsmen won with massive support from general workers who respected their pickets.  Only one of 23 craft union leaderships was supporting the strike when the employers collapsed and settled individually with the strikers. The then Leader of the ICTU had called on members of his own general union (Marine Port and General Workers Union) to place pickets on workplaces in protest against the craftsmen’s activities!! Following the strike the entire unionised Irish workforce through relativity systems and under threat of a strike wave secured bigger increases than the craftsmen who then caught up! All modern wages in Ireland are based on the gains of the strike of maintenance craftsmen in 1969. Far from celebrating the victory, the top ICTU leadership immediately changed picketing rules in an attempt to ensure that the solidarity shown could never happen again. ICTU then tolerated changes in industrial relations law by government, which inter alia, gave increased powers to general secretaries over members and elected executives!

Background

Since the anti-conscription strike of 1917, the  ITUC Congress and Labour Party, as it was then known, has not spoken politically on behalf of the majority of Irish workers. It failed to lead the national struggle and the social struggles of the 1918-1923 period to a successful conclusion. This failure ceded the allegiance of Irish workers to Unionist parties in the northern state and pro-capitalist nationalist parties in the souther state. Since then, social democracy in Ireland north and south has always been a stunted organism. Unlike the Irish case, in imperialist countries, such as Germany  and the UK, its parties have been in government alone. There was a huge surge of workers into the trade unions in the 1918 to 1922 period, principally but not only into the ITGWU, now called SIPTU. In this sense, the self identity of the Irish working class as having a separate class interest is historically and practically centred on the trade unions rather than on the Labour Party as in the UK. The Irish trade union leadership was deeply involved in the false boom and subsequently in collaboration with the FF/Green Government and the FG/Lab government in implementing austerity programmes.

 

RECENT HISTORY

ICTU secretary General David Begg was a senior member of the board of the Central Bank  for 14 years up to the year 2010.  He reports to the executive council of ICTU. Before he became governor of the Central Bank, the current governor, Professor Honohan, in Economic and Social Review (Summer 2009) said:“Irish banking system had been, in effect, on a life-support system since September 2008.—-.Complacency resulted in the banks fuelling the late stage of an obvious construction bubble with massive foreign borrowing, leaving them exposed to solvency and liquidity risks which in past times would have been inconceivable–At the end of 2003, net indebtedness of Irish banks to the rest of the world was just 10 per cent of GDP. By early 2008 that had jumped to over 60 per cent”   The borrowing of 50% of Gross Domestic Product over 5 years by the covered banks is precisely what the Central Bank is tasked to prevent-grossly irresponsible borrowing which threatens financial stability. Following the banking collapse, countless thousands have lost their jobs and savage austerity has been visited on the population including pay and pension cuts.   There had been a formal system of social partnership in place from 1987 until the economic collapse in 2009. Subsequently collaboration with government by the trade union leadership intensified.   After the FF/Green government legislated for pay and pension cuts in the public service (Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act, 2010) and implemented a moratorium on the filling of posts in the public service, union leaders negotiated further major reductions in the public service pay  bill over 3 years(Public Service Agreement 2011-2014) with the same government! Though the new FG/Lab  government reneged on the deal in 2013, and introduced draconian anti-union Legislation (FEMPI 2013), the union leaders negotiated a new 3 year deal implementing further cuts in the public pay bill  with the FG/Labour government . The trade union leaders are completely complicit in implementing austerity policies. Currently, the collaboration takes place through Labour Party ministers in government. But I do not believe that the complicity with the present government is due to the presence of the Labour Party in the government.  All the evidence is that the union leaders would be equally complicit with any government which maintained the cast of senior trade union officials as an integral part of the elite of Irish society. SEE   http://wp.me/pKzXa-gw

 

What Is to Be Done?

When I say that it is essential that the left and the trade unions show a new way forward to the Irish people in the current ongoing economic and political crisis, I do not mean that the current trade union leaders can be expected to do this. Activists must, of course, continue and intensify efforts to bring the leaders under democratic control of members and to replace those not amenable to such control.  However, if one depended solely on proceedings at annual congresses and branch/section meetings, workers would be long defeated before such processes were concluded. Irish workers have a particularly strong tradition of “unofficial” industrial action in addition to official action. But workers have been particularly quiet since the beginning of the economic crisis. There had been very significant improvements in workers living standards in the decade before the onset of recession.   The recession came as quite a shock to all. Trade union leaders and politicians reinforced the same message. If short term or temporary pain were accepted, previous relative prosperity would be recovered. Many believed this or thought it might be true.  But very few now hold this view and the number decreases as time goes by. After the overall exchequer deficit has been reduced below 3% of GDP in the budget 2015, the state is committed to removing the “structural deficit” by 2018 and paying down state debt from 120% of GDP to 60% over 20 years under the Fiscal Treaty. Resistance by workers in their employment is already increasing. Commercial companies which are partially or wholly owned by the state are now seeking to worsen conditions of employment. Workers in Aer Lingus and Irish rail are resisting. The largely immigrant workforce in a small Dublin centre bakery is sitting in to demand wages owed and redundancy payments. All this could become contagious! The current unofficial “downer” at Greyhound by lowly paid workers may be a straw in the wind! This possibility is enhanced by the outcome of recent elections.  The blows delivered to the government parties in the recent European and Local elections shows to workers that the government can be shaken and that there is widespread opposition to government policies. The wipe-out of the Labour Party  and the surge to Sinn Féin has rocked the political system and the irish elites including the trade union leaders.

  • In line with the new  mood, union activists must now redouble their efforts to secure support of fellow workers to resist attacks on pay ,pensions and conditions in the public and private sectors
  • Union leaders must be called to account for their support for Austerity Measures and for the Labour Party in Government
  • An alternative economic path for the country based on the interests of workers and the poor should be advocated (see x below)
  • Dissaffiliation from the Labour Party should be advocated (see y below)
  • Workers should be urged to seek and sign the official form form forbidding the union to give any part of union dues to the party.
  • Full time officials who represent unions on Public Service Committee of ICTU  and on the Executive Council of ICTU should be replaced by executive members subject to re-election. (This does not require a change of union rules in most cases)
  • All officials must be subject to election and re-election

X    several left wing organisations have put forward such programmes.  At a minimum a steeply progressive taxation of the incomes and assets of the very rich should be advocated (the top 10,000 income earners have an average income of 595,000 Euro each and financial assets (bank deposits and shares) of households only (not companies) have increased by 70 billion since the onset of recession and are now above peak boom levels (Central Statistics Office, Institutional Sector Accounts 2013). Water charges, to be introduced in October should be resisted by trade unions)

y  How can a union remain affiliated to the Labour Party after ICTU, itself, has passed the following resolution concerning the emergency legislation introduced by Labour Party Minister, Brendan Howlin: ICTU CONFERENCE UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTS EMERGENCY MOTION ON THE FISCAL EMERGENCY MEASURES IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST LEGISLATION The following motion, sponsored by the INMO, Civil and Public Services Union (CPSU), UNITE and the Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) was unanimously adopted by the ICTU Biennial Delegate Conference at its meeting in Belfast today (June 2013): Conference, noting:

  • that the Fiscal Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act undermines the principle of collective bargaining in the public sector and concerned that this may set a precedent for the private sector;
  •  that the legislation provides extraordinary powers to government Ministers to unilaterally vary terms and conditions of employment;
  • that there is no specified end period for this “emergency” legislation; and
  • that this anti trade union legislation has been introduced in the centenary of the 1913 lockout;

calls on the incoming Executive to mount a vigorous, and robust, campaign against this legislation with the goal of seeing it repealed.

(Nothing has been done to implement the resolution in the last 12 months. there is no union affiliated to the Labour Party among the proposers!! P H)

Labour Leadership Race: Savour the Total cynicism of Labour and Trade Union Leaders Miriam Lord : http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/the-question-that-should-have-been-asked-at-the-labour-husting-was-why-are-we-all-here-1.1833442 …

Read More http://wp.me/pKzXa-kQ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

UPDATE:Labour Destroyed Itself through Coalition

UPDATE OCT 11

Labour Backed by SIPTU Humiliated in Two Bye-elections

The pathetic vote for Labour backed by SIPTU and it’s President Jack O’Connor and the massive turnout on the Abolish the Water Charges Demonstration to-day shows that the majority of Workers are rejecting the SIPTU Position

The demonstration was backed by 5 unions -MANDATE, UNITE, CPSU,OPATSI, CWU but SIPTU continues to support Burton and the Labour Party Leadership which is enforcing the water charges

UPDATE:October 6

Labour to be Humiliated in Bye-Elections 

Water charges, supported by Labour, have become the main issue in both bye-elections to be held next Friday. Labour currently has two seats in the Dublin Southwest constituency-Pat Rabitte and Eamonn Maloney.

The results will show that Labour will get no seat in the constituency in a general election.

This bears out my contention in the analysis below that coalition with FG and or FF has destroyed the Labour Party and will also destroy Sinn Féin if it enters into such a coalition

UPDATE JULY 4

New Labour Leadership But No change

SIPTU LEADERSHIP NOW DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR LABOUR ACTIONS IN GOVERNMENT

The entire Labour party leadership affair is a low farce with little substance. The vote for the Labour candidate in the recent bye-election in Joan Burton’s constituency of Dublin West was 5.2% for Lorraine Mulligan. Joan Canvassed for the candidate. She delivered a derisory vote.
In the new All Tipperary Co Council, the Labour Party has one seat only. The candidate was elected to the ninth seat in the Nenagh ward without reaching the quota. This is the “turf” of Alan Kelly TD who has been elected as Deputy leader of the Labour Party.
If a general election were held to-morrow, there can be little doubt that the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Lasbour Party would lose their seats.
The Labour Party is terminally ill but is being kept alive by Jack O’Connor and the SIPTU leadership. Jack has referred to the “vile lie” that Labour broke its promises. He has also claimed that the Labour Party has “saved” the workers from 2 billion in additional cuts which otherwise would have been implemented by Fine GaeL.
If SIPTU withdrew support from the Labour Party leadership, the party would collapse. A convention of the Labour movement, political and industrial, could then be held to discuss a way forward.
It is clear that the leaderships of several trade unions are distinctly unhappy with the role of the Labour Party in government. UNITE has already dissaffiliated. The emergency resolution passed by ICTU Biennial Congress in June 2013 calling for a vigorous campaign against Labour Howlins anti-worker FEMPI wage cutting act were INMO, IBOA and MANDATE in addition to UNITE. O’Connor and Coady(IMPACT) poured cold water on the resolution but voted for it. But they have ensured that the resolution has not been implemented in any respect in the last twelve months.
The SIPTU leadership must be held to be directly responsible for everything Burton and Kelly do in government.
It should be recalled that the affiliated unions supported the return to coalitionism in 1970. Instead of celebrating the historic victory of the unofficialmaintenance workers strike over the employers, they were terrified by it.
Everybody should attend the Greyhound Workers Support meeting in Libert Hall on Monday. But as we do, we should ask ourselves how SIPTU allowed a situation to arise where an employer could dare to bring in “agency workers” to break an official strike a year after we celibrated the hundredth anniversary of 1913!!

 

Irish People Will Pay a heavy Price if Left and Trade Unions fail to show a way forward

Prior to the 1969 General election the Labour Party leadership adopted a policy of refusing to enter coalition with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael in the future. While the Labour Party vote improved in the 1969 General Election, Labour did not make the sweeping gains that some had expected. The leadership immediately used the outcome to reverse its “no coalition” policy. The reality was that the Labour and Trade Union leaders were frightened by the unofficial strike wave which culminated in the great national victory over the employers by the maintenance craftworkers in 1969. The mobilisation around civil rights in the north added to the dangers of destabilisation of the capitalist Treaty settlement of 1922. As always, Irish social democracy returned to its first principle: protect t capitalist stability. This required a return to coalition.

I resisted this reversal and I was elected to the National Executive (then called the Administrative Council at the1970 Party Conference on that basis . I was expelled at the first meeting.

Again in 2011, following the unprecedented economic crash and the linked damage to the main ruling party Fianna Fáil, capitalist stability was in danger. It was clear to all that any party representing workers would be fatally damaged by participation in a capitalist coalitrion government in the circumstances. Yet Labour entered with its eyes open to protect Irish capitalism once again.

This coalitionist policy has led to disaster after disaster for the Labour Party. Now it is on the brink of oblivion.

Written on the tombstone of Labour will be the legend: “It died protecting Irish capitalism. It turned on its own””

Because none of the leadership candidates are questioning the coalition policy, the outcome of the leadership election is immaterial.

The material below was contained in an edition of  Comment,the UCD Labour Party Magazine published in 1967. It was edited by Ruairí Quinn who has just retired as Minister for Education. It gives a glimpse of the brief “no coalition” era in the Labour Party in the late sixties.

Ruairí Quinn writes an editorial against coalition with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

Paddy Healy(myself!) elaborates on the history and meaning of Connolly’s concept of the Workers Republic. This is carried below.

Full Magazine here http://irishelectionliterature.wordpress.com/2014/07/02

WORKERS’REPUBLIC

Pat Healy is a graduate of UCD and is currently a lecturer in Bolton ST1

At the coming Labour Party conference motions will be discussed calling for the reinsertion of the demand for a Workers Republic among the aims and objects of tine party. This development, which is a reflection of the growing leftward trend in Irish politics, will be welcomed by all workers who see the need for a radical reorganisation of the economy in the interest of the working class,       This need will become all the more apparent in the coming months when Fianna Fáil, the executive committee of the exploiting class, will attempt to shackle the workers by enacting anti-trade union legislation.

 

The history of the demand for a Workers Republic in the Labour movement is most instructive, It was the goal of James Connolly co-founder with Larkin of the Labour Party. It was clear to him that independence alone would not alleviate the plight of the toiling man. Consequently, he instructed the Citizen Army to hold onto their arms in the coming fight lest those who were with them stop short of his objective. In the thirties, the demand for a Workers Republic split the Republican Congress2 ,its opponents holding that the national revolution must first be completed-shades of Devalera’s infamous dictum “Labour must wait”.

It was formally incorporatod as an objective of the Labour

Party in 1936. However, anti-progressive forces wore soon to show their hand. The executive of the Irish National Teachers Organisation, who were then affiliated to the Labour Party, sent a letter to the Hierarchy asking their opinion as to whether the aims and objects of the Labour Party ware in any way in conflict with Catholic teaching.    This was referred by the Hierarchy to a committee of experts, who replied that certain things were and gave as an example the fact that the Worker’s Republic was the ultimate objective of the party.

A series of amendments were placed on the agenda of the 1938 conference by the INTO, with the object of deleting the objectionable clauses from the constitution. It became apparent however, after a number of discussions between the executive of the I.N.T.O.and some members of the AC of the Party that the amendments would not be passed. They were accordingly withdrawn after an assurance by NORTON that he would use “other means” to have them adopted. The amendments again appeared on the agenda of the 1939  conference but were referred back. However, the A.C, sought and obtained permission from the conference to redraft the constitution. This wassupported by Tom 0’Connell, a former Chairman of the Party, who remarked “people might think we’re socialists”.    A new draft-constitution was circula­ted in April 1940 and in this draft all reference to the Workers’ Republic had been omitted. This was flltina passed in the 1940’s and following this the INTO received the express commendation of the Bishops. Before this statement from the bishops no public mention had been made of the negotiations that had been going on between the executive of the INTO, certain members of the A.C. of the Labour Party and the Hierarchy. Even to-day it is not thought advisable to make public reference to the circumstances which led up to the alterations in the constitution. It is significant that no direct vote was ever taken on the deletion of the Worker’s Republic clause.

 

The Labour Party has recently declared itself to be a socialist party, but declarations alone are meaningless unless the Party adopts a socialist programme for workers power centred around the demand for a workers Republic.

 

There must be no ambiguity about the goal for which we are striving. WE can learn much from the experience of the British Labour Party. This so-called socialist party was elected without a socialist programme and with no perspective outside the capitalist system.   Now, having no other perspective, they govern in the in the interest of the exploiters and when these exploiters encounter difficulties which spring from the inherent contradictions in capitalism they unload the problems onto the backs of the workers by deliberately creating unemployment. This human suffering, this gross waste of resources which should be used to better the lot of those who work could never take place in a planned economy. Anyone who has any illusions that the British Labour Party is governing in the interest of the workers should consult the growing dole queues.

 

This is not what we mean by a Worker’s Republic. The Worker’s Republic the rule of the majority, organizised through workers’ councils, without standing army or permanent bureaucracy, needing repression initially only against the formerly exploiting minority. The electorate will retain the right of immediate recall of  its representatives at all levels. Therefore the character of this semi-state of the working class is radically different.Whereas present “democracy” is based on a state of exploitation of the vast majority, and is only an empty, legalistic formula masking an employers’ dictatorship, the Workers’ Republic means real democracy, the reality of the controlling will of the workers: it is democracy by and for tile working people against the exploiters.

 

In the Workers’Republic the means of life will be social property. The factories, banks, insurance companies and means of transport and communication will be common property of the working people,controlled democratically. All imperialist economic holdings will be expropriated. Large scale industry will be nationalised,(nationalisation being understood as the transfer of  ownership to the workers state under the direct socialist management of the working class).    The existing state-capitalist enterprises will also be transferred into social property by the Workers’ State.    Large estates and capitalist agricultural undertakings  will be nationalised. There will be state monopoly of the wholesale trade, :Nationalisaxion for use by the people of large houses in town and country.   Small property in town and country will not be expropriated and non-exploiters will not be coerced.   Only when the small farmers can see the advantages of amalgamation and large scale agriculture will there be any question of reorganisation here. Until that time, planning by the Workers State will,  will at least, free the small farmer from the disastrous effects the present anarchic capitalist system.

 

At a local level workers management will be the rule; on a national level, economic functions will be centralised in the hands of the democratically controlled workers state. The central and local

will interact and mutually adjust to the other. For the  first time a rational economy planned in the interests of the self-controlling working man will be possible

 

In relation to the Labour Party Conference a word of warning is necessary. Past experience has shown that the cleverest careerists often adopt left sounding phrases as a means to their own ends. When Hugh Gaitskell sought to delete Clause 1V from the British Labour Party constitution his vigorous opponent was Harold Wilson (Claus IV states that the aim of the Party is the control of the means of production by those who labour by hand or by brain). Now Wilson and his fellow traitors not alone ignore Clause IV but even their own election promises.

It will not be surprising, therefore, if the conference accepts the Workers’ Republic motion by a large majority with strong vocal support from all manner of oppartunists

and place-seekers.But let us not be deceived.Let us elect officers who will struggle for Connollys glorious goal and after conference let us wage a constant determined struggle within the Party lest any bureaucrat, blackleg or traitor should renege on the battle for socialism and place his owm selfish interest before those of the working class.

 

Onward to the Workers Republic!!

1 if the author had been consulted by Editor Ruairí Quinn he would have been told that my name is Paddy Healy and that I had joined the lecturing staff at Kevin St (PH 2014)

 

 

 

Huge Political Crisis Developing in Ireland

The reality is that political room for social democracy has been removed in EU “programme countries” .Classical social democracy is almost extinct in Greece and is now dying in Ireland
I rarely agree with John Bruton but he is correct in predicting (at least) 10 years more of austerity. The EU has quantified what is necessary to remove “the structural deficit” under the fiscal treaty- a change from -4.8% of GDP in 2014 to +4.9% in 2018. Then the requirement to PAY DOWN (not roll-over) the state debt from 120% of GDP to 60% of GDP over 20 years kicks in. No wonder, John Bruton is concerned about the government parties “raising expectations”.
THE REAL PROOF THAT THE LABOUR PARTY IS IN DIRE LONG TERM DIFFICULTY IS THAT NO LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE(even in the election for Deputy Leadership ) IS PROPOSING TO LEAVE THE COALITION GOVERNMENT EVEN ON AN OPPORTUNISTIC BASIS!

(Labour Leadership Contest: Neither of the two candidates propose to leave the austerity coalition of which Labour is a part. Under the Fiscal Treaty, which Labour supported, austerity is to continue for 20 years as government debt must be reduced (not rolled over) from 120% to 60% of GDP! Any Labour Party member, who wishes to oppose the trajectory supported by both candidates and call for a break with coalitionism, should write on the ballot paper: “none of these”
I was expelled from the National Executive of the Labour Party in 1970 for opposing the return to coalitionism after the 1969 general election. My stand has been only too trajically vindicated! )

Unless there is decisive intervention from the left, the following is likely to happen: Some combination of Sinn Fein and the traditional parties will come into government in the next general election. The government will “discover” that the economy is not “recovering” after all and that the outgoing government has concealed the extent of the problems. Blaming the outgoing government (It was ever thus), they will then launch a new round of austerity in line with the Fiscal Treaty.
Meanwhile extreme right wing forces will gather as the left and the trade union movement fail to show a way forward for the people
There will be a heavy price to be paid if the left cannot create a credible and principled alternative–
A pretend alternative, involving forces which are not opposed to coalition with FG and/or FF in principle, would create a worse scenario with a fraction of the “left alternative” joining the government (“a national government”), thereby further disorienting any left alternative which may have existed before the election ——

These matters must be addressed urgently on the left and in the trade unions. It is well to remember that in Irish circumstances, it is through the trade unions that the working class became “a class for itself”, as the political wing of the labour movement failed to play a progressive and leading role on the national question after 1916.

In the discussion a colleague  has replied: sounds like “same old, same old” despite the “seismic shift”

I replied:

The “seismic shift” is away from political allegiance to the traditional parties. That alone could not be expected to provide a way forward. But the circumstance in which the southern state can no longer depend solely on the traditional FF, FG, Lab parties is not a “same old, same old” situation.
The last big political crisis was “solved” for capitalism by MacBride entering government AND by the expansionist Keynesian policies of westen governments(including Marshall Aid) which created a relatively favourable international environment.
There are many differences to-day. Sinn Fein already has more seats than Clann Na Poblahta achieved and is about to gain far more. Sinn Fein is organised on a 32 county basis. It will be far more difficult for Sinn Fein to deliver its southern supporters to support austerity than it was to enter an administration with Unionism. Northern nationalists feel threatened by sectarian discrimination and many see SF participation in the Stormont administration as a protection.
How many southern workers would forgive SF for supporting austerity?
I would opine that the real movers and shakers of the southern state (eg. John Bruton) are very worried. Clearly they believe that the EU is determined to continue implementing austerity under the Fiscal Treaty. Has the EU any choice? What would “expectations” be like if Sinn féin entered government having promised to end austerity?
There are similarities with the past but there are also important and crucial differences.
There are serious opportunities for the left and the trade unions if they are grasped.

Categories: Uncategorized

AFTERSHOCK WORSE THAN POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE

UPDATE   Dec 4

Government Parties SLUMP in IPSOS/MRBI(IRIAH TIMES) Poll

The full “aftershock” is now apparent in this huge slump for government parties and surge for IND/Others. SF as biggest party goes ahead of Fine Gael. “Troika” parties combined are now down to 46% in final outcome. As there are 22% undecided, The core vote for the “Troika” parties combined is 37%!!!!!!!!!!

IND/Others=32%

FG+FF+LAB=19+21+6=46%

SF=22%

Gerry Adams most popuar party leader as Burton drops 12% !!!!

Party leader support from all polled     Gerry Adams 26%(Down 9), Joan Burton 25%(down 12)    Micheál Martin    25%( down 1), Enda Kenny  19%(down 7)

The low level of support for all party leaders is evident.

NOTE: UNLIKE  RED C AND B&A, IPSOS/MRBI gives no bonus for performance in last General Election in processing raw data

From Irish Times DEC 4

“When people were asked who they would vote for if an election were held tomorrow, party support – when undecideds are excluded – compared with the last Irish Times poll in October was: Fine Gael, 19 per cent (down five points); Labour, 6 per cent (down three points); Fianna Fáil, 21 per cent (up one point); Sinn Féin, 22 per cent (down two points); and Independents/Others, 32 per cent (up nine points).

The survey was undertaken on Monday and Tuesday this week among a representative sample of 1,200 voters aged 18 and over, in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all constituencies. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 per cent.

The core vote for the parties – before undecideds are excluded – compared with the last poll was: Fine Gael, 16 per cent (down three points); Labour, 5 per cent (down two); Fianna Fáil, 16 per cent (no change); Sinn Féin, 17 per cent (down one); Independents/Others, 25 per cent (up eight); and undecided voters, 22 per cent (down one). (Irish Times DEC 4)

Update Nov 23  Red C Poll

http://www.redcresearch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/SBP-November-2014-Poll-Report.pdf

Sinn Féin lead Fine Gael by 3% in Red C Poll

Even the highly processed RED C outcome shows FF+Fg+Lab below 50%!!!

http://www.redcresearch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/SBP-November-2014-Poll-Report.pdf

As usual RED C does not provide the “raw vote” on its website. It provides a “Core Vote” which was:

Core Vote:  Others 26, Sinn Féin 21, FG 18, FF, 15  Labour 6, Undecided 12

As can be seen, while Others are the leaders, Sinn Féin at 21% is 3 points ahead of the nearest party Fine Gael on 18%

How did FG catch up with Sinn Féin in the “processing” to be level on 22% in the final outcome?

FG was elevated both on “likely to vote” criteria and got a bonus for the higher vote for Fine Gael at the last General election. The Sinn Féin “core vote” was reduced under both criteria.

The reason the Red C “Core Vote” is different from the raw votes given by Millward Brown and IPSOS/MRBI is those least likely to vote have been already removed by Red C

The real number of dont know/wont vote is probably over 20% as seen in the Nov 2, Millward Brown Poll immediately below

UPDATE   Nov 2   MILLWARD BROWN POLL Sunday Independent

MB Raw Vote Nov 2                           FG  17     FF  15       SF 20   Lab 6    Ind/Others     18         Undecided  24  

B&A  Raw Vote   OCT 27             FG17        FF   14            SF 17       Lab 4    Ind/others  23             Undecided 24

Equivalent Raw Vote(Red C)   FG 20         FF 14     SF  17          Lab 5  Ind/others     21             Undecided 24

Oct 27

The drop in support for Ind/others from 23% in B&A to 18% in Millward Brown is greater than the margin of error. Other changes are within that margin including the Sinn Féin increase and the FG decrease

UPDATE Mon OCT 27

LOSS OF MEMORY ERODES BONUS FOR GOVERNMENT PARTIES IN RED C And B&A POLLS!!!
WHEEL TURNS FULL CIRCLE!!!
For some time I have been saying that weighting polls to mid-way between the actual responses and the recall of respondents of how they voted in the last election is no longer appropriate because of the political earthquake demonstrated by the outcome of the local and European elections and indeed the sharp decline in government support before that. Fine Gael and Labour were getting a significant bonus in these polls due to their performances in the 2011 GE. Because of this I track the raw votes over time from all companies in this blog(see below)
It is stated on the RED C site: ““A further past vote weighting is included that takes the current recall for how people voted at the last election, compares this to the actual results, and weights the data to halfway between the two.”
Believe it or not : The combination of the political earthquake and the time honoured propensity of human beings to forget their past mistakes and transgressions has granted my wish!!!!
The figures below taken from the Red C site show that though 36% of voters supported FG in the 2011 election only 20% of the sample now recall doing so!. 19.4% of voters supported Labour but now only 7% of the sample recall doing so! On the other hand Sinn Féin which is now showing double its 2011 result in polls and usually is the big loser in the weighting process now only loses one point.In the B&A Poll of August 17 the SF vote of 27% after undecideds were eliminated was “adjusted”downward to 19%! (See Misleading Poll belowCould a higher proportion of respondent nows be “remembering” voting for SF in 2011 than actually voted for them??? This  farce must end

The wheel has now turned full circle. The weighting process is actually disadvantaging Fine Gael and is of little use to Labour.
I expect B&A and Red C to dispense with this weighting process shortly!!!!!!!!!!!!
Red C CORE Vote 25 Oct 5 FG 22 FF 16 SF 19 Lab 5
Ind/ Others 23 Undecided 15
Impact of Weighting FG 21 FF 15 SF 18 Lab 6
IND/other 24 Undecided 16

RED C has now provided more detailed information on its website. AS USUAL THE RAW VOTE HAS NOT BEEN PROVIDED. A core vote(above) has been provided which has been arrived at by eliminating those very unlikely to vote.

I have produced an estimate of the raw vote by increasing Undecided from 15 to 24 s in B&A Raw and recalculating the figures for each party (In B&A “Undecideds” include those unlikely to vote)

As can be seen here there is no difference between the raw vote figures in each poll when margin of error(3.1%) is taken into account. Both Polls record a significant increase in support for Independents/Others

Equivalent Raw Vote(Red C)      FG 20         FF 14     SF  17   Lab 5       Ind/others 21    Undecided 24

 

B&A  Raw Vote                                   FG17        FF   14     SF 17     Lab 4  Ind/others  23        Undecided 24

PARTY SCORES IN POORER AND RICHER HALVES OF POPULATION IN B&A POLLs AUG 17, 2014 and Oct 25,2014

( IPSOS/MRBI  Full Data  OCT  9   http://pollresults.mag.irishtimes.com/)

In to-days B&A Poll Support for FG+FG+Labour Drops from 35% to 26%,Down 9%, in the Poorer half of Population!!!!!!!!!!

Labour now at 2% !!!!!!!! TWO PER CENT IN THE POORER HALF OF THE POPULATION!
http://wp.me/pKzXa-kQ

Behaviour and Attitudes has provided a detailed breakdown of the poll by age, region, social category etc on its website. The outcomes have not been “adjusted” and include all those expressing no opinion. The outcomes by social category are of particular political interest.

As there are approximately 500 respondents in each group of categories, the margin of error for 95% confidence remains reasonable at about 4.5% (3.1% in total poll of 1000)

Oct 25

ABC1 Ind/others 25, FG 18, SF 13, FF17, Lab 7, No Opinion 20

C2DE SF 22 Ind/Others 24 FF 11 FG 13 Lab 2 No Opinion 29

Aug 17

ABC1 Ind/others 21, FG 19, SF 17, FF15, Lab 11, No Opinion 19

C2DE SF 27 Ind/Others 16 FF 15 FG 15 Lab 5 No Opinion 22
C2DE comprises the less “well off” 53% of population

As pointed out above the combined vote of FG,FF and Labour has fallen 9 percentage points to 26% in approximately 2 months in the poorer half of the population. The Labour vote to-day(OCT 25) at 2% is abysmal. This is in line with recent bye-election results.

There can be little doubt that support for the left as part of Independent /Others has increased. INd/others have risen by eight percentage points among C2DEs!! but only by 4% among ABC1 categories
Other notable outcomes are the low vote of Labour and the very high vote of Sinn Féin and INd/Others in the less well off section of the population. This was reaffirmed in the Millward Brown Poll of Sept 21

It is also of interest that independents/others lead Fine Gael among the wealthier categories and that even among these Sinn Féin lead Labour

Overall Result

OCTOBER 25  TWO POLLS—RED C and B&A

Government Fooled Nobody in Budget!!!!!

COMPARING RAW VOTES IN RECENT POLLS -Because of Differing “Adjustments” it is best to compare raw votes over time in polls taken by many companies.

RED C does not provide a raw vote to the public. It provides a “core vote” which has already been adjusted to some extent.

Taking a margin of Error of 3% for 95% confidence, from OCT 9(IPSOS/MRBI) and OCT 25(B&A), the only statistically significant change has been a rise of 6% for Ind/Others including Greens.

In to-days poll OCT 25, there is no significant change in the vote for Sinn Féin. While the change in the Labour Vote is just within the margin of error, it is abysmally low. It means tha onlyt 40 people out of a thousand said, when asked, that they would vote Labour.   That means that it could be between 10(1%) and 70 (7%).

In to-days poll B&A(OCT 25)  when “undecideds are simply eliminated, the outcome is

FF19     FG 23    Lab 5      SF 23      Ind/others  31

Independents/others are Eight points ahead of FG and SF

Raw Votes

OCT 25

B&A  Raw Vote  FF   14   FG17     Lab 4  SF 17    Ind/others    23   undecided 24

Ipsos MRBI   OCT 9

Raw Vote FF  15    FG 17   FG 19  Labour 7   Sinn Féin  18  Ind/ Others 17  Undecided 23

Millward Brown Sept 21    Note Large rise in UNDECIDED

Raw Vote      FF   15   FG 17  Labour 6  Sinn Fen 15    Others 16          UNDECIDED 29

RED C September 15

Sept 15

Red C Equiv Raw Vote (Estimate)   FF 15   FG23     Lab 6   SF  19       Others 19  Undecided  19

Aug 17

B&A   Raw  Vote           FF 15     FG 18   Lab 7  SF 22        Others 19           Undecided    19

Political Earthquake Grows!        Oct 12,2014

No Government Candidate in Top Three Candidates in Two Bye-Elections

Non Labour Left Plus Sinn Féin Get Twice the COMBINED VOTE of  Troika Parties

                            In Dublin South West

Government Candidates Come to only 63% of radical vote(SF+Fitzmaurice) in Roscommon- Leitrim  

Dublin South West           Urban Largely Working Class

Elected: Paul Murphy   Anti-Austerity Alliance and Socialist Party

(campaigning against Water Charges and Austerity Generally)

         

           SF      7288                                      FG    2110

          AAA  6540                                      FF     2077                  

          PBP   530                                         Lab   2043

Total      14358                                              6230

14358/6230 =2.3

Did not Vote                                              36,120

Roscommon -Leitrim        Provincial/Rural

Elected: Michael Fitzmaurice    Independent   Ally of Luke Flanagan Independent MEP

(campaigning against EU Restrictions on Turf Cutting and Transfer of EU Farming Funds from small to large farmers and undrinkable water)  

Top Three

FF                                             7334

Fitzmaurice                            6220

Sinn Féin                                5906

FG                                           5593

Save Hospital                       2944

Labour                                   2037

———————————————————————————————

Fitzmaurice +Sinn Féin                                 12,126

Fitzmaurice +SF+Save Hospital                   15,070        

FG+Lab(GOVT)                                                  7,620

FF +FG+ Lab                                                      14,95

OCT 9    IPSOS/MRBI (Irish Times) Poll

When people were asked who they would vote for if an election were held tomorrow, party support – when 23% undecideds are excluded – compared with the last Irish Times poll in May was: Fine Gael, 24 per cent (no change); Labour, 9 per cent (up two points); Fianna Fáil, 20 per cent (down five points); Sinn Féin, 24 per cent (up four points); and Independents/ Others, 23 per cent (down one point).

A representative sample of 1,200 voters aged 18 and over, in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all constituencies. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 per cent for 95% confidence.

Independents/Others are strongest in Dublin, where their support outstrips even Sinn Féin which is on 26% in Dublin and ahead of all other political parties

So far , breakdown by social category has not been supplied by IPSOS/MRBI or by Irish Times

The raw votes are compared here.  From this it is clear that Sinn Féin continues to do well. But Fine Gael has gone down 4 points since Sept 15. This may show the effect of the Mc Nulty Seanad Election Controversy. The IPSOS /MRBI outcome in Irish Times is compared with an IPSOS/MRBI poll taken last May and could not capture this effect as the controversy occurred since Sept 15 when the Dáil resumed.

COMPARING RAW VOTES IN RECENT POLLS

Ipsos MRBI   OCT 9

Raw Vote FF  15    FG 17   FG 19  Labour 7   Sinn Féin  18   Others 17  Undecided 23

Millward Brown Sept 21    Note Large rise in UNDECIDED

Raw Vote      FF   15   FG 17  Labour 6  Sinn Fen 15    Others 16          UNDECIDED 29

RED C September 15

Sept 15

Red C Equiv Raw Vote  FF 15   FG23     Lab 6   SF  19       Others 19           Undecided  19

Aug 17

B&A   Raw  Vote           FF 15     FG 18   Lab 7  SF 22        Others 19           Undecided    19

Millward Brown Confirms Behaviour and Attititudes Finding of Labour Collapse and Sinn Féin surge among Less Well OFF (C2DE) Voters

Millward Brown Sunday INDEPENDENT Sept 21,2014

Paul Moran, Millward Brown, in Sunday Independent on Poll

“They (Labour Party) slightly over-index both in Dublin at 11pc and among the affluent ABs at 13pc.

Two issues arise as a result of this. Labour’s traditional heartland, the working class (C2DE) voter, has fallen out of love with them – they muster just eight per cent among this cohort (with Sinn Fein being the main beneficiary, attracting 28pc support among the same group).”

PARTY SCORES IN POORER AND RICHER HALVES OF POPULATION IN B&A POLL   AUG 17, 2014

Behaviour and Attitudes  has provided a detailed breakdown of the poll by age, region, social category etc on its website. The outcomes have not been “adjusted” and include all those expressing no opinion. The outcomes by social category are of particular political interest.

As there are approximately 500 respondents in each group of categories, the margin of error for 95% confidence remains reasonable at about 4.5% (3.1% in total poll of 1000)

ABC1  Ind/others   21,             FG 19,                 SF 17,             FF15,              Lab 11,                 No Opinion  19

C2DE                 SF  27      Ind/Others 16          FF 15                   FG 15                Lab 5                 No Opinion 22

C2DE   comprises the less “well off” 53% of population

Notable outcomes are the low vote of Labour at 5% and the very high vote of Sinn Féin in the less well off section of the population. This was reaffirmed in the Millward Brown Poll of Sept 21(see below)

It is also of interest that independents/others lead Fine Gael among the wealthier categories and that even among these Sinn Féin lead Labour

 Millward Brown Sunday INDEPENDENT Sept 21,2014

Paul Moran, Millward Brown, in Sunday Independent on Poll

“They (Labour Party) slightly over-index both in Dublin at 11pc and among the affluent ABs at 13pc.

Two issues arise as a result of this. Labour’s traditional heartland, the working class (C2DE) voter, has fallen out of love with them – they muster just eight per cent among this cohort (with Sinn Fein being the main beneficiary, attracting 28pc support among the same group).”

COMPARING RAW VOTES IN RECENT POLLS

Millward Brown Sept 21    Note Large rise in UNDECIDED

Raw Vote      FF   15   FG 17  Labour 6  Sinn Fen 15    Others 16          UNDECIDED 29

RED C September 15

Sept 15

Red C Equiv Raw Vote  FF 15   FG23     Lab 6   SF  19       Others 19           Undecided  19

Aug 17

B&A   Raw  Vote           FF 15     FG 18   Lab 7  SF 22        Others 19           Undecided    19

DR Adran Kavanagh Blog  Political Geographer

The latest Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll estimates party support levels as follows (and relative to the previous Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll ): Fine Gael 25% (NC), Sinn Fein 22% (down 2%), Fianna Fail 21% (up 1%), Labour Party 9% (up 1%), Independents, Green Party and Others 23% (NC). My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 37, Fine Gael 49, Sinn Fein 34, Labour Party 8, Independents and Others 30

“BURTON BOUNCE” DISSAPPEARS!

On August the 17, the Sunday Times reported a Behaviour and Attitudes Poll Outcome. It gave Labour 14% a rise of 6%! I have explained below the misleading nature of the poll in current circumstances due to inappropriate “adjustments”. The Red C poll published in Sunday Business Post on Sept 15 gave Labour an outcome of  8%. The Burton bounce has dissappeared though the Dáil was in recess!

Red C applies adjustments similar to B&A which favour parties which did well in last GENERAL ELECTION(2011)

Because of changing political circumstances, I have suggested that the professional polling bodies insist that the raw or unadjusted vote be published by polling companies. B&A does this. But Red  C provides a “core” vote after eliminating those least likely to vote.This left 10% undecided in RED C. I have ESTIMATED the equivalent  raw vote for RED C assuming that the actual number of those not expressing a preference was the same as in the B&A Raw Vote at 19% .

RED C September 15

Sept 15

Red C Equiv Raw Vote       FF 15    FG23  Lab 6   SF  19   Others 19,     Undecided  19

Aug 17

B&A   Raw  Vote                FF 15     FG 18   Lab 7  SF 22   Others 19 ,   Undecided    19

RTE failed to mention that these polls are subject to a margin of error of plus or minus 3% for 95% confidence. This allowed them to report a boost for the government

There may be no difference in fact between the B&A and Red C Polls above and the previous Red C poll published on June 30

For Example, adding and subtracting 3% from each score

FG    Red C   20 to 26      B&A   15 to 21

SF      Red C  16 to 22        B&A    19 to 25

There is overlap in each case

Constituency Level Analysis by Dr Adrian Kavanagh, political geographer, NUI Maynooth

http://adriankavanaghelections.org/2014/09/13/good-news-for-fine-gael-and-sinn-fein-constituency-level-analysis-of-the-sunday-business-post-red-c-poll-14th-september-2014/

“Good news for Fine Gael and Sinn Fein: Constituency-level analysis of the Sunday Business Post-Red C poll (14th September 2014) | Irish Elections: Geography, Facts and Analyses// // //

“My constituency-level analysis of these poll figures estimates that party seat levels, should such national support trends be replicated in an actual general election, would be as follows: Fianna Fail 32, Fine Gael 56, Sinn Fein 37, Labour Party 3, Independents and Others 30″. ( Adrian Kavanagh)

August 17

Sinn Féin Forge Further ahead in Poll

Sunday Times  August 17, Behaviour And Attitudes Poll

Misleading Poll

The News headlines said Labour recover and “Burton Bounce”. But this is totally misleading.

In the behaviour and Attitudes poll in Sunday Times,  Sinn Féin came first the Raw Vote at 22%.  When undecideds were eliminated (As is done in Millward Brown, Sunday Independent)) Sinn Fein Led on 27%!!! After “adjustment” of data Sinn Fein came third at 19%!!!!

Labour got 7% in the raw vote and 9% when undecideds were eliminated. But the adjustment employed(and declared) by B&A gave Labour a figure of 14% !

The headlines would have been “Sinn Féin, now the largest party,  Lead Fine Gael by a full 5 Points –Small Labour Increase” if  the undecideds were merely eliminated!

Adjustment of raw data in the manner  which was employed in stable political times  is totally misleading in the course of a political earthquake. The last General  Election is still raising the

Labour vote in B&A and Red C polls as can be seen from the adjustment notes supplied by B&A below and SF actually get less than they got in raw vote!

It isn’t that there is a conspiracy or a pro-active attempt by the polling company to distort the figures. The problem is that political assumptions which were valid during boom in stable political conditions are no longer valid. In particular, the assumption that voters will revert to parties they voted for in the last GENERAL ELECTION in  similar numbers to previous reversions in General Elections is no longer appropriate. Political behaviour has changed hugely as evidenced by the recent local and European elections.

I believe that if current processes were seriously distorting the Fine Gael and Labour parties poll outcomes, as is now happening to Sinn Féin, the rules would have been changed as pro-establishment academics and journalists would already have pressurised the polling company and raised the matter publicly

B&A Poll      August 17 Sunday Times

Raw  Vote                      FF 15     FG 18   Lab 7   SF 22   Others 19 ,   Undecided    19

Excluding Undecided Only           FF 18     FG 22   Lab 9   SF 27   Others 23

“ADJUSTED”                                   FF  18     FG 24  Lab 14  SF 19   Others 24

Adjusted figures based on:

 All who state they would definitely vote

 Weighting of those respondents who give a definite answer as to who they would vote for in a general election

and who they voted for in the last election, in line with the result of the last election.

 Making no adjustment to stated voting intention of those who do not indicate how they voted in last election.     

June 12

LABOUR SINKS  FURTHER TO 4% BUT SUPPORT EXAGGERATED IN PROCESSING???

RED C Poll    June 12

FG 22% Sinn Féin 22% FF 18%  Lab 4% Others 34%

Remember all agree (including Adrian Kavanagh) that Red C exaggerates Labour Support

If RED C has processed the raw data in the normal way, I believe that the actual number of respondents to the poll who said they would vote Labour in a general election could be as low a 20 respondents or 2%

Remember that the 12% “don’t Knows” mentioned in media does not include those who say they are unlikely to vote, normally 10% approx

As Labour got almost 20% in the last General election, typically 20% of the 10% who won’t vote are added to the raw Labour vote if RED C is using the Last General Election!

This is hardly realistic in current circumstances.

Labour could have got as much from this as it got positive votes! !

The Public should be given the “raw” data  not what RED C regards as the “core vote”

——————————————————————————————————

Political Earthquake Rumbles On!

Millward BrownPoll and Election Results Are Compared Below

It is to be expected that parties such as Sinn Féin which surged forward during the actual election would surge further forward  in polls for a period thereafter. The Sinn Féin increase to 26% up over 10% on the local election performance in the poll is truly remarkable. Equally expected is a continued downward trend for parties such as Fine Gael and Labour who did badly in the election. Though the Labour drop is within the margin of error, the actual figure is at the boundary of complete marginalisation. The local election outcome has damaged the credibility of the Labour party and credibility is a huge factor in politics. As I pointed out  earlier, the Labour Party in Local government is not only 100 seats behind Sinn Féin, but has a  seat less than the combined labour movement left on local authorities. (Lab 51 seats, Combined Left 52 seats)

The drop in FF, FG, Lab could also be partially explained by traditional party supporters voting for individuals(neighbours etc) despite their party banner in the local elections. The European election results, where the vast majority were not voting for local figures, are much nearer the poll figures. But the increase for SF in the Poll is still remarkable in comparison to its higher the European election figure (19.5).

Sinn Fein voters were explicitly voting for the Sinn Fein Party in both elections and are assumed to be continuing to do so in poll. Transfers rates between Sinn féin candidates in the same local authority electoral area were much higher than transfers between candidates of the same traditional party.

Local elections%       May 23      Actual

FF 25.3    Fg 24     SF   15.2       Lab 7.2   Others  28.3

Millward Brown  Poll%   June 7

FF 20    FG 20    SF     26               Lab 5        Others 29

European Election %  May 23

FG 22.3  FG 22.3  SF 19.5 Lab 5.3 Others  30.6
“Dont Knows” have not yet become available in THE MILLWARD BROWN POLL

Wed June 4

Labour Party now in a Minority among Labour Movement Co Councillors

     totals                   Labour Party      51                                            Non LP –Labour Movement    52

      (there may be other independent councillors who regard themselves as part of Labour Movement)

Aligned Non-LP Left elected

 

Prople before Profit    14

AAA                               14

WUA                                 1

Workers Party               1

Joan Collins TD              1

T Pringle  TD                   2

J Halligan TD                    2

Catherine Murphy TD        3

Finian McGrath      TD         1

Gannon    “Gregory”  IND              1

Non Aligned Left Elected

 

Kieran Perry   Dublin           1

Eilish Ryan Dublin                1

Brendan Young(Kildare)          1

Joanne  Pender(Kildare)      1

Lorna Nolan  Ex SP  Fingal             1

J Synnott   Fingal    1

Paul Mulville      Fingal     1

Declan Bree  (Sligo)                    1

John Gilligan  (limerick)       1

Ml Kilcoyne Siptu  Mayo        1

Paul Hand    Dublin City        1

Catherine Connolly   Galway       1

EX-Labour Party Independents  Elected

Tom Fortune (Wicklow)                  1

Cian O Callaghan Dublin City                  1

Dermot Looney    Dublin                                    1

Paddy Bourke     Dublin city                             1

Total Non-Labour Lefts                                                                     52

Explicitly Opposed to Coalition with FF/FG in principle                    31+

Labour Losses  2014 Local elections—- New Geographical Distribution of Labour Seats

Labour Lost  81 County Council seats

Retained        51   County Council Seats

of which 23 in Dublin (Dl-Rathdown, Dublin City, Fingal, South Dublin)

(Co louth)Drogheda 2       Co Kidare  5   Co Meath 0      Co Wicklow 0

Total in Dublin and Dublin Commuter Belt              30

Rest of Ireland                                                              21

Co Council Elections leave Labour with 51 elected Representatives

NO labour  Councillor elected  : Cork City,  Clare, Meath, Wicklow,  Co Galway, Sligo, Leitrim, Longford,  Mayo,  Monaghan,  Offally,  Roscommon,

One Labour Councillor Elected:

Tipperary, Waterford, Donegal, Laois.

Total Labour Co councillors in Munster        9

Total Labour TDs in Munster                        9

 Monday May 27

56% of Dublin electorate  did not vote in Euro Election!

Sum of votes for traditional parties FG+FF+Lab is 35% of VOTERS!

 But the earthquake in the actual election is greater than in polls! ! !

Only 15% of ELECTORATE voted for FF+ FG + Lab

The polls published before the election indicated  that 30% of the ELECTORATE would vote for them.

There may well have been a significant abstention by voters for traditional parties in addition to the defections 

Tuesday May 20

Earthquake Confirmed Nationwide-Tremor a little less outside of Dublin

Labour Wipe-out much Greater outside of Dublin

National Tremor a little less than in Dublin!!!
IPSOS/MRBI National Local Election Poll   May 20   Irish Times
Base 1500 Error= +or – 2.6%
Including Dont Knows (30%)
FG FF SF Lab Others dont Know
16 16 13 5 20 30

FG+ FG+LAB= 37

Excluding Don’t Know

FG FF SF Lab Others
23 23 19 7 28

FF+ FG+ Lab = 53

The other big feature is confirmation of the Labour “wipe-out”

While regional figures are not yet available this often approximates to 10% in Dublin and 5% outside

The quota in a 9 or 10 seat ward is about 10%. Even in the bigger wards outside of Dublin, they will get very few seats.

SF should get two in the bigger wards and one in almost every other ward.
Many “others” will be elected despite their lack of political coherence

Monday May 19

Mainstream media is now taking up earthquake theme– — —
For the EU Election in the Dublin Region, I have now combined Millward Brown, Behaviour and Attitudes and IPSOS MRBI Poll in Irish Times to-day
The combination of three polls confirms the earthquake!

BASE 1500 Error +or- 2.6% 3 seats Quota 25%
Including Don’t Knows FF+FG+Lab =455= 30%
Excluding Don’t Knows FF+Fg+lab= 455= 40%

Candidate Scores
Excluding Don’t Knows
Voted 1125=75% Don’t Know 375= 25%
Boylan 22% Hayes 20% Fitzpatrick 12% Childers 11% Ryan 9%
Costelloe 9% Smith 8% Murphy 7% Others 2%

Boylan and Hayes are certainties.

Technically any of the others named could take the third seat. Despite the reduced error on the 1500 sample, they are very close together. If you subtract 2.6% from Fitzpatrick and add 2.6% to Murphy, the outcome is the same figure!
Second Preferences given by repondents are informative and indicative but very unreliable due to very small samples for each candidate. In practice the outcome is so finely balanced that factors such as location(eg Northside/Southside) and order of elimination could have a big influence..
The rates of actual transfer in the election between Smith and Murphy will be heavily dependent on how many, if any, Boylan needs to reach the quota. If Boylan is already elected it gives Smith/Murphy some chance.
My gut instinct is that Fitzpatrick and Costelloe will not make it because transferring to them requires a big political leap from the rest and from each other. Caution:I may be biassed!
I hope either Bríd or Paul makes it.
But if I were betting and in need of money, I would back Chlders. It is relatively easy for the rest to transfer to her.

The political earthquake is on track- – –

Sunday May 18, 2014

I have properly combined the B&A and Millword Brown Polls for the Dublin Region (not just by averaging the stated outcomes) which seek to predict the outcome of the election to be held next Friday.

The total offering a vote was 775  Dont Know   225

Probable Error is now down to +or- 3% as the combined sample is about   1000

REJECTION OF MAIN PARTIES

Including Don’t Know FF+Fg+Lab=  31%

Excluding Don’t Know  FF+FG+Lab=  39%

Almost 70% of respondents when asked their voting intention DID NOT indicate for Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil or Labour!

This would have been inconceivable a short few years ago

Combined Outcome for Candidates excluding Dont Knows

Boylan 21%    Hayes   19%  Childers 12%   Fitzpatrick 11%  Costelloe 9%   Ryan 9%

Smith 8%      Murphy 8%

In Dublin (3 seats only) the quota is 25%

Clearly the socialist vote(Murphy,Smith) has improved due to campaigning(well done, keep it up!)

In one of the polls Costelloe (Labour) was down to 7% below both Brid Smith and Paul Murphy. At 9% in the  Combined Polls Costelloe seems doomed. We can also take it that Labour has lost its seat in Dublin West and will do very badly in the local elections-even worse outside of Dublin where it depends on a more working class vote.

It will be difficult for Fianna Fáil to win a seat in Midlands Northwest. As Fianna Fail no longer constitutes a strong “cause” and the two candidates are widely seperated geographically, transfer rates will be very low. Failure of Fiann Fail to get a seat in the West of Ireland would surely herald an earthquake!!!

It is difficult to make sense of the Munster constituency as Brian Crowley is getting a very big non-Fianna Fáil  vote. His surplus will scatter widely.

On the basis of all the polls it now seems probable that the outcome will be:

FG 4, SF 3,FF 1, Lab 0, Others 3

Note the tendency towards polarisation of political allegiances to the left and to the right which is common during prolonged economic and political crises.

Categories: Uncategorized

Howlin,Labour Protects Super-Rich from Tax Rise

April 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Statement Seamus Healy TD    087-2802199

Seamus Healy TD—Leaders Questions  Thursday April 10     Listen Live   http://wp.me/p1Uvd5-B0

Minister Brendan Howlin , Labour, holds the second most senior economic ministry.

At leaders questions, Seamus Healy TD took the Labour Party to task for bringing in regressive Budgets which hit the poor harder than the rich (See ESRI Report on recent budgets http://www.esri.ie/UserFiles/publications/QEC2013Win_SA_Callan.pdf)

The 2014 budget was more unfair to the poor than the FF/Green budgets. He sought the restoration of the respite grant for carers, cuts in home heating allowances and child benefit. He called for increased taxes on the 10,000 who earn on average 595,000 per year each (Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan in reply to a parliamentary question on Oct 3,  2012). Deputy Healy pointed out that the total gross financial assets of households (324 Billion) are now back above the peak 2006 level (Table 3 Institutional Sector Accounts Central Statistics Office 2013)                                         

The bulk of these assets are held by the top 10% of the population (all those with mortgages and/or credit card debt have negative financial assets- houses, farms and business premises are not  financial assets). Deputy Healy sought that a wealth tax be placed on very large financial assets of the super-rich.

The arrogant response of Minister  Howlin (standing in for Eamonn Gilmore) was to describe the question as “drivel” and to accuse Deputy Healy of proposing “fantasy taxes” He suggested that an increase in income tax on those on 595,000  would not yield significant revenue  (Conservative friends of the rich have been making this argument for centuries) . He claimed that the local property tax which leaves the financial assets of the wealthy untouched and applies to the unemployed was an adequate response.

Any reasonably numerate person can calculate that an extra tax on the total of 5.95 Billion earned  each year by the top 10,000 income recipients and on the 324 billion in financial assets would bring significant extra revenue to the state. Howlin and the Labour Party do not want to listen. They attack the poor and those on middle incomes instead. That is why the Labour Party is heading for wipe-out and oblivion.

 

Seamus Healy TD

 

Irish Examiner Friday April 11  Juno McEnroe

 

Independent TD Seamus Healy yesterday called on the Government to introduce an asset or wealth tax in the next budget.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil, Mr Healy pointed to ESRI findings that the last budget had the greatest impact on low-income groups.

Labour had reneged on election pledges in 2011 and cut payments for the vulnerable, including child benefit, he said.

“It made promises with full knowledge of the situation in 2011. The assets of the super rich are back above peak levels in 2006, according to the Central Statistics Office,” Mr Healy said.

He called on the Coalition to introduce a wealth tax on those who earn over €595,000 a year.

Brendan Howlin, the public expenditure minister, rejected his criticism and said the TD engaged in “fantasy” taxes.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

All Mortgage Distress Cases Not “Solvable” Despite Assurance by Taoiseach At Leaders Questions

All Mortgage Distress Cases Not “Solvable” Despite Assurance by Taoiseach At Leaders Questions

Thousands of people are in danger of losing their homes.
On Wednesday last, at Leaders Questions in The Dail, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that if people engaged with their lenders all mortgage distress cases were “solvable”. Seamus Healy Td, who raised the matter, was accused of scaremongering about people losing their homes.
But for the second day in a row, the Taoiseach has been shown to be completely wrong. The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) has to-day revealed that only a handful of mortgages have been restructured through the insolvency procedure over the 6 months since it came into effect. Seamus had pointed out to Enda Kenny several weeks ago that 30,000 householders would be unable to avail of the process because their incomes were below the minimum allowable expenses under the Insolvency Act. Now the advocacy groups for those in mortgage distress-Phoenix, New Beginnings, Flac and Irish Mortgage Holders Association- have confirmed that this is one of two major reasons that the system is failing. Many people have no money to give the bank. The second reason is that the bank has too much power under the act to veto settlements. So even if the householder has some money to pay the bank, most such householders cannot avail of it either. The system is not working.
Yesterday the Taoiseach told Seamus Healy that it was untrue to say that a house was being repossessed every day. Within two hours this was shown to be false at the sitting of the Oireachtas Committee on Finance. The Central Bank website showed that already almost two householders per day were losing their homes. This figure is to rise sharply as the number of repossession processes initiated in the second half of 2013 increased by a factor of six-from 565 to 33,000.
The government parties are trying to cover up the problem until after the local elections

Professor Ray Kinsella , Professor of Banking at UCD, has supported the view of Seamus Healy TD that the extent  of repossessions of homes now in train constitutes a major crisis.

In his column in the Irish Examiner to-day Friday April 4, Professor Kinsella says:

But there are also developments in the wider economy that impact on health, including mental health, that is left pushed to the outside of a policy calculus on UHI. A notable example is the exponential increase in housing repossession now under way and which will inevitably and inexorably impose the most severe levels of mental stress, and worse, on the health of tens of thousands of householders.

The Government knows this to be the case — the figures cited in the Dáil recently by Séamus Healy TD are truly shocking. TDs have repeatedly referred to the causes of this crisis and what needs to be done. Mainstream politics is in denial.”

A further raft of repossession cases will come before circuit court sittings in the coming week

 

Categories: Uncategorized

ESRI Economic Forecasts-MUCH Worse than Weather Forecasts!

December 25, 2013 Leave a comment

ESRI FORECASTERS AT IT AGAIN!

IRISH ECONOMY FORECAST TO GROW BY 3% PER YEAR FOR NEXT 10 YEARS

THERE WAS GOING TO BE “A SOFT LANDING” TO THE BOOM TOO!!

————————————————————

The Economic and Social Research Institute infamously forecast a soft landing to the bubble!

Now it is forecasting a growth rate of 3% for the Irish Economy next year. The Institute has many professors and highly qualified staff. When challenged, Professor John Fitzgerald replied: “I never claimed to be infallible”. That was, of course, the last thing of which he had been accused! How could this high powered Institute get it so wrong? It wasn’t just a few percentage points out in the growth rate it denied the elephant was in the room when professor Morgan Kelly told it so?

It is understandable if not excusable that forecasters linked to finance houses and even newspapers habitually paint a rosy picture. Their employers have a vested interest in rising share values and higher levels of business.

But why The ESRI?  It has no direct financial interest in over-optimistic forecasting.

True, the right to academic freedom conferred by the Universities Act does not apply to ESRI Academic staff. But then with the exception of UCD Professor, Morgan Kelly, none of the business/economics faculties covered themselves in glory either!

The ESRI and the business faculties are committed to the survival of capitalism and to the notion that, if regulated properly, it can function in the interest of humanity. This predisposes these institutions to give favourable economic forecasts. To them it is unthinkable that the system itself is the cause of misery to billions and will inevitably collapse.

But there are special factors predisposing the ESRI to cheer-lead the capitalist government in power and to reinforce its message.

The governing board has the following composition according to the ESRI website: “ESRI Council members are elected at the Institute’s AGM for a three year term. They represent a cross-section of ESRI members: academia, civil services, state agencies, business and civil society. Council Members: Laurence Crowley, Chairman of ESRI, Chairman, Gaisce; Frances Ruane, Director of the Institute (ex officio);Vani Borooah, Professor of Applied Economics, University of Ulster; John Buckley, former Comptroller and Auditor General;Patrick Honohan, Governor, Central Bank of Ireland; Paul Johnson, Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies, London;Michael Kelly, former Chairman, Higher Education Authority;Philip Lane, Professor of International Macroeconomics, Trinity College Dublin;Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Royal College of Surgeons;Padraig McManus, Chairman, Eircom; David Moloney, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform;Brid O’Brien, Head of Policy and Media, Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed ;Gerry O’Hanlon, former Director General, Central Statistics Office.

Is it possible to imagine a body more representative of the Irish elite or more linked to the government of the day?

Though there was overlapping membership between the board of ESRI and the Central Bank which failed in its duty to protect the solvency of banks, ESRI was not called bfeore the Banking Tribunal. This was obscured by a devilishly clever device. Professor John “The Soft Landing” Fitzgerald, retired from ESRI, volunteered to go before the Tribunal. His first sentence to the Tribunal was to the effect that he was not speaking for ESRI!! But this enabled tribunal members to refuse my request that recent directors of ESRI be called. The refusal was despite the fact that there was evidence before the tribunal that Central Bank had contacted ESRI Director to seek that statements about Irish Banking byan ESRI staff member on banking  should not be repeated! The Irish elite know how to Circle the Wagons.

Furthermore a practice has arisen under which any candidate for election to the council at the AGM of the Institute must be PRE-APPROVED by the existing council!!!!. In other words the council is self-perpetuating!! I,Paddy Healy,then President of TUI and of Governing Body of DIT, was disqualified from contesting a position on the board when Proposed by ESRI member bodies TUI and DIT and supported by SIPTU because I “had not been pre-selected to be a candidate ” by the existing board!!!

Citizens are paying for this Institute through their taxes!

Clearly the Institute has no independence from the Irish establishment.

This arrangement must not continue. ESRI should be absorbed into a university so that the academic staff enjoy academic freedom-the right to publicly disagree with the management, the government and,indeed, academic colleagues

There is an interesting discussion on the failure of economic forecasting generally on Michael Roberts Blog:

http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/the-failure-of-forecasting/

Categories: Uncategorized

IRISH OPINION POLL ANALYSIS

October 27, 2013 2 comments

Labour Gone ???

B&A Sunday Times  Poll Sunday 13/11/2016

LABOUR     3%    + or – 3.3%   !!!!!!!

FG 28 FF 30 SF 17 Lab 3 Others 22

—————————————————

B&A Poll Sunday 18/09/2016

There is no statistically significant change since B&A July  Poll

If we compare the final outcome to-day with the General Election outcome, only the increase in Sinn Féin vote is significantly greater than the margin of error (3.3%) in the poll published to-day. Labour has dropped almost 2% since General Election but as this is less than margin of error of 3.3% it is unreliable

My adjustment to the core vote simply eliminates undecided respondents. B&A makes other adjustments which are at best arguable. As expected these other adjustments mainly benefit the Labour Party. When a core vote of 4 goes up to a final adjusted figure of 7, it has increased by 75%-almost as much as the core vote itself!

The breakdown of OTHERS is very unreliable. The numbers favouring them in the core vote is actually the same or less than the margin of error of 3.3%

 

B&A                      %

Sept 14          July 12                    Sept 14

Core              Core         Undecided Excluded

FG                        19                 20                        24.7

FF                         21                 23                        27.3

SF                          15                13                        19.5

Labour                  4                    3                            5.2

Green                   1                   1                             1.3

IND/Others         18                 19                            23.4

Undecided          23                 21

 

General Election Results were  FG 25.5  FF 24.3  SF 13.8

Lab 6.6 Other Independents 11.7  Independent Alliance 4.2   AAA/PBP 3.9 Soc Dem 3.0  Renua 2.2 Workers Party 0.2

 

If we compare the final outcome to-day with the general election outcome, only the increase in Sinn Féin vote is  significantly greater than the margin of error in the poll published to-day

—————————————–

Labour Down to 4%-behind AAA-PBP on 5%

The RTE story has been amended – the figures broadcast earlier, while correct, were including undecideds at 17%.When these are excluded, the figures are:

Fine Gael – 30%, Fianna Fáil – 22%,Sinn Féin – 15%, Labour Party – 4%, Others 30%

Of Which: Independent Candidate – 10%,Anti-Austerity Alliance / People Before Profit Alliance – 5% Green Party – 3% Independent Alliance – 5% RENUA Ireland – 3% Social Democrats – 3% Workers Party – 1% Socialist Party – 0%

Sorry for any confusion caused-RTE.

Ipsos Mrbi Poll  Feb 3   Irish Times

Undecideds

The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 per cent. The core vote for the parties – before undecideds are excluded – compared with the last poll was: Fine Gael, 21 per cent (down three); Labour, 6 per cent (up two); Fianna Fáil, 16 per cent (up one); Sinn Féin, 15 per cent (down two); Independents/ Others, 20 per cent (no change) and undecided voters, 22 per cent (up two points).

The strong showing by Independents and smaller parties is one of the main features of this first poll of the general election.

Non-aligned Independents headed the list with 8 per cent.

This was followed by the Anti-Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit with 4 per cent; the Shane Ross-led Independent group had 3 per cent.

The Social Democrats were on 2 per cent; Renua was on 1 per cent while other groups got 2 per cent. The Green Party was also on 2 per cent.

When it came to satisfaction ratings there was a decline of 2 per cent for the Government with party leaders Enda Kenny, Micheál Martin and Gerry Adams also slipping.

The only party leader to make a small improvement was Joan Burton.

——————————————————————-

Labour Stuck at 4% Core Vote— Party Remains at Rock Bottom

CORE VOTE  B&A Jan 17        FG 20%     IND/OTH 21%     FF 15%    SF 14%   LP 4%                                                                       Undecided 27%

When approximately 1000 people were polled, less than 45  or 4% said they would vote Labour 

THIS IS A DISASTROUS OUTCOME FOR LABOUR

If undecided are eliminated and filters were not used as would happen in Millward Brown and Ipsos/MRBI Polls the outcome would be:

FG 27.4%,   Others 28.8%,  FF 20.55%, SF 19.2%, Labour 5.47%

The customary rounding to the nearest whole number would give

FG 27%,   Others 29%,  FF 21%, SF 19%, Labour 5%

With the use of filters B&A has given a final outcome

FG 31%, Others 27%, FF 20%, SF 16%,LP 6%

As usual the filters advantage FG and Labour and depress Sinn Fein and on this occasion Others also

In the context of a Margin of Error of+ or -3% for each party score, there is no change since the B&A poll of a month ago

Unlike Red C , B&A provides a genuine core vote or raw unprocessed poll. I exclude the Red C Core vote as it is an already processed outcome as I explain further down. The table below shows Core Votes for all polling companies for the last 6 months. A political  earthquake took place in the last local elections. The Labour Party lost 81 county council seats and were reduced to 51. The practice of B&A and RED C of employing filters to reflect how well parties polled in  the last  general election and modify the raw data accordingly is no longer reliable or appropriate. This was shown to be so in practice in the Red C poll immediately before the European election , held on the same day  as the local elections(See Further Down) . The accompanying RED C  commentary was entirely at variance with the outcomes!

B&A Jan 17                              FG 20%  IND/OTH 21%     FF 15%    SF 14%   LP 4% ,                                                                                                    Undecided 27%

B&A  Dec 3                          FG 20  Others 20,  LP 5,  SF 16, FF  15,

Undecided  27

Millward Brown Nov 8            FG 24,Others 16, SF 17,FF 19,LP 5,

Undecided 19

Sunday Times   Oct 18             FG 19,Other 29, SF 17, FF 11,  Lab 4,

undecided 19%

Ipsos/MRBI    Sept 24             FG 21, Others19, SF 15,FF 16, LP 7,

Undecided 22

B&A  August 16                             FG 19, Others 20, SF 15, FF 16, LP 4,

Undecided 26.

Millward Brown August 2        FG 19 Others 20  SF 17  FF 17 Lab 5

Undecided 23

 

————————————————————————-

Proof of Research Conclusion on RED C

RED C-Average Estimates of Labour Seats in Next General Election based on these polls in all of 2015 are significantly greater than given by the two polling companies which do not use filters. Sinn Féin seats are also significantly underestimated

The Chart below is from Analyses of Polls in 2015 by Dr Adrian Kavanagh, NUIM carried on his blog Irish Elections: Geography, Facts and Analyses

The figures are the average no. of seats for each party based on all polls by the polling company concerned in 2015

Red C                          Av.  Seats: FG 53.6, FF31.4, SF27.1, Lab7.2, Others 38.6

Ipsos MRBI               Av.  Seats: FG54.5, FF31.8, SF33.3, Lab4.0, Others34.5

Millward Browne     AV. SEATS: FG  50.1, FF37.2,SF 36.6,Lab2.2,Others 31.4

 

RED C Is Completely Eliminating All Those Most “FED UP” With the Political System  from its Polls!!!! DISTORTION CONTINUES!

As can be seen from the chart below this gives Red C a figure less than 15% for undecideds in all of its polls for the last 6 months. The typical figure for all other polls in the same period is 25%.

The nearest comparable election to a General Election since this government came to power was the European Election of May 2014.

RED C predictions systematically underestimated Sinn Féin outcomes and over-estimated Labour Party outcomes (see below)

Those who SAY they are unlikely to vote were eliminated from the poll

Comment by Red C is totally at variance with the outcomes-sometimes bizzaarly so. See Red C Site  http://www.redcresearch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/31214-European-Election-Candidate-Polling-April-20141.pdfv

In my earlier post I said: Red C seem to be filtering the RAW POLL DATA  to establish what it calls a “Core Vote”! This effectively means RED C are applying the Likelihood to Vote filter twice!

Further investigation of the Red C mehtodology outlined on the RED C website shows that this is completely correct.

Formerly, I had assumed that the statement below described a filtering process subsequent to the establishment of a core vote. In all other Polls, “core vote” refers to raw polling data

RED C WEBSITE:  “Vote intention results are based on those who will actually go and vote, using a 10 point scale, where 1 is not at all likely and 10 is very likely, those rating 4 to 10 are included as being those who will actually go and vote.”

Clearly those who say they are very unlikely to vote are completely eliminated from the poll and their voting preference is not recorded in polling data.

Many of the cohort of the population eliminated from the poll will of course actually vote. “Hump the lot of them” is a common reaction to questions on political matters from many. But they may be persuaded to vote as some have been in the past!

At a minimum it can be said that RED C poll outcomes cannot be validly compared to outcomes from any other polling company. B&A(Sunday Times) which uses similar filters, begins with a genuine core vote corresponding to raw polling data.

As can be seen from the chart below this gives Red C a figure less than 15% for undecideds in all of its polls for the last 6 months. The typical figure for all other polls in the same period is 25%.

Having established what it call a core vote (undecideds normalised to 15% in all Red C  polls),RED C then proceeds to apply two filters- likelihood to vote(again) and recall of vote in last GENERAL ELECTION (not the more recent local election) filters. Where there is a difference between recall of voting by the persons polled in last general election and their current voting intention, the score for a party is placed half way between the two figures!! Under Likelihood to Vote FILTER(2) a greater weighting is given to voting preferences of those who say that they are certain to vote (7,8,9,10 on scale of 10) than those who say they will “possibly vote”(4,5,6 on a scale of 10)

In current circumstances the entire process implemented by Red C cannot fail to confer advantage on the more conservative parties and on those parties which polled well in the last general election and corresponding disadvantage on those who polled less well and on parties supported by  the poorer sections of the population (“Hump all the politicians”).

While there may have been some justification for these procedures in “normal times” in the past, there can be no justification for them in circumstances where political and economic earthquakes have taken place.

The 2014 Local election constituted a political earthquake with Lab sinking deeply as SF and left independents rising dramatically

RED C should explain to the public in non-technical language the procedures it is implementing.

If these procedures were disadvantaging conservative parties and parties supported by the the rich in opinion polls, they would have been changed by now!

B&A  Dec 13 :                        Undecided  27,

Red C DEC 3:                         Undecided 13%+1,

Red C Nov 23:                         Undecided10%-2,

Millward Brown Nov 8        Undecided 19,

RED C October  25:             Undecided 12%-1

Sunday Times Oct 18           Undecided 19%         

Ipsos/MRBI    Sept 24 :       Undecided 22,

B&A  August 16  :                 Undecided 26,

RED C   Sept 13  :                   Undecided 13%+1

.M B August 2:                      Undecided 23,

Red C July 26                     Undecided  12% (-1)  

B&A July 14:                     Undecided 23,

Red C June 28  :              Undecided 13%+1

B&A June 21   :            Undecided 28,

Red C SBPJUNE 7 :    Undecided 13%+1

European Election   May 2014

Proof of the Pudding

Dublin

Red C Prediction        Lab   13

Sinn Fein    15

Result                          Lab    7.4

Sinn Fein       23.6

Ireland-South

Red C Prediction                              Prendergast    Labour 9

Ni Riada           SF         14

Actual Result                                  Prendergast Labour       4.6

Liadha Ni Riada  Sf       19.1

Midlands-North-West

(Red C Comment:  “Henessy (Lab) could be pushing Matt Carthy (SF) for the fourth seat”–Reality: Matt Carthy got the third seat and Henessy was eliminated on the second count!!!)

RED C Prediction       Labour           5

Sinn Fein     14

Result

Labour                                               4.9

Sinn Féin                                          17.7

 

———————————————————-

Red C   Dec 20

Sunday Business Post-Red C poll): Fine Gael 32% , Independents and Others 23% , Sinn Fein 19% , Fianna Fail 17%% , Labour Party 9%

B&A Dec 13  FG 31%, FF 19%, SF 17%, LP 8% , Others 25

In the context of a Margin of Error of 3%, there is no significant difference between the overall outcome of these 2 polls on successive Sundays

Both B&A and Red C use similar Filters which advantage FG and Labour and disadvantage Sinn Féin.

In addition, Red C seem to be filtering the RAW POLL DATA  to establish what it calls a “Core Vote”! This effectively means RED C are applying the Likelihood to Vote filter twice!  B&A recorded an undecided figure of 27% last week. This is in line with typical Ipsos/MRBI (Irish Times) and Millward Brown(Sunday Independent) findings. RTE has just put the undecided vote at 15% in RED C this week. It says this is up by 5% since The last SBP RED C  poll. A difference of 12% in “undecideds” in a week in which there has been no major political developments cannot be due to changes in the sentiment of voters. Clearly, as I suggested earlier, RED C is filtering the RAW POLL DATA to establish its “Core Vote”! RED C should state exactly what it is doing!!

Taking this into account, it is possible that this Red C Poll is marginally worse for government parties than the B&A poll last week!

In the context of the effective application of 3 filters by Red C, the Sinn Féin score  of 19% is very healthy

 

However,

———————————————————-

Labour Collapsing Among Poorer Half of Population

LABOUR

Poorer Half  (C2DE Social Groups)       4%   Undecided  29%

Richer Half  (ABC1 Social Groups)         6%    Undecided 23%

EXTREME DISTORTION BY FILTERS IN B&A DEC 13
Sinn Féin Depressed 21 to 17%
Fine Gael Raised 27 to 31 %
Labour Raised 7 to 8%
Fianna Fail Depressed 21 to 19%

B&A DEC13 UNADJUSTED By FILTERS—Eliminating Undecideds Only

FG 27, Others 25, SF 21, FF 21, Lab 7

That Would Have Been The Outcome in Millward Brown or IPSOS/MRBI !!

Behaviour And Attitudes   Sunday Times  Dec 13

LIKE RED C, B&A also uses filters which, typically benefit FG and Lab and disadvantage Sinn Féin

There were 27% undecided, again far above Red C estimates

New B&A poll. Headline figures as follows: 

FG 31%(+5), FF 19%(+1), SF 17%(-4), LP 8% (+1), Others 25(-2)

OF Others

AAA-PBP 4%,GP 4%, IND ALL 2%, SD 1%, RENUA 1%, WP 1%, IND 11%

The comparison is with the Last B&A poll taken a month ago

If a comparison is made with Red C in Sunday business Post last week (below), there is little change in the context of a margin of error of 3%.

It is clear that FG is on an upward trend in recent months mainly at the expense of non-socialist independents and Renua. Labour is stuck at about 8% with the help of filters.

Sinn Féin and FF are becalmed

There are also left-wing TDs  opposed to coalition with FF and FG in the IND 11%–Seamus Healy, Joan Collins, Clare Daly

Together with 4% for AAA-PBP it is probable that anti-coalition left poll is comparable to that of Labour Party

REGIONAL SCORES

Before Undecideds(27 to 30%) were distributed

Regional vote for Labour Was

Dublin 7%, Leinster 5% Munster 5% Connacht/Ulster 0%

Sinn Féin

Dublin 15%  Leinster23% Munster10%  Connacht/Ulster16%

Others

Dublin   19%     Leinster 13% Munster  19%        Connacht/Ulster 11%

FG

Dublin 18% Leinster 19%  Munster 18%         Connacht/Ulster    25%

FF

Dublin 10% Leinster 12% Munster 16%            connacht/Ulster   28%

CORE VOTES NOW on B&A Site

RED C is omitted from series below as Red core vote is pre-processed

  Labour core votes since August      5, 4, 7, 4, 5, 5   !!!!

B&A  Dec 3                                    FG 20  Others 20,  LP 5,  SF 16, FF  15,

Undecided  27

Millward Brown Nov 8            FG 24,Others 16, SF 17,FF 19,LP 5,

Undecided 19

Sunday Times   Oct 18             FG 19,Other 29, SF 17, FF 11,  Lab 4,

undecided 19%

Ipsos/MRBI    Sept 24             FG 21, Others19, SF 15,FF 16, LP 7,

Undecided 22

Behav. and Att  August 16   : FG 19, Others 20, SF 15, FF 16, LP 4,

Undecided 26.

Millward Brown August 2        FG 19 Others 20  SF 17  FF 17 Lab 5

Undecided 23

——————————————————–

Red C Paddy Power   Dec 3

Fine Gael 28% (down 3%), Independents and Others 25% (NC), Fianna Fail 20% (up 1%), Sinn Fein 18% (NC), Labour Party 9% (NC).

As usual in RED C, Lab get a lift of 1% and SF get a reduction of 1% due to the filters. There is a level of “undecideds” which is well below levels in all other polls taken at roughly the same time. Clearly the “core vote” in Red C is not the raw poll unlike the case in other polls.
Because of the low regional sample size, we must be careful about conclusions
However the very low 6% for Labour in Munster is part of trend. The figure for Connacht/Ulster is 7% !!!!!!!!!!!!!-Dublin 12%, Rest of Leinster 13%
The traditional Labour vote in Munster is heavily weighted towards the working class

———————————————————

Red C Nov 21

Despite Pre-Processing (artificially low number of undecided voters) and the use of filters which favour Labor Party, Labour remains stuck on 7%. Based on D’Hondt system of seat allocation, Labour would secure only 1 seat in a general election-in Dublin Soth central. On the basis of this poll its main role will be to elect additional FG candidates on the basis of transfers from Labour. 

RED C  21/11/2015

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Fine Gael: 31% (up 1)
  • Fianna Fáil: 19% (down 1)
  • Sinn Féin: 18% (up two)
  • Labour: 7% (no change)
  • Independents/Others: 25% (down 2)

Those polled were not asked which independent or small party they favoured but  4% volunteered that they would vote for AAA/PBP!!!

This is within the 25% for others above

This is consistent with the 9% score by AAA/PBP in the B&A Sunday Times  PolL published last Sunday

——————————————————

Scandalous Suppression of Bad News for Government by RTE

It is SCANDALOUS that this is not being covered on RTE after all the hype for FG last week

Radical Parties Reach 30% as Labour Drops—Stephen O’Brien, Sunday Times 15/11/2015  

” The Labour Party’s poor result(in B&APoll) is echoed in the satisfaction ratings , where there is a FIVE POINT fall in the number of people satisfied with the government performace with Enda Kenny, the Taiseach, is down 2 points to 31%(satisfaction) and Joan burton, the Tánaiste drops to 34%” -Sunday Times to-day

Labour Disaster in B&A Sunday Times Poll

Good Poll for the Left and Sinn Fein

Core Vote

FG 18, Others20, SF 17,FF14, Lab5, undecided 26

Excluding Undecided(no filters)

FG 25, Others 26,SF 23, FF19, Lab 7    The outcome comparable to Millward Brown In S Independent Last week

Excluding Undecided  with Filters

FG 26,Others 26,SF 21,FF 20,Lab 7.  FILTERS REDUCE SF vote and increase FG

Labour is one point down on August 2016   in Sunday Times B&A Poll tomorrow

In Overall Outcome Labour 7%, AAA/PBP  9%

AAA/PBP  + Seamus Healy Td + Clare Daly Td + Joan Collins TD+ Cllr Kieran Perry +Cllr Brendan Young=    9% + + + + +

Poorest Half of Population  (social categories C2DE) including Undecided-No filters

SF 23, Others 19,FF13, FG12, Lab5, Undecided  29

Excluding Undecided no filters

SF  32,  Others 27% , FF 18%  FG 17, Lab 10

Dublin Including Undecided(No filters)

FG 17,Others 23, SF 15,FF 11,Lab 7, Undecided  27

Dublin Excluding Undecided no filters

Others 32, FG 23, SF 21, FF 15, Lab 10

within “Others”  AAA/PBP   17%!   – greater than FF and Labour

Munster Including Undecided no Filters

SF 18, FF 18,Others 15, FG 14,Lab 4, Undecided 31

Munster Excluding Undecided-no filters

SF 26  FF 26  Others 22  FG 20 Lab 6%

——————————————————————————————————————–

MINISTER Sherlock(Labour) in Trouble in Cork East

A former Labour Party stalwart in Co Cork, Cllr Noel McCarthy, is expected to announce within days that he will join Fine Gael and run as a candidate for that party in the next general election.-Irish Examiner 11/11/2015

(He has now been removed From Labour Party Website)

Cllr McCarthy headed the poll in Fermoy Ward of Cork Co council in local elections. In the Kanturk-Mallow Ward , home base of Minister Sean Sherlock, the labour party candidate came second last and was eliminated

Could this be a trend? Remenber Labour leader, Michael O’Leary joining Fine Gael!

Millward Brown Poll NOV 8  and Recent Core Votes in other Polls

Margin of Error c.  + or – 3%

 

B&A Jan 17 FG 20%     IND/OTH 19%     FF 15%    SF 14%   LP 4%  GP 2%
Undecided 27%

B&A  Dec 3                                    FG 20  Others 20,  LP 5,  SF 16, FF  15,

Undecided  27

Millward Brown Nov 8            FG 24,Others 16, SF 17,FF 19,LP 5,

Undecided 19

Sunday Times   Oct 18             FG 19,Other 29, SF 17, FF 11,  Lab 4,

undecided 19%

Ipsos/MRBI    Sept 24             FG 21, Others19, SF 15,FF 16, LP 7,

Undecided 22

Behav. and Att  August 16   : FG 19, Others 20, SF 15, FF 16, LP 4,

Undecided 26.

Millward Brown August 2        FG 19 Others 20  SF 17  FF 17 Lab 5

Undecided 23

LABOUR ALLOCATED ZERO SEATS ON BASIS OF POLL By Adrian Kavanagh, NUI-MAYNOOTH

The old story which began in 1948 (or more correctly in 1921) is reasserting itself–Labour destroying itself propping up FG!

Core vote will be posted later

On the basis of the same 7% outcome for Labour in August, Adrian Kavanagh gives Labour 4 seats-Dublin Fingal,Dublin Mid-west, Dublin South West ad Kildare North. On the basis of the current poll he gives these 4 seats to FG with the Labour transfers electing the second FG candidate.
I very much doubt if FG will get two seats in Dublin Mid-West and Dublin South West particularly.
The strong indication from the poll is that the non-socialist independents have lost support to FG
The budget gave 180 million in tax relief to incomes over 70,000 including 9.2 million to the top 10,000 on average incomes of 595,000 per annum while 30 million was provided for extra beds in hospitals.
Financial assets now above boom levels were left untouched. If you benefitted from these decisions, wouldn’t you be mad to vote for right-wing mavericks?
The old story which began in 1948 (or more correctly in 1921) is reasserting itself. Labour destroys itself resurrecting FG!

The only clear majority governments available are FF and FG, and FG and Sinn Féin in coalition.On Fine Gael and Sinn Féin in coalition Adrian kavanagh says “such an alliance looks highly unlikely in the present political climate.” But then Adrian lacks political experience!

REd C Filters Distort Outcome as Usual

From Red C Site
The “core vote ” below cannot be unprocessed data. As usual the “undecided” figure at 15 is well below the same figure in all other polls which is typically over 20
As usual Labour Gain and SF lose in the filtering process

From Red C Site

“Core Vote”
FG 25 Lab 5 FF 16 SF 15 Others 24 Undecided 15
Eliminating Undecideds but without Filtering
FG 29.4 Lab 5.9 FF 18.8 SF 17.6 Others 28.2
Final Outcome –After Filtering and eliminating Undecideds
FG 30 Lab 7 FF20 SF 16 Others 27

Labour Meltdown. Labour drop 3% to 7% in RED C POLL  OCT 25 Independents Remain Very Strong at 28%

7% for Labour in Red C is equivalent to 6% or even 5% in IPSOS/MRBI and Millward Brown due to the use of filters favourable to Labour by Red C. Because Labour got 19.4% in the last General Election, it gets a bonus from the application of the filter based on the “the recall of past vote in General Election” . The same filter normally reduces the Sinn Féin vote because SF got less than 10% in the last General Election. The assumption of Red C that Labour voters in 2011 will tend to revert to Labour in the coming election is, to say the least, highly questionable. This is the “justification” for the use of the filter.
This poll confirms the dire news for Labour in theB&A poll published last Sunday. Labour expectations of a lift from buget have proved false.
Adrian Kavanagh gives Labour only two seats in next General Election-both in Dublin(South Central and D.West)
Noel Whelan said on RTe Sat OCT 24 that the outcome of the next election will be “seismic”Scroll Down to-more  Poor Desert Labour as Sinn Féin and Independents head C2DE Poll.  B&A Oct 18   FG and FF, each, have double the support of Labour among the poor B&A Poll Social Categories  C2DE   –Poorer half of population    Sample 421    MOE  +or – 5%

SF                       22%

Others                 20 %

FG                      14%

FF                       13%

Lab                      6%

Undecided            26%

——————————————————————————————————————

Shocking Performance by Labour Party(4%) in Dublin in B&A Poll Sunday Times   Oct 18
Sample 248 MOE +or- 6%
Other 25%,FG 19%, SF 17%, FF 11%, Green 4%, Lab 4%, undecided 19%

Sunday Times B&A poll  National Vote//

Core Vote
B&A Oct 18 FF 15  FG18  Lab 5  SF 16 Others 21   Undecided 23

Labour TD, Eamonn Moloney and his supporters Resign from Labour Party to Run as Independent in Dublin South West  Leaving aside the one about rats and sinking ships, there is a more interesting aspect to this development. All but one seat allocated to Labour by Adrian Kavanagh on the basis of the recent Ipsos/Mrbi poll is in Dublin. The constituencies concerned elected two Labour Tds in the last election because there was a huge swing to Labour in WORKING CLASS Dublin. . Consequently when national reductions in Labour support since the last election are reflected in polls and applied to constituencies correctly from a mathematical point of view this leaves Labour with one seat where it had two.(The single other retention is Cork East where LP got 30.8% of the vote and just failed to get two seats). But this leaves out of account the huge swing against Labour in the poorer social strata. This was clear in the Dublin South West Bye-Election in which AAA and SF were both well ahead of Labour. It is my judgement that the Labour TDs most likely to retain seats are the likes of Emmet Stagg and Willie Penrose who have very strong records of constituency work and very big constituency profiles. They may also have some prospects in the better-off Dublin constiuencies. Clearly Eamonn Moloney and his supporters share at least some of this analysis. One of the consequences of unpopularity for a political party is a low rate of transfer BETWEEN IT’S OWN CANDIDATES. Hence the preference for a one candidate strategy. Additionally, the one LP candidate may hope to be ahead of the weaker FF and FG candidates and to benefit from transfers from these against Sinn Féin and the Left.—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

New IPSOS/MRBI POLL   Sept 24   When core votes are considered, in the context of a margin of error of + or – 2.8%, there appears to be no definite trend since June 

CORE VOTES (Red C Polls are omitted because undecided voters are being returned at typically at 10 points lower than in all other polls)

Margin of Error c.  + or – 3%

Ipsos/MRBI   Sept 24             FG 21, Others19, SF 15,FF 16, LP 7, undecided 22

Behav. and Att  August 16   : FG 19, Others 20, SF 15, FF 16, LP 4,  Undecided 26.

Millward Brown August 2        FG 19 Others 20  SF 17  FF 17 Lab 5 Undecided 23

Behav. and Att.  July 14          FG 18 Others 25  SF 15  FF 15 Lab 5 Undecided 23

MillwardBrown   June 28         FG 23 Others 17  SF 17  FF 19 Lab 5 Undecided 19

Behav. and Att. June 21          FG 15, Others 20, SF 16, FF 17, Lab 4, Undecided 28

———————————————————————————————————————————

Irish Examiner    Aug 5

Minister Kathleen Lynch missed the deadline yesterday to seek a Labour Party nomination for her constituency of Cork North Central.

Not a single Labour candidate had emerged by the noon deadline, despite the fact that Ms Lynch has repeatedly rejected rumours that she is to retire from parliamentary politics.

While her name can be added to the ticket at the constituency convention next Thursday, there was widespread confusion last night among leading party supporters about whether Ms Lynch will run or not.

“Kathleen Lynch has made no final decision as to whether she will put herself forward as a candidate in the next general election,” a Labour Party spokesman said last evening.

Labour Panic Sets In !!! TD Scrambles for FG Transfers as Labour Vote Plummets

Anne Phelan, Labour Td(Carlow-Kilkenny) seeks joint manifesto with FG in general Election -Irish Independent
This is why:
“Attention should also be paid to constituencies where FG have more than 1 quota but not enough for 2 seats. There ARE some of these. The FG excess could be used to elect a Labour candidate to the last seat. We could have a small number of Labour TDs “kept” by Fine Gael!!!”- my earlier  comment on Cedar Lounge Revolution

August 17  Labour Core Vote Sinks Further to 4%   Scroll down for More

B&A August 16   Core Vote  FG 19%, IND/OTH 19%, FF 16%, SF 15%, LP 4%, GP 1%, Undecided 26%.

This is as low as Labour has been for over a year. If undecideds had merely been eliminated as happens in all polls except Red C and B&A the final outcome would have been 5% not the 6% reported in Sunday Times Aug 16

The elevation from 5 to 6% is as a result of the application of filters which are no longer applicable in my opinion.

The reality is that when 898 people were asked, 36 said that they would vote Labour and 135 said they would vote for Sinn Féin. This is dreadful news for the Labour Party. NUI Maynooth, political geographer, Adrian Kavanagh awrded Labour 1 seat only on the basis of the poll.

See the 7 most recent polls, including this B&A Poll,  below

……………………………………………………………………………………………

August 2

Labour Remain at Rock Bottom at Average  5% Score in 6 recent Polls.

The most recent is the Millward Brown Poll in Sunday Independent August 2

There is some evidence from the set of 6 core votes below that the high vote for FG in Millward Brown June 28 was an “outlier” or statistical freak. In other words the Fine Gael score was already much lower in reality. One week previously B&A reported FG a full 8 points lower in it’s core vote. The Labour scores are consistently bleak.

The stability of the SF, FF and Labour votes is remarkable in all 6 polls

Recent RED C polls are omitted below because its “core vote” is pre-processed and therefore not comparable to the core vote in all other polls

TOXICITY  In the same poll, when people were asked what party or parties would the not vote for in any circumstance, Fine Gael and Labour headed the toxicity list

Sinn Féin was less toxic than FG  and Labour despite the best efforts of the Irish Media to demonise SF

Recent Core Votes-Undecideds Included

These record what people actually responded to the pollsters-no filters or other “processing” has been carried out

Behav. and Att  August 16   : FG 19, Others 20, SF 15, FF 16, LP 4,  Undecided 26.

Millward Brown August 2        FG 19 Others 20  SF 17  FF 17 Lab 5 Undecided 23

Behav. and Att.  July 14          FG 18 Others 25  SF 15  FF 15 Lab 5 Undecided 23

MillwardBrown   June 28         FG 23 Others 17  SF 17  FF 19 Lab 5 Undecided 19

Behav. and Att. June 21          FG 15, Others 20, SF 16, FF 17, Lab 4, Undecided 28

Ipsos/Mrbi         May 18           FG 22 Others 19  SF 17   FF 15 Lab 6 Undecided 21

Behav &Att.       May 17           FG 19 Others23   SF 17    FF 12 Lab 5 Undecided 25

July 18 Ind/Others Soar to 32%

FF+FG may not make a majority?

B&A Poll   Sunday Times July 18

Sinn Féin score was reduced by 3 points in Sunday Times/B&A  Poll  by use of “filters”

SF would have got  20% not 17% in other polls based on same data

Significant 5 point move from undecided to independents/others (32%)

B&A July 14   Margin of Error  +or -3% on scores of individual parties

http://banda.ie/wp-content/uploads/Sunday-Times-Poll-18th-July-2015.pdf

Core: July 14         FF 15    FG 18  SF 15  Lab 5   Others 25    Undecided 23—–B&A

Core: June 15        FF 17   FG15   SF 16    Lab 4   Others 20    Undecided 28——-B&A

July 14  B&A  Excluding Undecided Unadjusted (No Filters used)

FF19    FG24    Lab7      SF 20   Others32

July 14 B&A  Final Outcome-Excluding Undecided With use of likelihood to vote and recall of vote in last GENERAL ELECTION  Filters

FF 18   FG24   Lab8    SF17   Others 32

Core Votes  Since Mid-March   (Red C excluded due to unexplained “pre-processing” of core votes by Red C)

Core Votes        http://wp.me/pKzXa-jh

B&A             July 14                FG 18     Others 25   SF 15       FF 15    Lab 5       Undecided 23

B&A            June 21                 FG 15,  Others 20,     SF 16,     FF 17,      Lab 4,     Undecided 28

Ipsos/Mrbi      May 18               FG 22   Others 19       SF 17      FF 15     LP  6      Undecided  21

B&A                 May 17             FG  19   Others23        SF 17      FF 12      LP  5     Undecided  25

Millward Brown   April 4           FG 20    Others 16,      SF 19        FF 15     Lab 7,      Undecided 20

Ipsos/MRBI      Mar 25            FG 18,    Others 22,      SF 18       FF 13,      Lab 5,     Undecided 24

B&A               Mar 16              FG 19     Others 19,      SF19        FF 14,       Lab 5,      Undecided 24

Red C   June 26 CORE

FG 24, Others 22,  FF 17  SF 17,  Lab 5, Undecided 15   Margin of error  +or – 3%

Core Vote  (before filters are applied and before elimination of undecided)  As undecided is again unusually low in Red C, it appears that some processing of raw vote has already taken place

FG 24, Others 22,  FF 17  SF 17,  Lab 5, Undecided 15   Margin of error  +or – 3%

Very low level of support for Labour Confirmed       5%       +or – 3!!!!!

FF, SF  are neck and neck for months

UPDATE June 21

B&A Poll Sunday Times Sunday June 21 (%)

The main feature of this B&A Poll is the decline of 5 points in the core vote for government parties and the increase of 5 points for FF in comparison with B&a poll of May 17, almost exactly a month ago. Labour is again at its lowest ever(?) core vote of 4%.  This means that only 40 out of 1000 positively said that they would vote Labour when asked.

As polling companies employ “adjustments” to the raw poll which may be specific to each, it is best to compare raw votes or core votes. I have argued that the filters employed by B&A and REd C are inappropriate in current political circumstances. This is underlined again to-day in the fact that Labour who got only 4% in the core vote gained 3% from the filters!!!! The 28% undecided in this poll underlines again the question mark over the Undecided figures in Red C polls(14% on June 7)

Core Vote

In comparison to B&A 17.5.2015 almost exactly a month ago

Ind/Others 20(-3), FF17(+5),  SF16(-1),  FG 15(-4),  Lab 4(-1), Undecided 28(+3)

Excluding Undecided

Ind/Otthers 29, FF 24, SF 22, FG 21,  LAB 6,

“Adjusted” for likelihood to vote and recall of past voting intention

Ind/Others 28, FF21,  SF 19,  FG 24,  Lab 9.

Core Votes

B&A July 14                               FF 15    FG 18  SF 15  Lab 5   Others 25    Undecided 23

Red C June 26                        FG 24, Others 22,    FF 17  SF 17,   Lab 5,       Undecided 15

B&A                June 21             FG 15, Others 20,     SF 16,   FF 17,      Lab 4,     Undecided 28

Red C SBP    JUNE 7             FG  25   Others 18        SF 19      FF17      LP 7      Undecided  14

Ipsos/Mrbi      18/5                FG 22   Others 19       SF 17      FF 15     LP  6      Undecided  21

B&A                 17/5              FG  19   Others23        SF 17      FF 12      LP  5     Undecided  25

Millward Brown   April 4         FG 20    Others 16,      SF 19      FF 15     Lab 7,   Undecided 20

Red C              Mar 29          FG23      Others 24      SF 16      FF15      Lab 8     Undecided  14

Ipsos/MRBI      Mar 25          FG 18,    Others 22,      SF 18     FF 13,   Lab 5,     Undecided 24

B&A               Mar 16            Fg 19     Others 19,      SF19      FF 14,    Lab 5,     Undecided 24

Red C             Feb 22            Fg 21     Others 26       Sf 19      FF  15    Lab 5   Undecided  14

 MB

Why the Discrepency  in “Undecideds” between RED C and All other Polling Companies?

“UNDECIDED” AVERAGE

Red C  (3polls)                                                  Average Undecided        14%

All other Polling Companies (6 polls)                   Average undecided        25%

Margin of error on Polls is typically c 3%

RED C must be doing something quite different in determining “undecideds” than all other polling companies

Red C site: Vote intention results are based on those who will actually go and vote, using a 10 point scale, where 1 is not at all likely and 10 is very likely, those rating 4 to 10 are included as being those who will actually go and vote

Does this mean that only those rating 4 to 10 are included in “core vote”.

After a core vote is established in Red C polls a likelihood to vote filter is applied  subsequently! Is this filtering based solely on the 4 to 10 likely to vote cohort?

——————————————————————————————————————————————-

May 24 LABOUR DISASTER IN CARLOW-KILKENNY BYE-ELECTION Labour Tally  Carlow-Kilkenny Bye Election Labour Candidate Willie Quinn Lives near Bagenalstown (Muine Beag) Carlow area where he got almost 50% of his votes. He as the only candidate of a major party from Co Carlow. Otherwise he would have dipped below 5% over all!!!!! He got only(c.1500) or 3% of the vote in Co Kilkenny where Minister of State Phelan is a Labour TD 96%   of boxes tallied LAB        %                Area  Total Muine Beag        2094      21.6%               9694 Carlow Town         738      7.9%                 9341 ——————————————————————————– Co Carlow Total    2832    14.9%               19,035 Castlecomer            415     3.6%                11,528 Kilkenny west           170     1.6%                 10,625 Kilkenny East            377     3.4%                  11,088 Ferry bank                 257     2.4 %                10,708 Postal votes                40      7.8%                  513 Co Kilkenny Total      1259   2.8%                44,462 Constituency Total    4,091   6.44%               63,497 Actual First Count      4,673    7.0%                66,834 The tallies above can be “fitted” to the actual outcome by increasing the area totals by 5% and the Labour totals by 11% The 5% increase in area totals and in the tallied total valid poll corresponds to compensation for the 4% of boxes not tallied. The 11% increase in Labour totals in each area and in the Labour total corresponds to a combination of compensation for   boxes not tallied and for the fact that the tally team missed 1 in 20 of Labour votes. This is not unusual. Government Support Exactly Halved in Bye-Election! First Preference Vote    Carlow Kilkenny Constituency General Election 2011 FG+Lab       39.22+16.25         =55.47% Bye-Election  2015       FG+Lab        20.6+7.0         =27.6% Reduction  in Gov Support                               = 27.87% Break the Media Conspiracy of Silence!!! If this were repeated in a General Election in the 5 seat Carlow-Kilkenny Constituency, Labour would lose the seat held by Minister Phelan FG would definitely lose 1 of its 3 seats but could lose 2 Fianna Fail likely to gain a seat ending with 2 Sinn Féin   Will definitely take a seat Sinn Féin   First Pref Bye-election      16.2% Sinn Féin First Pref in GE 2011          9.54% Quota in 5 seat Constituency             16.7% Not Mentioned In   Media!!! Very Bad Bye-Election for Fine Gael –Drop of 15% of Poll on 2011 General Election After the General Election 2011 Fine Gael Held 3 Seats in Carlow-Kilkenny having polled 39.22% of First Preference Votes General Election 2011 FG First Preference Total=                                                      39.22% Bye-Election 2015 FG  First Preference               13,744                                       20.6% FG  First Pref.+Renua Transfers  13,74+2,263=16,007             24.0% Reduction                                                                                 15.22%

May 18

Only 60 out of a thousand say they will vote Labour in IPSOS/MRBI Poll Dr Adrian Kavanagh NUIM Predicts 2 seats for Labour!

Fianna Fail 36, Fine Gael 55, Sinn Fein 33, Labour Party 2, Independents and Others 32

Dreadful News For Labour Confirmed in Second Poll

No Difference in 2 Recent Polls when Margin of Error(MoE) is Applied

Comparing  Raw Polls

Ipsos/Mrbi  Monday 18/5     FG   22   Others 19   SF 17      FF  15     LP  6     Undecided  21 MoE  +or-2.8% B&A  Sunday 17/5                FG  19  Others23     SF 17      FF 12      LP  5     Undecided  25  MoE  +or -3.2% (Ipsos/Mrbi, unlike B&A, doesn’t use Filters)

May 17 B&A   General Election Poll Sunday May 17 Only 50 out of a thousand say they will vote Labour in Poll! Gap of 2% between SF and FG in Raw Poll increases to 7% due to Processing Labour Vote almost Increases by three fifths  in “Processing” http://banda.ie/wp-content/uploads/J.6535-Sunday-Times-May-Poll-2015.pdf

Stated Outcome:  Fine Gael 27% (NC), Independents and Others 26% (up 2%), Sinn Fein 20% (up 1%), Fianna Fail 17% (down 1%),  Labour Party 8% (down 1%), Green Party 3% (NC).

B&A    May 17 Raw Vote                       FG 19    Others23   Sinn Féin 17    FF 12    LP 5

Undecided 25

Excluding Undecided1         FG  25  Others 30   Sinn Féin 22    FF 15    LP 7 Filters Applied2                   FG 27    Others29   Sinn Fein 20     FF 17    LP 83 ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 1    without rounding           FG 25.3   Others 30.7   SF22.7        FF 16(?) LP 6.7 2   Liklihood to vote and Past Voting Record in GENERAL ELECTION filters used

3 LP vote is so small that exclusion of undecideds, rounding and filters increase it by 3/5=60% April 28   RED C releases Core Vote Final Outcome is reached by applying a likelihood to vote filter, then a recall of voting in last GENERAL Election filter and finally by eliminating the modified undecided which was 14%( not 20% as in core vote!) Core Vote             Undecided 20  Others 20  FF 14  FG 20  Lab 6  SF 20

Final outcome        Others 26  FF 19  FG 25 Lab 8   SF 22

Note how FG and Lab are advantaged by this process and Sinn Féin is disadvantaged in this process

%  of core vote by which  each party increases through Red C processing FG   +25% SF +10% Lab  +33% FF +  35% Others +  30%

April 26 Red C (SBP)

Final outcome FG 25% [-2%]. LP 8% [-2%], SF 22% [+5%], FF 19% [+1%], Ind/Small Parties 26 [-2%].

Corevote Undecided 17%   Others 22  FF 16   FG 21 Lab 7 SF 18

full Red C Results not yet posted

Update March 30 CORE VOTES Red C Mar 29                 Undecided  14 Others 24  FF15 FG23 Lab 8    SF 16 Ipsos/MRBI  Mar 25     Undecided 24, Others 22, FF 13, FG 18, Lab 5,SF 18 B&A   Mar 16                    Undecided 24, Others 19, FF 14, Fg 19, Lab 5, SF 19 Is it credible that 10% of population left “undecided”, made up their minds and 8% extra voted for government parties within a week in which no major political event took place? Is Red C “pre-processing” data to get core vote ? Or is it asking further questions of “undecideds”.? If so it should declare this on its site. “Undecided” voter figures are consistently lower in Red C than in other polls On the blog  The Cedar Lounge Revolution, Liberius has stated://

“It’s worth pointing out though that Red C’s numbers are statistically more favourable to FG and Labour than any of the other polling firms; an average of 28% for FG in all of their polls since January 2012, with an average of 11% for Labour.” (See below for use of special weighting factors or filters by Red C and B&A which are not used by Ipsos/Mrbi or Millward Brown ).

UPDATE MARCH 25 IPSOS/MRBI(Irish Times) to-day is virtually identical to B&A(Sunday Times) March 16 Ipsos/MRBI  Mar 25  Undecided 24, Others 22, FF 13, FG 18, Lab 5, SF 18 B&A   Mar 16                 Undecided 24, Others 19, FF 14, Fg 19, Lab 5, SF 19 The probable error for 95% confidence on each party score is approximately 3% in both cases Ipsos/Mrbi unlike B&A, does not use likelihood to vote or recall of vote in the last  general election filters(weighting factors). The final outcome in B&A for FG was 27% and for SF was 19%    !!! The final outcome in IPSOS/MRBI for FG was 24% and for SF was 24%   !!! The difference is the application of outdated filters by B&A!!!! I can see or hear no comment in the media this morning to the effect that the results of the two polls are in  fact identical. !!!!! VOTE By Social Stratum in IPSOS/MRBI Poll Today (Percentages) These figures should be treated with caution as the probable error on them is very high due to low sample size  The social strata in descending order of wealth and status are taken as A,B, C, D1, D2

A+B voters: FG 43, Ind/Oth 31, FF 14, Lab 7, SF 6 C1 voters: Ind/Oth 29, FG 24, FF 19, SF 19, Lab 9 C2 voters: Ind/Oth 31, SF 30, FG 19, FF 14, Lab 5 D+E voters: SF 36, Ind/Oth 26, FF 16, FG 15, Lab 8 Note the huge 43% for FG in the two uppermost strata and the large 36% for Sinn Féin among the two lowest strata. The really bad news for Labour is that it is only scoring 8% among the two lowest strata!!!! It comes last of all parties and others among the poorest strata. Farmers are treated seperately with F1 being the catefory of those above 50 good acres and F2 being those below that. F1/F2 voters: FG 35, FF 29, SF 17, Ind/Oth 17, Lab 2 FF+FG account for 64% but 17% for Sinn Féin is substantial.

UPDATE MARCH 16,2015 OUTDATED FILTERS DISTORT POLLS-Advantaging Government Parties Poll Results Distorted By Filters Unlike Millward Brown who simply eliminate undecideds B&A and REDC who reported in recent days apply “filters” to voting intentions expressed in polls Take the recent Sunday Times B&A Poll as an example. B&A Mar15  Undecided 24, Others 19, FF 14,  FG 19,  Lab 5, SF 19-Core Vote B&A website The  elimination of undecided gave Others 25% FF 18 FG 25% Lab 7 SF 25%—–B&A website But  after “Filtering” Sinn Fein were 6% lower and FG were 2% higher giving Others 26%  FF18%   FG 27%   Lab 9%  SF  19% —B&A website Overall FG and SF started on 19% in core vote –FG rose by 8 points to 27% but Sinn Féin remained on 19% after processing despite the elimination of 24% undecided!!!! The actual Labour vote was almost doubled!! Why Filters Employed by B&A and REDC Are No Longer Valid Likelihood To Vote Filter Unlike recent GENERAL elections the less well-off are not now passive but are actively organising against austerity. Those of us who regularly call to homes in local authority estates know that the residents are “spitting blood” at the government and particularly at the Labour Party and rightly so. They will be highly motivated to vote in the next general election. This should largely cancel out the perception that “the poor don’t vote” as expressed in this filter. Recall of Voting in Last General Election Filter This filter puts in to effect the normal tendency of voter to “stray” between general elections but to return to old habits in the actual election. Given the political earthquake evident in the recent local and European elections it is clear that this tendency is very unlikely to be as effective as in the past if, indeed, it exists at all. Indeed, it is my view that poll results would be even more highly distorted by this filter but for the “selective amnesia” of human beings in relation to unpleasant events and past misdeeds.  Fortunately, large numbers who clearly voted for FG and Lab cannot recall doing so!!!!! ——————————————————————- 27-10-2013 It is important to realise that the 9% attributed to Labour by RED C is not an increase on the 6% attributed to it on Oct 1 by Irish Times IPSOS/MRBI. This is because these polling companies process the raw data quite differently. Dr  Adrian Kavanagh(NUI Maynooth) has pointed out that Labour is polling consistently higher in Red C polls. In previous messages, I have shown how Red C unduly elevates the Labour (and the FG) votes. This is basically because REd C allocates half the “DONT’T Knows” (after the c. 10% who are unlikely to vote are excluded) in the proportion achieved by the parties in the last general election as recalled by those polled! This cannot fail to advantage Labour and FG and to disadvantage FF , SF and Others. I believe that this process is unjustified in a rapidly changing and unprecedented political situation, The IPSOS/MRBI figure(6%) for Labour is the lowest since 1987. The RED C figure(9%) for Labour is the lowest for decades. According to Dr Kavanagh, based on essentially  similar raw data in both polls, if IPSOS/MRBI forecast turns out to be correct in a general election, Labour will get between zero and four seats. If the REDC forecast turns out to be correct, Labour will get 9 seats  In any event Labour will suffer huge losses in the local and European elections RED C explains its treatment of raw data here: http://redcresearch.ie/blog/do-undecided-voters-desire-for-new-party Analysis by Dr Kavanagh, including allocation of seats by constituency in accordance with the poll, is available here:  http://politicalreform.ie/2013/10/26/apres-la-guerre-constituency-level-analyses-of-post-budget-opinion-polls/ Paddy Healy

Categories: Uncategorized

ESRI In Denial-Opinion Slot for Director in IRISH TIMES

January 12, 2012 1 comment

ESRI in Denial
The Irish Times (Jan 12) has given free rein to the ESRI to cover up its past. Above all, ESRI failed to give adequate warning of the danger to the Irish economy from the combination of excessive bank borrowing abroad and excessive lending both at home and abroad.
The level of denial by the ESRI itself and the extent of the protection from criticism it has enjoyed in the media has particular dangers for citizens. The dangers in the current austerity policy are sure to be understated by ESRI if radical change in the governance of the Institute does not take place.
ESRI director is given the facility of a personal opinion piece in the newspaper, to-day Jan 12. In addition, under the heading “Director says ESRI economy warnings ignored“ Paul Cullen of the Irish Times political staff wrote an article which contained no quotations from anybody other than the ESRI director. I had been interviewed for half an hour on telephone by Paul Cullen in advance of the publication of the article. The article begins: “SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS deliberately ignored warnings from the Economic and Social Research Institute about the dangers of an overheating economy, according to its director, Prof Frances Ruane. Prof Ruane yesterday defended the independence of the ESRI and the accuracy of its forecasting in the face of trenchant criticism last week by departing staff member Richard Tol.” In a third article, also by Paul Cullen, some criticism is carried including a criticism of the governance of the Institute by myself. This article says that the Institute circulated Morgan Kelly’s article (July 1997) predicting the “bust” without saying that the Institute had dissociated itself from it! As I explain below, the Institute was saying the opposite at the time.
What are the facts? The Irish economy was in mortal danger in Summer 2007. “Members of the Media should note that Professor Morgan Kelly is not a staff member of The ESRI. Whilst this Article has been accepted for publication by The ESRI, the views expressed are not the views of The ESRI”. This is the legend that accompanied the circulation by ESRI of the article by Morgan Kelly in July 2007 predicting the bursting of the property bubble and its consequences. There is no record in the article of the director being asked to explain this disclaimer.(The journalist had discussed this contention in my letter to all media with me)
But what was the ESRI itself saying at the same time in Summer 2007? In Spring 2006 the Institute had predicted a soft landing saying: “We add our voice to those expressing concern about the possibility of a bubble bursting. However, this does not imply that a sharp fall will occur. A soft landing is still the more likely outcome.” In its Quarterly Economic Commentary, Summer 2007, a “smooth transition” was predicted. “As the housing boom comes to an end, the economy must move resources to other areas of economic activity, such that the transition is as smooth as possible in terms of output and employment. We are optimistic that a smooth transition will occur and this is reflected in our forecasts for services and industry growth. However, if the current high rate of CPI inflation feeds into excessive wage demands, this could endanger a smooth transition. (Preamble to QEC, Summer 2007). And in its General Assessment, the same publication states : “With employment growth slowing, tax revenues growing more slowly than last year and early indicators of activity in house building pointing towards a slowdown, our task in producing forecasts has been to estimate whether the slowdown will be moderate or otherwise.For now, our belief is that the slowdown will indeed be moderate.”
The same publication pointed to dangers to their optimistic outcome. Was there any mention of excessive bank borrowing and lending? Not a word. The main danger was wage inflation according to ESRI. Government and employers cannot have been unhappy with that!
The contention in my letter to the media that the warnings were so understated as to be totally ineffective is more than justified. This is particularly so as the warnings were addenda to optimistic predictions at a time when the country was hurtling towards receivership.

Categories: Uncategorized

No Academic Freedom at Economic and Social Research Institute

January 6, 2012 4 comments

Professor Richard Tol recently departed from the Economic and Social Reserch Institute. In an interview with Colm Keena (Irish Times Jan 2, 2012) he criticised the lack of academic freedom at the Institute. Read full article pasted below. As the role of the ESRI is to advise the government and the citizens on economic matters the statements made by Professor Tol should give rise to great concern. Yet ESRI had not seen fit to comment on these statements(Jan 2) until Sunday Jan 8. I believe that my letters to the media and my tweets played a role in eliciting the reply. The issue is covered in an article in Sunday Independent Jan 8 (Analysis, Daniel McConnell P8) and was discussed on Marian Finucane Show on Sunday Jan 8. Richard Toll, in the course of his interview with Daniel McConnell, stated “You work on the basis of professional integrity. In the ESRI you are not supposed to talk outside your area of expertise. That is perfectly acceptable. However, in the last two years or so there was quite strong pressure from the director to keep messages out of the media that are not politically acceptable or that might upset council members or funders.” A tweet by Richard Toll is also quoted:”It was funny to hear academics complain about distant threats to academic freedom. At the ESRI, we were muffled,” The ESRI has denied the allegations saying: “The allegations made by Richard Tol are wholly unsubstantiated.”The article from the Sunday Independent is pasted below.
In the course of the Marian Finucane Show distinguished Journalist, Sam Smyth said:”They say that if you live in Rome you shouldn’t fight with the Pope and there is a relationship between the state and the ESRI”. He seemed to be justifying the ESRI position. Of course, the lack of freedom for the ESRI and its researchers to criticise government policy is the core issue.
My letter(text below) to the editor on this matter was published in Irish Independent to-day, Jan 6

From Paddy Healy Convener of Campaign for Academic Freedom, 086-4183732
88 Griffith Court,
Fairview,
Dublin 3

Dear Editor,
Academic Freedom and ESRI
“Members of the Media should note that Professor Morgan Kelly is not a staff member of The ESRI. Whilst this Article has been accepted for publication by The ESRI, the views expressed are not the views of The ESRI”. This is the legend that accompanied the circulation by ESRI of the article by Morgan Kelly in July 2007 predicting the bursting of the property bubble and its consequences. Professor Richard Tol ,who has recently left ESRI, is right when he says: “the institute did issue warnings about policy during the Ahern years, but did not do so loudly enough”.
In fact the warnings were so understated as to be totally ineffective.
The allegations of lack of independence and absence of academic freedom for researchers at ESRI by Richard Tol are a very serious matter for Irish citizens. The institute is largely funded by the state. Citizens are entitled to expect full and unbiased information in economic matters. The council of ESRI is a self-perpetuating establishment club. Candidates for election to the governing body must be pre-approved by a majority of the existing members of the council.
The remedy for this extremely unsatisfactory situation follows from the remark by Richard Tol “In a university you can say what you like if you behave responsibly. It’s not the same with the ESRI”. Clearly the ESRI should be subsumed into a university or other third level institute where academic freedom is either guaranteed by law or enshrined in contracts of employment.
Yours sincerely,
Paddy Healy 086-4183732
Note from Paddy Healy
In 2005, as president of Teachers Union of Ireland, I was proposed for a vacancy on the Council of ESRI by Dublin Institute of Technology having been a member of the Governing Body and Academic Council of DIT for several years.
My nomination was declared invalid at the AGM as my candidacy was not “pre-approved” by the existing Council.

Economist criticises aspects of ESRI
COLM KEENA
Mon, Jan 02, 2012
ENERGY ECONOMIST Richard Tol, who has left the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) to take up the position of professor of economics with Sussex University, has criticised aspects of the public think-tank.
Prof Tol said the financial position of the institute affected the independence of the work it produced. He said people who worked there were discouraged from expressing personal opinions to journalists or on social media sites such as Twitter.
Efforts to contact representatives of the institute were unsuccessful.
Prof Tol spoke to The Irish Times yesterday after he had posted a number of comments on Twitter about his decision to leave the ESRI after five and a half years. “In a university you can say what you like if you behave responsibly. It’s not the same with the ESRI,” he said. “If you violate policy and upset people, you can get into trouble.”
He said the institute’s independence was compromised by the fact it got so much of its funding from government. He said this could manifest itself in the way the research it conducts is put into the public domain.
He was critical of the standard of information technology available at the institute.
In one of his tweets he said it was not a coincidence he was one of five senior research professors who had left over the past number of years. The institute has about 40 research assistants and about 10 research professors, he told The Irish Times. “So five in the last five years is significant.”
The ESRI was set up during the Lemass era to improve the quality of policy analysis available to the government.
Prof Tol said the institute did issue warnings about policy during the Ahern years, but did not do so loudly enough.
He said the institute did not have a banking expert even though during the bubble years banking was one of the economy’s largest sectors. “So the whole thing of the bank crisis caught the ESRI from left field.”
The international financial crisis, he said, was caused by factors that the whole of the international economics profession believed could not happen. “So you can’t blame the ESRI on that.”
When Ireland was joining the euro the institute had warned that fiscal policy would have to take account of the new situation, but Charlie McCreevy then became minister for finance “and went in the opposite direction to where we should be going”.
This was criticised by the institute but not loudly enough, he said. “The ESRI can make its voice heard, but it didn’t.”
Prof Tol said the view of many people in the institute now was on the financial threat to its survival – and personal relief that they had a job.
He said there were many positive aspects to working in the institute, not least the people he worked alongside and the fact he was able to engage in applied research.
A native of the Netherlands, he said he would be sad to leave Ireland, which he really loved. However, his wife was a civil engineer and they had two children.
“Ireland is facing 10 years of austerity. Leaving Ireland is the best thing you can do at the moment if you are responsible for a young family.”
© 2012 The Irish Times
Daniel McConnell: A fearless whistleblower or a disgruntled crank?
The ESRI and Richard Tol are at war since the economist’s bitter departure, writes Daniel McConnell

It was a most bizarre image. The lead story on the main evening news on RTE showed a scruffy, long-haired foreigner packing up his house to move to England.

This same man starkly warned that despite cuts of over €24bn in government spending since 2008 Ireland faces another decade of austerity.

But most controversially, Richard Tol, non-conformist voice and energy economist, also had some harsh words for his former employers and colleagues in the State’s economic think tank, the Economic Social and Research Institute (ESRI).

During that RTE interview, he called into question the organisation’s independence and condemned it for a lack of transparency.

However, online — his favoured medium — Tol went for the jugular.

Over a 48-hour period, the 42-year-old Dutch academic made a host of serious allegations into how the ESRI operates, about its transparency, its relationship with Government and how it is funded.

Today, the ESRI hits back very strongly at the various allegations made by Tol online and during an interview with this newspaper. It vehemently denies the failings alleged by Tol, rejecting his outlook almost entirely. “The allegations made by Richard Tol are wholly unsubstantiated.”

His criticisms of the ESRI on television were somewhat muted and restricted, no doubt by the station’s lawyers, and Tol himself is bemused that his departure was given so much prominence. “It is a slow news day if the lead story is the hairy guy packing a box,” he tweeted.

But it was on Twitter that Tol made the most serious allegations about the organisation.

He accused it of being a xenophobic and nepotistic body which is caught in a timewarp using antiquated technology. He also stated that he was the fifth senior person to leave the institute, implying cultural and endemic problems at the ESRI.

“It was funny to hear academics complain about distant threats to academic freedom. At the ESRI, we were muffled,” he tweeted.

“The wife said: The ESRI reflects all that is good and bad about Irish society. She is right,” he wrote a short time later.

For those left behind in the ESRI, Tol is a trouble-making crank who has sought to wash his dirty laundry in public.

For others, in a country which has a shameful record of treating whistleblowers poorly, Tol was a welcome dissenting voice holding up a mirror to reveal our flaws as well as our strengths.

In the wake of his outbursts online, the Sunday Independent spoke to Tol to try and see if he would elaborate on the serious allegations he made about the state’s economic think tank.

According to Tol, the ESRI has many faults and many positives. The faults, he says, are incredibly serious and strike to the core of its credibility. He calls into question its independence and its transparency.

“Transparency is most important and at the ESRI the models used for our analysis is not transparent at all. The way it is, you aren’t sure who contributed what to a particular paper; accessibility to information is not there. This is one of the most serious issues affecting the ESRI,” he said.

I ask him about independence and academic freedom.

Tol detailed his often fractious relationship with his superiors within the ESRI, and said that clear pressure was brought to bear on him and his fellow researchers by the director of the ESRI, Frances Ruane, to keep “politically unacceptable” messages suppressed.

“You work on the basis of professional integrity. In the ESRI you are not supposed to talk outside your area of expertise. That is perfectly acceptable. However, in the last two years or so there was quite strong pressure from the director to keep messages out of the media that are not politically acceptable or that might upset council members or funders.”

He said that he had fallen foul of Ruane’s instructions and was disciplined as a result.

“The ESRI is supposed to be an academic institution,

where you can speak on the basis of evidenced-based analysis. Disciplinary measures have been taken. Pressure came in the form of conversations, emails and letters. Such measures have been taken against me. I have had many conversations with the director, so my comments would not have come as any surprise to her,” he said.

In response, the ESRI said: “ESRI researchers are free to participate in public debate. There are no restrictions on ESRI staff members discussing their research in whatever forum they deem appropriate. Indeed, research staff members have participated in wide-ranging discussions in many media outlets.”

The Sunday Independent has obtained a copy of the institute’s protocols for publishing material, and researchers are subject to a host of detailed instructions in how to “disseminate” information to the public.

Researchers must run press releases by the director or her nominee before release, and opinion pieces for national publication in a newspaper must be cleared by a colleague, head of division or the director before being submitted. Researchers are permitted to upload material to certain websites like the Irisheconomy.ie without clearance from superiors if it is in their field of expertise.

“Staff at the ESRI know there is a policy about the relaying of information and are expected to adhere to that policy. If they don’t, disciplinary measures are utilised, and were in the case of Richard Tol,” the ESRI spokeswoman said.

Tol was also critical that websites such as Twitter and Facebook were blocked for staff by the ESRI, reflecting an attitude toward technology more suited to the 1990s.

Tol’s statements about xenophobia and nepotism are the most controversial.

He alleges that within the ESRI, those from Ireland were in someway treated above those from foreign countries, which impacted on people’s career prospects.

He said: “There was a hierarchy within there. It was native Irish first, then English, then European, then others. This impacted on how fast you got promoted.”

The ESRI has strongly refuted any suggestion of favouritism, saying it has staff from many nationalities currently employed there. It stated it has fully developed human resources policies and such a scenario just simply couldn’t occur.

Tol went further, alleging that racist complaints made by staff toward colleagues were “ignored” by the director and by the council of the ESRI.

“Some people made racist remarks toward their colleagues. Complaints about racism and such racist remarks were ignored by management and even the council of the ESRI. It shouldn’t happen. It wasn’t racism, say white versus black, but it was racist comments directed at colleagues. It is totally unacceptable. Just because it is more common in Ireland doesn’t make it right,” he said.

“With regard to Professor Tol’s comments on xenophobia and racism, similar allegations were made in the recent past by Professor Tol when they were fully investigated and found to be groundless,” an ESRI spokeswoman said.

She said the ESRI had an employment equality policy and a code of business conduct for employees in numerous areas, including racism. These policies are brought to the attention of all members of staff. Complaints are dealt with under the grievance policy and procedure agreed between management and staff.

On his allegation of nepotism, Tol said this related to the hiring of “friends or allies” by powerful people within the organisation, irrespective of their abilities.

“Some of the more powerful people seem to have the right to appoint their friends to positions. It was easy to spot when you looked at the publication records, who the more productive ones are.”

In response, the ESRI said: “There is no basis for his comments on nepotism. All new appointments at the ESRI are made on the basis of public advertisement. The ESRI uses fully open and transparent procedures for appointments and promotion of research staff to ensure that these are made on merit. Interview boards always include an outside expert to ensure the independence and transparency of the process. The recommendations of the interview board must be approved by the ESRI council.”

Opinion within Irish academia about Richard Tol’s departure to the University of Sussex is mixed, with some, like Colm McCarthy of this newspaper and UCD, describing him as a “big loss to ESRI”.

He wrote: “Best of luck Richard”.

Others were less kind. Stephen Kinsella, an economist at the University of Limerick who moderated a discussion on the influential Irisheconomy.ie website, said the opinions expressed were “very polarised.”

“Richard Tol had the ability to be dismissive and condescending of other people’s work, especially in the area of environmental economics,” wrote a contributor named Mr Rudgelift.

“Richard seems to have annoyed some and said some extreme things and I had to delete some of the more personal attacks on him. But from my point of view, I always regret the loss of such a contrarian voice,” added Kinsella.

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Fuel Poverty-Paddy Healy Replies to Minister Rabitte

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Below is an unedited version of my letter published in Irish Times to-day Dec 28
Paddy Healy 086-4183732
Dear Editor,
Minister Rabitte (Irish Times letters Dec 27) seeks to contradict the piece by Fintan O’Toole on fuel poverty (Irish Times December 20)
The Labour- Fine Gael government has introduced two cuts in fuel allowances since coming to power. From September, the smokeless fuel allowance was abolished and the annual allowance of free units was reduced from 2400 to 1800. In Budget 2012, the heating period was reduced by 6 weeks. Fuel allowance is a means tested payment. Only the poor are entitled to this benefit.
The piece of research to which Minister Rabitte and Fintan O’Toole refer is“Fuel Poverty, Older People and Cold Weather: An all-island analysis”, (at http://www.publichealth.ie). It found that the excess winter death rate in the Republic for the winter of 2006/7 was 1,281. Of these, 1,216 were aged over-65. The majority died of cardiovascular and respiratory illness – cold-related conditions. The fuel allowance in the year in question was only fractionally less than that now available and fuel prices are now much higher.
During the new year, 2012, the hundredth anniversary of the proposal by Connolly and Larkin to the Irish TUC meeting in Clonmel that a Labour Party should be founded will occur. It is scarcely credible that a party which claims Connolly as founder should be cutting fuel allowances to the poor. This is all the more so as the Labour Party, just over a year ago when in opposition, introduced a private members motion in Dáil Éireann (October 12, 2010) calling on the government to increase fuel allowances!
Fintan O’Toole was right to refer to refer to “the unacceptable reality that current policies are making Ireland a cold house for basic decency.”
Yours sincerely,
Paddy Healy

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F O’Toole on Minister Rabitte and Fuel Poverty

December 20, 2011 Leave a comment

How Low can they GO?
In the recent Budget the period for which the poor and the old receive free gas and electricity units was reduced by six weeks. During the warmer summer months, Minister for “Social Protection”, Joan Burton(LabourParty Deputy Leader) announced cuts to the home benefits package for pensioners and social welfare beneficiaries. The allocations of electricity units and gas units so important for home heating were reduced by between 20% and 25% and the smokeless fuel allowance payable in Dublin was abolished. These are means tested payments which means that they are only paid to people at risk. AGE ACTION IRELAND has stated “Research on fuel poverty and older people by the Dublin Institute of Technology and the Institute of Public Health shows that during the winter of 2006/7 there were 1,281 excess winter deaths*. Of these, the vast majority were older people (1,216 were aged over-65).
The piece of research referred to by Age Action was publicly launched last week by Minister Rabitte (Labour Party) In Irish Times 20/12/2011, columnist Fintan O’Toole analyses Minister Rabitte’s launching address-Paddy Healy
RABITTE OUT IN THE COLD ON ELDERLY FUEL CUTS
Irish Times Tue, Dec 20, 2011
Pat Rabbitte is wrong that the fuel crisis is not as bad as reported. In fact, it is likely to be much worse, writes FINTAN O’TOOLE
OSCAR WILDE said he could resist everything except temptation. We, his compatriots, can imagine everything except reality. Collectively, we find it hard to believe what we see around us.
One of the things that’s easiest to spot in public spaces is old people sheltering from the cold. You see them in Ikea, sitting in the restaurant half the day over cheap cups of tea. You see them in shopping centres, where benches are being removed, not to stop teenagers from congregating, but to prevent the clusters of elderly heat-seekers. You see them in public libraries. You even see them on trains, riding up and down the lines with their free travel passes. And these, of course, are the luckier ones, the ones who are mobile and healthy enough to be able to get out of the house. But seeing is not believing.
Last week, there was a strange vignette of official incredulity. Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte launched a report by the Institute of Public Health on fuel poverty among the elderly. It is a very serious, scholarly piece of work, conducted on an all-island basis by a team of researchers from the Republic, Northern Ireland and Britain, led by Prof Patrick Goodman of Dublin Institute of Technology.
One of its findings is that 51.1 per cent of older people surveyed said they “went without necessities such as food and clothing in order to pay for heat over the winter period”.
This is not a comfortable finding for a Minister in the week after a budget that has cut the fuel allowance period by six weeks. How did Pat Rabbitte deal with it? By claiming it did not exist. According to The Irish Times report of the launch, “he said the claim that half of older people were forgoing essentials to heat their home had been published in a press release but was not in the report. He added that no politician or social worker would believe that it was true.”
In fact, the finding appears twice in the report: on page 12 and on page 60. When this was pointed out to the Minister, he stood by his position that it could not be so, pointing out that the survey was “not a representative sample of older people”.
This is true, but probably not in the sense that Rabbitte meant. No one claims the survey is representative, in the sense that, for example, an opinion poll using weighted demographical sampling might be. Its aim is somewhat different: not to tick boxes, but to get a good sense of the actual experience of older people during last winter.
The sampling method, using bodies such as Age Action, Energy Action, the Rural Transport Network and Dublin City Council’s sheltered housing liaison officers to distribute the surveys, probably does distort the results somewhat. But – and here’s the real point – it distorts them by understating the problem. People who are isolated from networks and services were excluded. People who have problems with literacy or blindness couldn’t complete the written survey. Such people are more, not less, likely to suffer from deprivation.
There is a further factor at work: the “mustn’t grumble” ethic of the elderly. Older people don’t like to complain. In the same survey, 90 per cent of the respondents listed their health status as fair to very good, even though 75 per cent had a long-term illness. They are an almost comically stoical bunch.
One respondent with both Parkinson’s disease and arthritis gave her health status as “good” and explained that “as long as I am mobile and above ground I tend not to panic or bitch”.
How probable is it that these same people are wildly exaggerating when they say they sacrifice food or clothing for heat?
And yet, the official view from the Minister is that it simply could not be true that anything like half of older people are doing without other necessities in order to heat their homes. “No politician or social worker would believe that it was true.”
That no politician, moving from heated offices to heated cars, would believe it is understandable. But I’m not sure the incredulity would extend to anyone who works with Age Action, Friends of the Elderly, St Vincent de Paul or social services. The only sense in which it is not “true” is that its reality is impermissibly awkward.
This vignette is eloquent in its own way as an example of the cognitive dissonance of officialdom. Cognitive dissonance is the condition that affects people when their belief system comes into conflict with reality. They close the gap, not by altering their belief systems, but by redefining reality.
In this case, Pat Rabbitte’s belief system (social justice) is in radical conflict with most of what he’s doing in Government. So he’s redefining reality: it is simply not possible that the Government is cutting fuel allowances for people who are already suffering deprivation in order to stay warm.
Otherwise, he would have to face the unacceptable reality that current policies are making Ireland a cold house for basic decency.
© 2011 The Irish Times

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ULA Proposal to Tax the Assets and Incomes of the Super-Rich

December 2, 2011 Leave a comment

As the Richer get Richer 17 Billion Must be Taken from Super-Rich to Avoid Austerity!
A statement from the Central Statistics Office on Wednesday last showed that the wealthiest top 20% had 5.5 times more income than the poorest 20% in 2010 and this has grown from 4.3 times in 2009. Net Financial Assets(shares etc) which are mainly the preserve of the rich have increase by 45 billion since 2008 and are now above pre-crash (2007) levels. These are facts issued by the state. The rich are,in fact,getting richer as the poor get poorer! ULA is demanding that, in the Budget, 10 billion be taken from the Assets of the top 5% of wealth holders, 5 billion be taken from the incomes of the top 5% of income earners and that measures be introduced to take 2 billion off tax exiles.
This will avoid further cuts and extra taxes on low and middle income people and can be used to reverse the imposition of the Universal Social Charge and cuts in social welfare, health and education and to allow for an ambitious state job creation programme
Explanatory Document on Taxation
10 Billion in Wealth Tax on the Top 5% of Wealth Holders, 5 Billion in Income Tax from Top 5% of Incomes, 2 Billion from Tax Exiles

Personal Assets Tax
There is currently no annually recurring tax on wealth or assets in Ireland. Such a tax was imposed by Minister for Finance Ritchie Ryan during the 1973-1977 Fine Gael-Labour Coalition Government. It was subsequently abolished by the succeeding Fianna Fail Government. Assets taxes still exist in a number of countries including France, Norway, Switzerland and in a number of states of the USA. Many were abolished in other countries under the influence of neo-liberal Thatcher-Reagan economic ideology which has brought the world to the current economic crisis.
Recent statistics from the CSO show that in 2010 the financial assets of Irish people (not businesses) were as follows:
CSO Nov 2011 Personal Financial Assets (millions)
(Financial wealth below is made up of cash, shares, pension and insurance funds (net equity) and business assets/liabilities of self-employed/sole traders. Land, housing and non-financial personal property (e.g. yachts, art, etc.) are not included. Gross financial wealth refers to total financial assets; Net financial wealth refers to gross financial wealth minus liabilities -almost all liabilities refer to loans-CSO). (loans include mortgage loans and credit card debt-PH)

Total Financial Assets Total Financial liabilities Net Financial Assets

2007 310,711 199,036 111,675
2008 281,650 209,774 71,876
2009 304,885 206,620 98,264
2010 311,372 194,219 117,153

These figures show that net personal financial assets of have increased by 45 billion since the low point of 2008. Total and net financial assets are now above 2007 level, that is before the crash. The rich are Getting Richer while the Poor are Getting Poorer http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/economy/2010/isanonfinfin2010.pdf

The net figure underestimates the assets of the wealthy as a far higher proportion of the liabilities including mortgage and credit card debt are held by those with no asset other than the principal private residence which is not included in the gross figure.

Recently (Nov 2011) Credit Suisse, the Swiss finance house, has published an analysis of wealth distribution in Ireland.
It shows that the top 1% of the Irish population hold 28.1% of all wealth and the top 5% hold 46.85 of all wealth.
Credit Suisse estimates that financial assets make up 47 percent of total assets (Table 2-4 on page 71 in Credit Suisse Global Assets Report). This means that there is €311 billion in financial assets and €351 billion in non-financial assets for a total of €662 billion (using latest CSO data). After financial liabilities of €194 billion, total net wealth is €468 billion.
As 28.1% of net wealth is held by the top 1%, they hold 131.5 billion of total net wealth.
As 46.85% of net wealth is held by the top 5%, they hold 219.3 billion of total net wealth
These are a significant underestimations as total liabilities of households which have been deducted lean proportionally most heavily on the less wealthy households.
The Revenue Commissioners have no data on the assets of specific individuals as assets tax was abolished over 30 years ago. Such a register should be established by law immediately so that there is complete transparency in relation to the ownership of wealth. The overall data above was deduced by the Central Statistics Office from other data.
ULA has set a target of collecting 10 billion per year in assets tax from the top 5% until the fiscal deficit is removed and 5 billion annually thereafter.
As these assets are not contingent on receipt of income or income changes, ULA proposes that the deadline for payment be March 1, 2012. This would facilitate early implementation of our job creation programme
The 10 billion in revenue from assets tax is available for purposes such as job creation, elimination of USC, restoration of cuts in welfare etc
It is a matter for government which has Department of Finance , Revenue Commissioners, Central Statistics Office etc at its disposal to devise legislation to reach the target revenue of 10 billion from the top 5 % and that, in particular that the homes , farms and pension funds of those outside the top 5% be exempt.
The measure proposed is a tax on personal assets only not on the assets of businesses
If the target revenue of 10 Billion is not reached by March 1, further measures should be introduced.

Income Tax
There was an increase in income inequality between 2009 and 2010 as shown by the quintile share ratio. The ratio showed that the average income of those in the highest income quintile was 5.5 times that of those in the lowest income quintile. The ratio was 4.3 one year earlier. CSO Press Release Nov 30,2011
There can be little doubt that the imposition of an assets tax would increase the yield from income tax. The contrast between large assets and low declared incomes in the non-PAYE sector would become clear.
The most recently published official statistics are for 2009
The top 5% of earners had a total income of 18 billion Euro in 2009 (22.6% of all income) and paid only 4.9 billion in income tax. If tax reliefs and capital allowances claimed are taken into account, their Gross Income, which is their actual income, is 19.8 billion. (Revenue Commissioners, Statistical Report, Table ISD1)
Deductions from that table, show the top 5% of units have 24% of all income and pay 46% of all income tax. Notwithstanding right wing propaganda, this is to be expected as they have a totally disproportionate share of discretionary income. The imposition of the USC and increased taxation of the lower paid will have significantly reduced the 46% figure in 2010. They only paid 25% of their own total income in tax in 2009
Tax reliefs which proportionally favour the rich are very high in Ireland at 20.2% of total tax revenue as against 8.5% in Germany, 5.1% in the Netherlands (OECD, Commission on Taxation)
Official figures show that those individuals as opposed to couples in receipt of incomes over 100,000 Euro only paid 31.4% of all income tax in 2008 (Irish Times Com Keena 20/3/2009). Figures for 2009 indicate little change in this regard.
Due to heavy impositions on those in receipt of low incomes in more recent budgets this percentage has probably decreased and 10,677 units (0.5% of earners) earned 6.01billion in 2009 or 7.33%% of all income. They paid c (Revenue Commissioners Statistical Report 2010) These very rich earned on average 563,000 Euro each. There is no significant change expected to these figures expected in 2010. It can reasonably be assumed that such people avail of considerable tax breaks and have the advice of tax experts. This 0.5% of earners paid 1.783 billion in income tax in 2009 leaving them with an “after-tax” income of 4.27 billion or 400,000Euro each.
ULA proposes that the minimum effective tax rate on this group be adjusted to yield an additional 2.5 billion to the exchequer leaving them with after-tax income of 1.77 billion or 166,000 Euro each.
The next 0.5% of income recipients(9,933) just below the top group had a gross income of c. 2.3 billion and paid c. 608 million in tax. ULA proposes to take a further 0.5 billion off this group leaving them with 1.2 billion Euro or 121,000Euro each in after tax income
The ULA target is to generate 3 billion Euro from the top 1% of income earners.
Because of massive tax reliefs enjoyed by high earners the use of minimum effective tax rates is a sure means of extracting additional tax from high earners.
This would require a scale of minimum effective tax rates on all income ramping upwards from the current level of 30% as incomes exceed thresholds of 100,000, 150,000, 200,000,250,000 etc. The minimum effective rates may have to be as high as respectively 35%, 40%, 45% , 50% and 60% for those earning above 300,000. The current minimum effective tax rate only applies to those with income of over 125,000 Euro claiming tax relief in excess of 80,000 Euro! This restriction should be abolished.
There must be no increase in the effective tax rates of those with gross incomes below 100,000 Euro
The total increase in revenue due to the preceding measures is 13 billion
Increased Taxation of Very High Incomes
High incomes are very lightly taxed in Ireland and the burden of income taxation on low and middle incomes was hugely increased by the imposition of the Universal Social Charge and by reduction of personal tax credits and thresholds.
There are approximately 88,500 income recipients (4.1% of taxpayers) with incomes between 100,000 and 200,00 euro and these are outside the top 1% of income recipients discussed above. They have a total income of 11.6 billion and paid 2.57 billion in tax in 2009. ULA proposes to increase the income tax yield from this group by 2 billion, through a combination of minimum effective tax rates on all income and higher marginal tax rates on income above 100,000Euro, leaving them with 7 Billion Euro, an average 79,600 Euro each in after tax income . While retaining this revenue target, adjustments of taxation will be necessary within this group in order not to penalise tax payers with an adult dependent or couples who are jointly assessed for tax.
The deployment of minimum effective tax rates is designed to combat the loss of revenue due to tax reliefs enjoyed by the rich. Relief on pension contributions to provide pensions capped at 50,000 per annum per adult should be continued.

The cumulative revenue total raised by the above measures is now 15 billion Euro

Tax Exiles
The Domicile Levy introduced in Budget 2011 to address the problem of tax exiles has generated a paltry 1.5 million in revenue and is clearly totally inadequate.
It is reasonable to expect that citizens of Ireland who have income generated in Ireland and/or assets held in Ireland should pay tax to the Irish state. The United States expects its citizens resident abroad to pay US income tax when their earnings abroad exceed a certain threshold. Failure to do so attracts public disapproval. Irish tax exiles, on the other hand, are fawned on by politicians. Denis O’Brien was invited by Eamonn Gilmore to the Farmleigh conference at the behest of Fine Gael. Michael Smurfit was appointed honorary consul to Monaco by Charles Haughey and furnished with a diplomatic passport. The Labour Party leader is continuing Mr Smurfit in office.
The ULA proposes that the principles underlying US practice be applied to wealthy individuals living abroad.
We call on the Government to introduce measures in Budget 2012 to require by Law that Irish citizens resident abroad for tax purposes pay to the Irish exchequer annual amounts of tax as follows:
1 Assets Tax: An assets tax of 10% on net global personal assets in excess of 2 million Euro less the assets tax paid to the state in which the Irish citizen is resident.
2 Income Tax: A minimum effective income tax rate of 50% on annual global income in excess of 200,000 Euro, less the income tax paid to the state in which the Irish citizen is resident.
3Current Domicile Levy of €200,000 introduced in Budget 2010 to be increased to 500,000Euro per year. This levy should apply to all Irish-domiciled individuals who are Irish citizens to ensure that wealthy Irish domiciled individuals make a contribution to the State during these times of economic and fiscal difficulty. The Levy will apply to wealthy Irish-domiciled individuals with Irish located capital greater than €2 million, worldwide income in excess of €1million and an Irish income tax liability less than €500,000. Persons liable to the Levy will have to pay it regardless of where they live or where they are tax resident.

It is impossible to predict the revenue which would be generated by the above measures. However the deadline for paying the assets tax, domicile levy and preliminary income tax should be set at March 1, 2011. If the income generated falls below a projected 2 billion for the year as a whole, further changes should be made to remedy the short fall
Other measures are also open to the Minister in his budget such as drastically reducing the number of days the “exile” can stay in Ireland while retaining residence abroad for tax purposes.
ULA has set a minimum initial target of 2 billion Euro in revenue from the above 3 measures

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Minister Burton Misleads to Cut Welfare

November 20, 2011 Leave a comment

“Now that the recession has bitten hard and deep we have a scale of expenditure that is completely out of step with our ability to fund it. We do not have the means or revenue as a country to support our level of spending.”Burton Seanad, Nov 17
This is completely wrong. The truth is that the government has decided that the poor and middle income earners will bear the brunt of the fiscal adjustment (3.8m) . Net Financial assets(shares etc) of irish households increased by 45 billion over the last two years as private sector investment fell by 30 billion. The government should take 10 billion of the 45 billion in a wealth tax instead of spending cuts. The spending cuts will continue to destroy jobs (315,000 since 2007 and 3000 net fulltime jobs in the first 3 months of this government)
Dr Nat O’Connor, Director of TASC, the progressive research group last Thursday told a conference that the “Troika” had informed him that if money could be raised in alternative ways, they would have no problem with that.
So cuts in welfare are purely a Labour/Fine Gael decision
EU Comparison
Contrary to claims that welfare in Ireland is high and a ‘disincentive’ to work, welfare payments in Ireland are among the lowest in the original EU fifteen states. A report by the EAPN from Sept 2009, based on figures for 2006 comparing social protection spending in the EU 15, found that while there was an average spend of 27% of GDP, Ireland came 13t out of 15 with 18.2%.

The net replacement rate, welfare compared to previous income was only 34.5% in Ireland, again the lowest in the EU 15. Social protection in Ireland is even below the average of the EU 27 which contains many countries much poorer tan Ireland

It is appalling that social welfare should top the cuts league according to the leaked German draft.
GOVERNMENT POLICY
“The (leaked) EU documents appear to suggest that the savings will be achieved by welfare fraud elimination, cuts to other entitlements and a reduction in the number of people eligible for benefit payments.” (Journal.ie)
Earlier this month the Government stated its intentions:

They(GOV) stress that instead of “pursuing across-the-board reductions in primary social welfare rates”, the Government will take a “selective approach” to “reforming entitlements”, and state:
“The Department of Social Protection will build on their recent studies on working age payments, child income support and disability allowance with a view to producing, after consultation with stakeholders, a comprehensive programme of reforms that can help better target social support to those on lower incomes, and ensure that work pays for welfare recipients.” (Jounal.ie)
Already people with perfectly legitimate welfare claims are being cut off like flies through use of new arbitrary criteria and in a savage Scrooge operation heating support has being reduced to the poor and the old this Christmas leading to more unnecessary deaths this winter.
Now Burton wants to cut Child Benefit even to the needy. Brnardos has described this measure as “crossing moral boundaries”
How Low can she Go?
Public Sector
It may not be widely known that the proposed transfer of illness benefit payment to employers includes public sector employers and state companies- This means that these cuts will end up in hospital wards, schools and local authority services and on bin charges, electricity and gas bills.
Private Sector
This reduction in demand by people who spend all their money every week will lead to further job destruction by government as shops and small businesses continue to close
I would be not as neutral or “agnostic” as David Begg on the transfer of the first four weeks of sickness benefit to employers. There are serious concerns arising from Burtons Seanad Speech on Thursday night.
Small Businesses
Firstly, many businesses including small shops, cafes and hairdressers have less than ten employees. To trade they must replace sick employees. Now they must pay benefit to the sick employee as well. Many are hanging on by their finger nails and will close, adding to the dole queues.
Multi-Nationals
In relation to large profit-making Irish and multinational companies, my concern is not for such companies but for their employees. Trade unions are not permitted in these companies. Burton said in the Seanad that the transfer of the first 4 weeks sick leave to employers would enable employers to “manage absenteeism”. Does this mean that a sick cert from an employee’s GP will no longer guarantee payment of sickness benefit.?
Will people who have not fully recovered be forced to go back to work too soon?
There are also predatory employers in some parts of the public sector with whom the health of employees would not be safe.
I have no confidence that a Minister who has cut winter fuel allowances to the old will give first priority to the health of employees in the new legislation she will introduce to implement the changes.
Paddy Healy 087-4183732 paddy.healy@eircom.net
NOV 18 2011

Categories: Uncategorized

Labour Reduces Free Heat Units to Poor this winter

October 30, 2011 2 comments

How Low can they GO?
During the warmer summer months, Minister for “Social Protection”, Joan Burton(LabourParty Deputy Leader) announced cuts to the home benefits package for pensioners and social welfare beneficiaries. The allocations of electricity units and gas units so important for home heating were reduced by between 20% and 25%. AGE ACTION IRELAND has stated “Research on fuel poverty and older people by the Dublin Institute of Technology and the Institute of Public Health — funded by CARDI and due to be published in the coming weeks — shows that during the winter of 2006/7 there were 1,281 excess winter deaths*. Of these, the vast majority were older people (1,216 were aged over-65). How many preventable deaths will take place this winter?
The latest figures from CSO show that the nett financial assets of Irish households increased by 27 billion euro in 2009 and gross financial assets have increased by a further 7 billion in 2010. Not a penny in tax on these assets has been imposed by the Labour government.
Homeless charities say demand for their services has increased by up to 40% in the current year. Yet HSE has just announced cuts to services to the homeless. Kathleen Lynch (Labour) is Minister for State at the Department of Health and children.
Please sign the Age Action Petition here http://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/FOyR76aN2J6UCXnG2
Paddy Healy 086-4183732

FROM AGE ACTION IRELAND
Sign petition to help protect vulnerable older people this winter
Wed, 26/10/2011 – 15:23
Age Action is urging the Government to reverse cuts to the free gas and electricity units for pensioners, amid growing concern at the severe hardship which the cuts will have for the most vulnerable of older people this winter.
Read Full Statement http://www.ageaction.ie/sign-petition-help-protect-vulnerable-older-people-winter
How Low Can They Go?
Hundreds of older people die each winter in Ireland because they cannot afford to keep themselves warm. Lives could be saved if the Government reversed its decision to cut their electricity and gas units.

I call on the Government to reverse the cuts to the free gas/electricity units available under the Household Benefits Package, given the increased hardship it will cause for older people on low incomes.
Click on Link Below to sign the petition
http://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/FOyR76aN2J6UCXnG2
Homeless services to be cut by 10%
CARL O’BRIEN
Irish Times Thu, Oct 27, 2011
HEALTH AUTHORITIES are cutting funding for homeless services in parts of the capital by up to 10 per cent over the coming winter months, despite growing pressure on services.
Service providers say the cuts will impact heavily on their ability to provide shelter and support to homeless people at a time when they are under strain.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) – one of the main funders of homeless services – told providers last week it is cutting between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of grants which were due to be paid between October and December of this year.
However, homeless charities say they have recorded increases in demand for services of between 20 and 40 per cent over the past year. Services say they are continuing to give out sleeping bags at night-time due to ongoing shortages of emergency beds.
Dublin Simon’s chief executive Sam McGuinness said: “With the harsh winter already upon us and demand for homeless accommodation stretching all service providers to the limit, it is unacceptable for the most vulnerable and destitute to suffer further HSE year-end panic cuts because of their spending excesses.”
Focus Ireland’s chief executive Joyce Loughnan said if deeper cuts were to be made at this late stage in the year, it would hit its ability to provide “vital lifeline services” to homeless people.
The funding cuts were confirmed this week by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive – a partnership run by the city’s four local authorities – which is in charge of organising homeless services in the capital.
The two main areas affected are Dublin south-west – which includes Tallaght, Clondalkin and Kildare – and Dublin south-central, which includes much of the inner city.
These areas are due to receive cuts of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively, on top of cuts of 5 per cent earlier this year.
In a letter to one service provider dated October 13th, the HSE said: “It is recognised that maintaining services will require significant levels of change, flexibility and creativity.
“Therefore, you will need to make the savings to remain within the budget through value-for-money initiatives and other administrative efficiencies in order to achieve a break-even financial position by year’s end.”
In a statement, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive said the overall implication and impact of the cuts had been “fully considered” by the HSE.
It added there had not been a reduction in funding from the Department of the Environment, the other main source of public funding for homeless organisations.
In the meantime, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive has been working to secure longer-term beds for dozens of people in emergency accommodation to help alleviate pressure on services.
© 2011 The Irish Times

Categories: Uncategorized

Labour Party and SIPTU Capitulate on Low Pay

From Paddy Healy 086-4183732
Mandate Trade Union and Unite the Union have roundly condemned the Government proposals to cut the low pay of over 200,000 employees.
The proposals will give rise to reduction of JLC rates generally, elimination of Sunday premium, and allow employers to claim inability to pay.
Thousands face pay cuts after JLC reforms are published
From Daily News Digest of Unite The Union
“The government published its proposed reforms of the JLC structure yesterday. In a move which the Minister admits will lead to a ‘lowering of hiring costs’, the number of JLC’s will be reduced from 13 to six and there will be only one rate with two additional discretionary ones. The premium for Sunday pay will be swept away to be replaced on paper with guidelines for employers, and bosses will now be able to seek derogation through a new inability to pay clause. This is terrible news for all low paid workers and those whose wages will be set with reference to them, as well as for the economy which will now have less money, less tax and little prospect of anything other than increased unemployment.—-
UIONS NOT AT ONE OVER JLC REFORMS
UNITE sees the reforms of the JLC structure as a dark day for those on low pay and for all working people. That view is broadly shared in the Irish Times analysis but not fully across the union movement.”
“The trade union Unite said last night it would not rule out industrial action in protest at the Government’s planned measures. The plan was also strongly criticised by Mandate, the union representing retail workers.” Martin Wall Irish Times, July 29
But following the surrender of the Labour Party in Cabinet, SIPTU has described the proposals as “relatively positive” on RTE Television News, July 28 and has given the government plan “a cautious welcome” (Martin Wall, Irish Times July 29).
This is a dark day for Irelands biggest union which was built by Larkin and Connolly
The trade union affiliation of the new government appointees to the board of Solas (replacing Fás) will be of considerable interest
The extent of the attack on the low-paid can be gauged from the remarks by John Douglas, General Secretary , MANDATE, on Morning Ireland, to-day, July 29
“This is devastating for 200,000 workers- following increases in gas prices, mortgages, food prices, thousands will be driven over the edge- majority are women earning no more than 9.50 an hour trying to put food on table-this is not to create jobs but to lower pay and conditions-it won’t create a single extra job. When Margaret Thatcher dismantled the wage councils in England ,it did not create one extra job-the research shows this despite the ministers claims”

Analysis
The EU-IMF deal commits the Irish Government to a “review of wage setting mechanisms”. There may have been additional secret assurances given by the previous government but the EU-IMF Deal does not specify any particular measure.
Bruton had made his proposals before the JLC system was struck down by the courts on constitutional grounds. The changes to pay rates, conditions of service and terms of reference in the proposals have nothing to do with the decision of the court. The proposals for these changes pre-date the courts decision. There are changes in procedures which are genuinely required in the light of the courts decision. In the wake of the court decision there are no legally enforceable Employment Regulation Orders (ERO) in existence in the state. The process of establishing new constitutional EROs will have to commence from scratch. This will take several months during which no legally binding EROs will exist.
If the Fine Gael/Labour Government were interested in protecting the 200,000 employees covered by the original EROs at the earliest possible date, they would have introduced the procedural measures contained in the proposals published yesterday before the Dail was adjourned for the summer one week ago or alternatively, they could have kept the Dail in session to deal with the matter.
Government “spin” to the effect that the measures were announced yesterday to protect workers in the light of the court decision is entirely false and misleading.
The way that the matter has been handled ensures that workers will remain unprotected by EROs for several months and when new EROs are produced their provisions will be far inferior for workers to the ones that have been struck down by the courts.
Job Creation?
The Minister and the employer body IBEC continually argue that pay and conditions under EROs must be reduced in order to create jobs. There is no evidence for this. Indeed, the Duffy/Walsh Report to the Minister for Enterprise, Employment and Innovation concludes inter alia : “We have concluded that lowering the basic JLC rates to the level of the minimum wage rate is unlikely to have a substantial effect on employment.” and “ we conclude that it is not accurate to suggest that the body of primary employment rights legislation currently in force adequately covers matters dealt with by EROs and REAs.” According to the OECD, Ireland suffers from some of the highest levels of low‐pay. Over 21% of full‐time employees are ‘low‐paid, compared to a Eurozone average of 14.7% and EU Commission data shows that labour costs (include wages and employers’ contributions) in the Food & Accommodation sector in Ireland are 6% below the EU-15 average.
Despite the fact that the above information has been contained in several statements by trade unions and ULA TDs , Minister Bruton was allowed to repeatedly assert that the measures would to create jobs in interviews on Drivetime and RTE News without the contrary evidence being put to him. IBEC spokespeople have also been allowed on all media to claim that 40% of restaurants do not open on Sunday “due to the Sunday premium”. Of course many restaurants have always remained closed on Sunday because their trade depends on demand from locally employed people who do not work on Sundays. Restaurant closures, limited opening hours and increased Sunday closing is due to the reduction in demand caused by increased unemployment and income reductions due to recent budgets. The IBEC claim is a gross abuse of dubious statistics based on surveys of restaurant owners. “They would say that, wouldn’t they?”
Key Measures
The Minister asserts that new JLC rates will be lower. This is because the terms of reference for the wage setting process have been changed to the disadvantage of the worker side. “These include competitiveness factors, average hourly rates set in comparable sectors in Ireland’s main trading partners as well as employment and unemployment rates” Martin Wall, Irish Times,July 29. For example, the employer side will now be able to argue that pay rates should be lowered due to the extent of unemployment. This is a classic use of unemployment by employers to drive down wages. It has no justification except capitalist greed. It will now be supported by statutory terms of reference agreed by the Labour Party.
The Minister claims that these new lower rates will not affect existing workers who are protected by the terms of their current employment contracts. The minister knows well that existing employees can be pressurised in many ways to agree to reductions in existing pay rates if these are not legally binding. That is a major reason why legally binding JLC rates exist. Employers have many ways of discriminating in favour of new cheaper workers (eg allocation of overtime, denial of promotion, assignment to easier or more pleasant job etc). In addition, a new businesses paying lower rates will be able to undermine existing businesses paying higher rates. This is also the case in relation to the new provision of allowing businesses to claim inability to pay. An employer being undermined by competitors can then pressurise employees to accept the lower legal rate or face closure and unemployment. The original JLC system was designed to prevent this “race to the bottom” in competing businesses dependent on finite demand.
The new JLCs will be precluded from setting a Sunday premium. The suggestion that the provisions of The Working Time Act is an adequate replacement to protect workers is completely false. Under that Act the employer can simply give another day off instead. This effectively means that staff can be made to work at the flat rate. Sunday premium has been simply abolished.
————————————————————————————————

The article below from Irish Independent July 27 (below) indicates that the Labour Party has agreed to Government attacks on the low-paid at the cabinet meeting held yesterday.
In a time-honoured and cowardly manner, the deal was done and announced while the Dail was not sitting and just before the ministers went on holiday. This will form a precedent for further attacks on the incomes of all employees. The 100 Euro tax on homes was also agreed at the cabinet meeting. Though net financial assets (exclusive of houses and land) increased by 27 billion Euro in 2009 and are expected to have increased by a similar amount in 2010, no tax whatever has been placed on these assets
Paddy Healy 086-4183732 paddy.healy@eircom.net
Member National Steering Committee United Left Alliance
A fuller report from Irish Independent July 28 (below) on the Labour capitulation on Low Pay is carried below.
Not alone has the Labour Party agreed to the scrapping of the Sunday premium for low paid workers, it has also agreed to allow employers to claim inability to pay and ,if successful, to pay a lesser rate for normal working days. In circumstances in which demand is being continuously removed from the economy by government, this can only lead to continuous reduction in the direction of the minimum wage and the effective collapse of the system. Compliant employers will be progressively undermined by those paying a lower rate.
The scrapping of the Sunday premium will simply add to the profits of highly successful multi-national retail chains at the expense of their employees.
The 100th anniversary of the founding of the Labour Party in Clonmel by Larkin and Connolly in 1912 which will be held next year will be a in the nature of a wake.
The actions of the Labour Party are an insult to the memory of Larkin and Connolly. Larkin is rightly celebrated for his heroic battles on behalf of the low-paid. In addition, Connolly is celebrated for his heroic stand for Irish Independence and sovereignty. But the Labour Party is allowing internatonal financiers to suck the lifeblood out of Ireland and even allowing them to dictate cuts in low pay under the EU-IMF Deal. When it is considered that cuts in low pay will actually worsen the national finances by lowering the tax take, the capitulation of Gilmore on the JLC issue must be the most abject surrender of Irish sovereignty conceivable.
Paddy Healy 086-4183732
Member of National Steering Committee, United Left Alliance

By Fionnan Sheahan and Lise Hand
Irish Independent Wednesday July 27 2011
Low paid workers will be entitled to slightly more than the minimum wage working on a Sunday under a new deal to replace the existing system of setting wages.
New rules governing the wages in the catering, hotels, retail, grocery, contract cleaning and some other sectors were agreed by the Government yesterday.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton is understood to have struck a deal with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore on the contentious issue of the Joint Labour Committees (JLCs).
The Government agreed yesterday to draw up new laws to reform the area after the High Court ruled the wage setting agreements were unconstitutional.
Coalition sources said the current rates of Sunday premium pay will be done away with, but employees working on a Sunday will still be entitled to slightly more than the minimum wage — just not as much as they are currently paid.
However, what has yet to be determined is how much more than the minimum wage will be paid.
After attacking Mr Bruton on his proposals to reform the area, the Labour Party was said to be keen to get the legislation in place to provide protection to workers following the High Court case. A spokesperson for the Labour Party said the legislation was agreed on by the Cabinet.
Last night Mr Bruton said: “It will be a system that will protect workers, it will be robust but will introduce the reforms so that we can exploit the opportunities for employment.”
– Fionnan Sheahan and Lise Hand
Employers can claim an ‘inability to pay’ under wage reforms
By Fionnan Sheahan and Anne-Marie Walshe
Irish Independent, Thursday July 28 2011
Employers will be allowed to claim an inability to pay the rates agreed under the wage-setting system for low-paid staff, the Irish Independent has learned.
Sunday premium pay for those covered by the Joint Labour Committees (JLCs) will also be scrapped.
The controversial new rules governing the wages in the catering, hotels, retail, grocery, contract cleaning and some other sectors will be announced today.
Ahead of the publication, the Labour Party was accused last night of capitulating in an attack on the low paid.
Under the reforms to the JLCs, low-paid staff will be entitled to the same protection as other employees for working on a Sunday.
The existing Organisation of Working Time Act allows for staff to be compensated for working on Sunday through the negotiation of extra pay, an increased average wage across the week or a day off in lieu.
In reality, though, the scrapping of the Sunday premium payments will mean a pay cut for staff in those sectors who work on that day.
The number of JLC agreements is also widely expected to be reduced substantially.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton is understood to have struck a deal with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, granting some concessions from his original proposals.
After coming under attack from the Labour Party, Mr Bruton is believed to have got through the bulk of his proposals.
The minister’s hand was strengthened substantially by a High Court ruling that JLCs were unconstitutional and pressure from the IMF and EU to reform the area.
The new deal will have to be cleared with the troika lending Ireland the €85bn bailout.
The Government is also believed to have accepted the recommendation on the introduction of an inability-to-pay clause for employers.
The expert report on the area said there should be a “derogation on economic grounds” introduced, where the employer can claim it would damage the viability of the firm and cause job losses if they had to pay the rates agreed.
The United Left Alliance said the deal was done “in a time-honoured and cowardly manner”, announced while the Dail wasn’t sitting and just before ministers took holidays.
– Fionnan Sheahan and Anne-Marie Walshe

Categories: Uncategorized

Private Sector Pensions Scandal

December 7, 2016 1 comment

Irish Private Sector Pensioners Being Robbed Blind in Cruel Scam

Justine McCarthy on INDEPENDENT NEWS and MEDIA(INM) PENSION CUTS

” Wealthy companies and a heartless state wipe us off their shoes like dog turds-

He was universally regarded as a gentleman. The rest of us thought him much too refined for the daily grind of journalism when he worked for the Irish Independent. One night last week, he texted: “What a bunch of shites Fine Gael and INM are. It makes one think violent thoughts, I’m afraid.”

He was talking about the arbitrary announcement by Independent News & Media (INM) of the wind-up of its defined-benefit pension scheme, thus threatening to impoverish scores of people on the final laps of their working lives. His fury at Fine Gael is because, despite loud and repeated warnings that defined-benefit pension schemes were shuffling towards the abyss, the party has done nothing in its six years in power to protect those at risk, numbering about 600,000 individuals plus dependents.

As I wrote last week, I am one of those people who now find our employment contracts, with their concomitant pension plans, have no legal standing. We have also discovered that the Pensions Authority is powerless to enforce a restructuring arrangement, which the state watchdog approved in 2013 and which left us 40% poorer even then.

It is infuriating that, while members of insolvent pension schemes operated by insolvent companies are statutorily entitled to be compensated by the state, there is no law prohibiting profitable companies such as the cash-rich INM from throwing its pension-fund members to the wolves. Neither is the state obliged to provide compensation.

Could politicians possibly be so cynical as to recognise that, by allowing companies to unceremoniously dump their schemes, it saves the state massive potential payments should those companies go bust in the future?

“This is a wealthy company wiping us off its shoes like a dog turd, with no care for the loyal years and hard work we gave them,” another former colleague emailed me. “It’s not just the money — you feel betrayed, dismissed, dishonoured.” She and her husband both left INM in recent years. “We have been going through days in the house here where, when one of us gets some kind of calm around the situation, the other flares up. Then we reverse roles. It’s like a seesaw,” she said.

Most of the correspondence I received last week was deeply personal and emanated from members of various pension schemes around the country. Many previously worked for Aer Lingus and SR Technics, whose deferred pensioners were sacrificed by the state when it sold off the airline. They feel betrayed not by governments alone but by trade unions that failed to uphold their interests, and by what they perceive as an unsympathetic media.

A man who worked for Aer Lingus wrote: “We are a small, powerless group that the media has, in the past, portrayed as fortunate in that we will get a [60%-reduced] pension when others don’t have anything but the state pension. We worked all our lives, followed the rules, paid our dues and expected the institutions to stand by us at the end of our working lives.”

Another man said: “This country exists for the elite at the expense of the ordinary, hard-working citizens.” A woman who worked from the age of 20 while rearing her family said her employer closed its defined-benefit fund a few years ago. Now retired, she receives the handsome payment of €66 a month.

One of the saddest letters came from a couple in their fifties who were dependent on the SR Technics pension, which was initially cut by 20% and then 50% to facilitate the sale of Aer Lingus to AIG. Encumbered with mortgage arrears and facing a court repossession application by AIB — the bank the people of Ireland, including this couple, now own after bailing it out — they said: “We don’t know when the bank will get our home. We are devastated. All efforts to get the government to listen were futile.”

The generosity of spirit is remarkable in these letters. Again and again, people decry the institutionalised unfairness in Ireland that permitted an unprecedented homelessness crisis to develop while vulture funds swooped on the property pickings.

Two years after Jonathan Corrie died on a doorstep 20 yards from Dail Eireann, the bodies of two other homeless men were discovered last week. Paul Gorman, 49, was found in a Tesco trolley bay of a Dundalk shopping centre where he had been sleeping in sub-zero temperatures. In Buncrana, Mariusz Ejdys, 37, died in an abandoned mill. Hours after these discoveries, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail ganged up to vote down a Sinn Fein bill in the Dail designed to secure rent certainty.

What sort of society inculcates such injustice? One run by institutions with unfairness stamped on their DNA. Institutional Ireland neglects to protect the majority while issuing honorary doctorates and invitations to state banquets for purveyors of the greed-is-good creed. The two biggest political parties see no shame in inviting a loudmouth like Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary to regale them with his trademark hurtful insults and denigration of whole sectors of decent people.

This is the country that refused to collect €13bn in taxes from Apple and facilitated Promontoria Eagle, a Cerberus subsidiary, to pay less than €1,900 tax on the €77m profits it reaped from assets it controversially bought from Nama.

This is a country that never closes one buccaneer’s loophole, such as section 110, without opening another, such as the expansion and extension in the 2017 budget of special tax exemptions for multinational executives coming to work here.

This is a country where Aran islanders are left stranded without a ferry service for the hazardous and isolating winter months and are required to pay for the pleasure of standing upon the pier when next the ferry hoves into view. This is a country that traduces whistleblowers’ reputations with the most disgusting lies in order to protect the status quo. Ask Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

This is a country where the capital’s main street houses the shuttered department store Clerys. The lights have been off since June 2015, when Natrium, its new owner, closed it down without warning, consigning more than 460 workers to the dole queue. This Christmas, the windows at Clerys are festooned with jolly festive greetings. A sign invites passers-by to take a selfie against the window and enter a contest for a €100 shopping voucher.

If generosity rings through these letters, so does self-respect. “The only thing we are both sure of is that we will survive this in spite of INM,” wrote the woman who, with her husband, worked for the newspaper company for most of their adult lives. “I refuse to let them dictate how I live the rest of my life.”

“We are angry but not yet beaten,” vowed a former Aer Lingus worker. “So angry it’s giving me the impetus to fight back,” said the woman in danger of losing her home.

How much easier it would be to surrender, and elect a Donald Trump. But that would be to stoop to the state’s level. ”

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Savagery Of The IRISH GOVERNMENT And Of The Super-Rich Elite It Serves

December 4, 2016 1 comment

CRUEL HOME HELP HOURS CUTS CONTINUE DESPITE STEEPLY INCREASING NUMBER OF OLDER PEOPLE

HOME HELP HOURS REDUCED By 10% Since 2010 as Numbers Over 65 Rise by 91,000
Could FG-LAB-FF Sink Any Lower?

Age Action“There are a million fewer home help hours available in Ireland today than there were ten years ago in 2006. (Number over 65 has risen by 163,100)
Mr Moran (Age Action) continued: “The HSE warned in its service plan for 2016 that services like home care, home help and nursing home beds cannot keep pace with rising demand and our ageing population.”

Increase in numbers of older people

From   2006 to 2016      =  163,100

From   2010   to  2015      =   90,900

FROM Central Statistics Office    Home / StatBank / Annual Population Estimates / PEA01 /

Thousands                   2006             2010                         2015                          2016

 

65 years and over        462.4            515.1                        606.0                          625.5

 

—————————————

After General Election

Home care cuts must be on the agenda of Government talks-AGE ACTION

Published 30/03/2016

 

Following reports that there is no funding for home care packages in many parts of Dublin, forcing older people to stay in hospitals, Age Action has said care supports must be on the agenda of talks around forming the next Government.

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action, said: “We need immediate and substantial investment in home care and other supports but that is just a temporary solution.
“Without a statutory right to community care the number of older people forced to stay in hospital longer than they need to will only rise.
“The next Programme for Government should include a commitment to introduce a statutory right to community care and to fully implement the National Positive Ageing Strategy.”

FROM AGE ACTION–Before General Election

The HSE warned last year that they were facing increasing challenges in providing care supports.

Mr Moran continued: “The HSE warned in its service plan for 2016 that services like home care, home help and nursing home beds cannot keep pace with rising demand and our ageing population.

“There are a million fewer home help hours available in Ireland today than there were ten years ago in 2006.

“In advance of the General Election every political party told us they were committed to supporting older people to stay at home as long as possible.

“The best way they can prove that is to ensure that how we provide long-term care for older people in Ireland is addressed in the negotiations going on at the moment around the formation of the next Government.”


——————————

Elderly betrayed as million hours cut from home help rotas, says FF TD-Before General Election!!!

Irish Indeependent    25/10/2015

More than a million hours have been slashed from home help rotas in a “deeply unfair” betrayal of older people, a TD has claimed.

http://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/irish-news/elderly-betrayed-as-million-hours-cut-from-home-help-rotas-says-td-34139710.html

More than a million hours have been slashed from home help rotas in a “deeply unfair” betrayal of older people, a TD has claimed.

Statistics provided to the Oireachtas health committee show a consistent declined service by 1.2 million hours over the past five years.

Fianna Fail health spokesperson Billy Kelleher, who obtained the figures, said older people were struggling to cope with staying at home.

The Cork North Central Deputy said: “The cuts to home help hours for older people are nothing short of disgraceful.

“The assistance hours have been slashed by around 10% over the past five years, and as a result of these harsh cuts, older people are finding it increasingly difficult to stay living in their own homes.”

Since 2010, the number of home help hours is down from 11.7 million to a projected 10.4 this year. (There has been a substantial increase in the population over 65 in the last 5 years-PH)

Mr Kelleher claimed older people were being unfairly targeted.

 He added: “The cuts to over 70s medical cards, to home adaptation grants, to the housing aid for older people scheme, to the telephone allowance, the abolition of the bereavement grant, and the five-fold hike in prescription charges have had a serious impact on older people across the country.

“It is deeply unfair for the Government to continue to target older people in this way. It’s also extremely counterproductive.

“By failing to provide the supports needed to allow people to live securely and with dignity in their own homes, the Government is forcing these people onto the already overburdened hospital system and costing the taxpayer more in the long run.”

From Irish Workers Union (IWU)HOME HELPS WORKING IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR

After a meeting with a lot of home helps now called home care assistants in the Private sector (Working for the private companies) it is indeed a very daunting situation to be in and this is where all Homecare is going. First of all, their wages are.
• €11.60 per hour
• No travelling Allowance
• No Sick Pay Conditions
• No increase of hours as your hours are set and that could mean only 10 hours per week or less.
• No guarantee from one week to the next if you will be working or not.
This is where the homecare is going now and to sit in at this meeting last night gave me a great insight into the way those workers are being treated. The H.S.E. will eventually get rid of the Homecare Packages because it is being privatised on a big scale. This also would explain the banking of hours on the Home helps of the H.S.E. Simply the work is being outsourced to the private sector on a big scale but unfortunately it’s the people that are paying for the banked hours are the people who are really paying the price for the Private sector. We here at the Independent Workers Union are now representing the Home care workers working for the Private companies to get them the pay and conditions they should be getting and we are calling on all the workers in the private sector to stand up and get your rights contact Margaret @087-2469079 follow us on twitter @homehelpshealy Please like and share our page .https://www.facebook.com/pages/Homehelpshealy/720716814667004?fref=ts.

NOTE: Legal Minimum Wage: Minimum Wage 2017 : In the summer of 2016 the Low Pay Commission recommended an increase in the national minimum wage of 10 cents per hour – which will bring it to €9.25 per hour. This new rate will take effect from January 2017.

Home Help-South Tipperary-HSE PAGE
Home Helps work with vulnerable people in the community, who through illness or disability are in need of help with day to day tasks. A home help might visit for a couple of hours per day, to help with housework, shopping, or sometime may provide more personal care like help with dressing, bathing etc. You can access this service through your Public Health Nurse at your local Health Centre or Tel: (052) 6177282.


Workers With No Fixed Office Must Be Paid for Travelling Time

https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/news/european-court-justice-rules-travel-time-should-be-counted-working-time

European Court of Justice rules that travel time should be counted as working time

Written by William Louch on 14 September 2015 in News

Controversial ECJ ruling receives mixed reaction from employment committee MEPs.

The Luxembourg court ruled last week that for workers with no fixed office, such as care workers and door-to-door salesmen, time spent travelling to work should be counted as working time under the European Union’s Working Time Directive (WTD) rules.

The ruling does not impact on those with long commutes to fixed work places.

The case has divided MEPs in the parliament’s employment and social affairs committee (EMPL) with German committee chair Thomas Handel, welcoming the move saying, “the WTD is designed to protect the health and safety of workers. If these trips were not considered working time, in my view, this would run contrary to the directive, an important example of EU legislation.”

His colleague on the committee, vice-chair Ulla Tournae also supported the ruling, adding, “the WTD clearly states that working time is the time in which the worker is working, at the employer’s disposal and carrying out their activities and duties. The ECJ has upheld this principle in this specific case to a level I am satisfied with.”

The WTD is designed to protect workers’ health and safety; outlining how long employees can work and how much time off they are entitled to.

The case was brought to the ECJ by Comisiones Obrerars, Spain’s largest trade union, against Tyco, a Spanish security company.

The action was prompted by the closure of Tyco’s regional office in 2011 meaning staff had to travel for up to three hours every morning to install the company’s products.

The ruling states, “if a worker who no longer has a fixed place of work is carrying out his duties during his journey to or from a customer, that worker must also be regarded as working during that journey.”

It continues, “requiring the worker to bear the burden of their employer’s choice would be contrary to the objective of protecting the safety and health of workers pursued by the directive, which includes the necessity of guaranteeing workers a minimum rest period.”

The judgment is expected to have a major impact on employers across Europe.  There has been speculation that the ruling could force companies to put wages up to avoid breaking minimum wage legislation.

The decision has also provoked a strong reaction from the business lobby and centre-right MEPs, who have criticised the measures as undemocratic and interventionist.

Adam Marshall, executive director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said, “once again, a faraway court is taking decisions that could impact business prospects, job creation and economic growth in the UK.”

“Companies of all sizes will be dismayed that Luxembourg is once again intervening in a way that stops EU member states from running their own labour markets.”

UK MEP, Anthea Mcintyre also a member of the EMPL Committee, strongly criticised the measures, saying, “this could add significantly to the costs of businesses and interfere with long-established business practices. It could hit smaller firms which would be bad for growth and bad for jobs.”

She added, “we do not need a straightjacket law imposed from Europe. That just shackles employers and workers alike and puts a dead hand on job-creation and growth.”

However, the European Trade Union Confederation’s Veronica Nilsson said, “the European Court of Justice have dealt a blow against the exploitation of workers. This is good news for many home care workers, repair and maintenance staff and other mobile workers.”

 

Categories: Uncategorized

MEDIA BIAS IN FAVOUR OF RICH AND POWERFUL

November 14, 2016 Leave a comment

What is actually said or written in Media is not the only source of distortion of Truth

What is Omitted is Equally Important

For Example:saying there is a shortage of money for public services while omitting that the Irish Super-Rich Are AWASH WITH MONEY. Instead of taxing this wealth and Income the government is giving them Tax Relief. See on this blog:  http://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

False Underlying Assumptions can also be a major source of distortion of truth

For Example : Taking it as self-evident that Housing Crisis can only be solved over several years without pointing out that because of support of FG, FF, Lab for the Eu Fiscal Treaty in a referendum, these parties have agreed that the Irish State can’t borrow the money at current rock-bottom interest rates to build sufficient numbers of social houses!!!!

Statistical Manipulation :Quoting Selective Statitics with Intention to Deceive-Omission of other statistics required to provide a complete and balanced picture of reality.

Example 1: Evictions

In a Dáil response to Seamus Healy TD, Minister “Tommy Cooper” Noonan made hundreds of repossession of homes disappear by only counting court cases in the legal third quarter when courts sit for only one month whereas courts sit for 3 months in the first and second quarters! See Housing and Homelessness on this Blog http://wp.me/pKzXa-wc

Example 2: Tax

“Ireland Has Most Progressive Tax system among OECD Countries”—Regularly repeated by Ministers, Right-wing economists and compliant journalists who are really propagadists for the Rich. This is regularly supported by Statistics which exclude indirect taxes paid by the poorest citizens on their entire income which they spend.When all taxes are included the lowest 10% of income recipients pay the same rate of tax as the richest 10%–the reverse of progressivity

See Tax Evasion by The Irish Rich on This Blog wp.me/pKzXa-oM

Example 3  Pay

False comparisons of pay in Ireland with that in other European countries are regularly trotted out by advocates for employer bodies including ministers in government.This is done mainly by omitting the social wage (essentially employer PRSI contributions). These are deferred pay of employees which in other countries fund public services such as free health care in addition to pensions and unemployment benefit.Employer PRSI in Ireland is 8.7% of wages as against an EU-15 average of 18.5% and rates in Italy and France of over 29% !!!!  (See Michael_TAFT_NERI_PRESENTATION: NERI Labour Market Conference)

The more shameless propagandists use exchange rates only and omit the effect of the high cost of living in Ireland. This is captured by figures based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPPs) See UNITE RESEARCH DOCUMENT: High Wealth, Low Pay & the Social Wage (2016)Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly on the key role of the Social Wage in raising living standards https://unitetheunionireland.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/turth-about-irish-wages-2016-upload-010616.pdf

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IRISH TIMES MISLEADS IN BIASED CAMPAIGN AGAINST RESTORATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE PAY AND PENSIONS

Letter Writer Highlights Miss-Information NOT ONLY THROUGH STATEMENTS IN ARTICLE BUT EVEN MORE SO BY OMISSION OF KEY INFORMATION

Veteran Right-Wing Political Commentator, Stephen Collins, Given UNCONTESTED SPACE  TO THUNDER AGAINST PS PAY AND PENSIONS RESTORATION

The bottom line is that if the substantial public pay increases being sought over and above the Lansdowne Road agreement are conceded them the outcome will be worsening public services for those who need them most or tax increases for already heavily taxed middle-income earners.”—stated as fact by Stephen Collins but shown to be utter rubbish elsewhere on this Blog :Full Details: Super-Rich Irish Awash With Money   http://wp.me/pKzXa-n4

 Pay and the public service

Irish Times: Friday, November 18, 2016, 01:07

Sir, – In the article “Public service to return to its ‘peak’ size next year” (November 16th), you write that “most public service staff are scheduled to receive a second and final €1,000 increase in September 2017. The first €1,000 was paid in January of this year.” In fact, only public servants with an annual salary under €31,000 received any salary adjustment in January this year, and only those paid under €65,000 will get the €1,000 in September 2017. The pension levy has been reduced but that levy in itself is an additional cut in take-home pay over and above explicit salary cuts and is still partly in place.

Furthermore, these pay adjustments will leave public service salaries lower than in 2009, so describing union attempts to restore the pre-Croke Park levels as pay increases, as done four times in the article, is misleading. These changes in the contracts of public servants covering pay and working hours were enabled by the Government’s introduction of Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Fempi) legislation, which, despite the economic recovery, has been renewed annually, most recently in June this year. Describing the unpaid additional hours which unions may seek to reverse as “part of productivity concessions agreed in the earlier Croke Park and Haddington Road accords” is therefore also rather one-sided, unless the meaning of agreement can be stretched to accepting measures imposed by law. – Yours, etc,

DONAL McGRATH, Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Public service to return to its ‘peak’ size next year

Pat Leahy: Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 01:00

The public service will return next year to its “peak” size last seen before the economic crash in 2008, Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe told Cabinet colleagues on Tuesday.

In a detailing briefing to Cabinet at its weekly meeting, Mr Donohoe also said the public pay bill would surpass its 2008 levels in 2018.

He said that even without a new public sector pay agreement next year, the pay bill is likely to exceed the pre-bust levels in 2018, 10 years after the economic crash began a sharp drop in public sector pay and numbers.

Total tax receipts, estimated to pass €50 billion next year, significantly exceed 2008 levels largely due to increases in income tax, including the universal social charge (USC).

Mr Donohoe’s warning comes as public sector unions threaten a wave of strikes unless they receive pay increases above those budgeted for next year in the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

Yesterday the Cabinet reaffirmed its commitment to the Lansdowne Road Agreement and to the previously indicated timetable for its replacement.

A Government spokesman said there had been no decision to change that policy.

That would mean no negotiation on a new agreement could take place until next summer, with no acceleration of next year’s pay increases.

However, with unions preparing for strikes, few Government insiders believe it can tough it out that long.

Existing employees

Yet with budgets remaining constrained, the Cabinet may be faced with a choice of hiring more public servants or paying its existing employees more.

Excluding local authorities (which are not directly funded by the Exchequer), public sector numbers peaked in 2008 at 285,000.

Yesterday Mr Donohoe told the Cabinet that by the end of 2018 on current projections the total number of Exchequer-funded public servants would be 294,000, with a total pay bill of €17.2 billion.

This would mean the total number of all public employees, including local authorities, would pass 320,000.

Mr Donohoe said the cost of demographic pressures was now estimated at €500 million every year, further squeezing available resources for public sector pay increases.

Yesterday, pay pressures in the economy intensified when unions representing private sector workers said they would lodge pay claims for 4 per cent in January.

Public service union leaders, who are to meet Wednesday in Belfast to consider the fallout from the €40 million pay package offered to gardaí, are expected to reiterate their demand for early negotiations with the Government which would accelerate pay restoration for State employees.

Extra money

According to a number of highly placed sources, it is unlikely that unions will accept any situation under which gardaí would get extra money next year while their members would have to wait for similar additional payments until the following year.

Most public service staff are scheduled to receive a second and final €1,000 increase in September 2017. The first €1,000 was paid in January of this year.

Union leaders at the meeting in Belfast are also expected to demand an end to unpaid additional hours which formed part of productivity concessions agreed in the earlier Croke Park and Haddington Road accords.

Last night Government officials met representatives of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) at Government Buildings as contacts between the two sides continue.

A spokeswoman said both parties had “reiterated their commitment to a continued collective approach to public service pay issues”, and said that demands for the early restoration of allowances “could more appropriately be dealt with by the parties under the relevant provisions of the Lansdowne Road Agreement”.

She said both parties had agreed to remain in contact over the coming weeks.

© 2016 irishtimes.com

Veteran Right-Wing Political Commentator Given UNCONTESTED SPACE  

Stephen Collins: some home truths about public sector pay claims

It has not registered that pay rises for public servants mean cuts in services or tax increases

Stephen Collins   Sat, Nov 19, 2016,

Given the precedents set by the Luas drivers and gardaí, Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe faces a horrendously difficult task in trying to hold the line . . .tterShare to Email App

The bottom line is that if the substantial public pay increases being sought over and above the Lansdowne Road agreement are conceded them the outcome will be worsening public services for those who need them most or tax increases for already heavily taxed middle-income earners.

 

“Mussolini” Howlin Fails To MENTION HIS FEMPI ANTI-UNION LAW!

 INTERVIEWER NEVER ASKED HIM ABOUT IT!!!!!

Mr Howlin claimed he did a “remarkable job” of securing two pay agreements and maintaining industrial peace during the troika programme while the country was gripped by austerity cuts.

“What I did was remarkable in five years,” said Mr Howlin. “In the worst of times, compare us to any other programme countries, we maintained industrial peace across the public service. We didn’t lose any days in strike and, yet, I negotiated two agreements that were voted and accepted by the members.”

Speaking in the wake of the Labour Court deal which saw significant additional pay increases for gardaí, who are outside the terms of the Lansdowne Road Agreement, Mr Howlin said the Government’s strategy to date has been a “disaster”.

“It was clear to me that you have to keep the public service together,” he said. “You cannot allow people outside the deal to be advantaged over the those who are in it. The Government ignored that advice. They have allowed people outside the deal to get a better deal.

“It has been a disastrous strategy and I think it is a lack of experience.”-Irish Examiner 19/11/2016


OMISSIONS DISTORT DISCUSSION ON HOUSING AND PUBLIC SERVICE PAY RESTORATION

THE WEEK IN POLITICS 13/11/2016-Panel Minister for  Housing Simon Coveney FG, Anne Rabitte FF, Eoin O Broin Sinn Féin
Topic -Housing-No mention by anybody that Ireland cannot borrow money to build adequate numbers of Social Houses because of Fiscal Treaty Restrictions-Enda has sent a begging letter to EU with no response
Topic-Restoration of Public Service Pay and Pensions– apart from a clip of Seamus Healy TD speaking in the Dáil-no mention by any panel member of the fact that the Government claim that there is no money to fund additional pay and pension restoration is false as government gave 600 million to owners of hotels in budget 2017 and gave 172 million to top 5% of income recipients on average of 186,000 Euro p. a. in last two budgets!

False Underlying Assumptions by presenter and panel distort public debate

Often, the omissions are more effective than the content in misleading viewers

And it is always the rich and powerful who benefit from the distortion!

Surprise! Surprise!!!

It was ever thus!!!!

Categories: Uncategorized

FIRE SALE OF STATE ASSETS BY FG-LAB THROUGH FINANCE MINISTER NOONAN

March 13, 2016 1 comment

Fianna Fáil Protect Noonan from EFFECTIVE SCRUTINY ON NAMA FIRESALE

Mr Fleming said he would like to assure Mr Noonan that he will be questioned strictly in connection with the sale process, saying the questioning will be strictly kept to the mechanics of the sale process and the minister’s involvement in it.

Mr Fleming said: “He is one of the links in the chain in relation to this sale process.

“He was involved in correspondence personally; he was involved in personal phone calls on the matter.

“I do want to assure the minister, and I as chairman of the PAC know fully the remit of the committee, we will not be straying into governmental decisions; policy issues by the department.

“We will keep it strictly to the mechanics of the sale process and the involvement of the minister in the sale process,” he added.

Later, he told RTÉ News that questions seeking to establish if there was any Government policy to encourage NAMA to accelerate sales of its loan portfolio, and what impact that might have had on the controversial Project Eagle deal at the centre of controversy, would have to be addressed by a Commission of Inquiry and not by the PAC.

-------------------------------------------

Ronnie Hanna,now out on bail, who was named in the ‘Spotlight’ probe, was the former head of Nama’s Asset Management in Dublin Headquarters, writes Niamh Horan

This weekend, a source close to the BBC Spotlight investigation told the Sunday Independent: “The team are still quietly plugging away. This is only the tip of the iceberg. There will be more to come.”

PUBLISHED Sunday Independent 18/09/2016 | 02:30

Businessman Frank Cushnahan is the name on everyone’s lips this weekend after he was secretly recorded accepting a £40,000 cash payment from a Nama borrower. 

But the bombshell footage, reported by BBC’s Spotlight programme, has thrown another man into the centre of controversy: former head of Nama’s asset management, Ronnie Hanna.

In the video, Mr Cushnahan alleged he had influence over Mr Hanna and suggested that he would have Mr Hanna’s assistance in getting the developer’s loans out of Nama in return for a fee. “Ronnie and I are thick as thieves,” he told the property developer.

In March of this year, both Mr Hanna and Mr Cushnahan were arrested on allegations of fraud by the National Crime Agency (NCA), which is investigating Nama’s £1.2bn sale of its Northern Ireland property portfolio to US firm Cerberus, and released on bail. Mr Hanna, like Mr Cushnahan, has strenuously denied any wrongdoing, but if Mr Cushnahan’s secretly recorded claims are true, it brings the scandal to the heart of Nama’s headquarters in Dublin.

Excerpts from Full Article Below

A source close to the BBC investigation told the Sunday Independent that both Mr Hanna and Mr Cushnahan were “very influential and big powerful players in Northern Ireland business and banking circles” and “go back over many years.”

In 2010, Mr Hanna’s career change from Ulster Bank to Nama raised eyebrows among lifelong friends. As a source explained: “We were all very surprised – it was a very leftfield move.”

Mr Hanna immediately became central to Nama’s operations in Dublin. He reportedly had the power of ‘life or death’ over developers.—-

Two months later, Mr Ronan’s chief legal counsel, Mr Williams, wrote on Mr Ronan’s behalf to Finance Minister Michael Noonan. In the letter dated September 6, 2012, he outlined the sequence of events leading to the collapse of Treasury Holdings and raised grave concerns regarding Nama’s actions to that point.

Nama was accused of losing a vast amount of money for Irish taxpayers through the sale of the jewel in Treasury’s assets: London’s iconic Battersea Power Station, which the agency sold for €600m but is now expected to generate profits of up €10bn.——

In recent months it has emerged that, on March 31 2014, Mr Hanna met John Snow, the head of Cerberus, the day before the US fund bid to buy the loans, worth £4.5bn. Three days later, Cerberus bid just £1.2bn for the loans, which was accepted by Nama. Six months later, Mr Hanna unexpectedly left the agency.

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Main Article Continued

 

So who is Ronnie Hanna- and how much power did he wield over Irish property developers and their assets?

A graduate of Belfast’s Queen’s university, Mr Hanna (57) worked for 30 years in Ulster Bank, Belfast. He was said to have been “well thought of by senior bankers” and quickly moved into the world of credit when the crash hit in 2008, eventually working his way up to Head of Global Restructuring at the bank.

Friends of Mr Hanna describe him as a typical “Northern Protestant”.

He was seen as “one of the pillars of society” in the North. A source close to the BBC investigation told the Sunday Independent that both Mr Hanna and Mr Cushnahan were “very influential and big powerful players in Northern Ireland business and banking circles” and “go back over many years.”

In 2010, Mr Hanna’s career change from Ulster Bank to Nama raised eyebrows among lifelong friends. As a source explained: “We were all very surprised – it was a very leftfield move.”

Mr Hanna immediately became central to Nama’s operations in Dublin. He reportedly had the power of ‘life or death’ over developers.

He has overseen the sale of assets belonging to Ireland’s biggest property developers including Derek Quinlan, Treasury Holdings’ Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett, Michael O’Flynn, Harry Crosbie and Joe O’Reilly.

They were among some of the biggest losers when Nama set off with seeming abandon in selling off what effectively were Ireland’s crown jewels – London assets such as Battersea Power Station, the Knightsbridge Estate, and a major stake in the world famous Claridge’s, Berkeley and Connaught hotels – for knockdown prices to vulture funds and other international investors.

The decision to take out Treasury Holdings in particular raised serious questions about Nama’s conduct.

In 2012, when Treasury appealed the decision against Nama bosses who had called in their loans, Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan ruled in favour of Nama – and Treasury Holdings lost on a ‘technicality’.

However, in her written summary, Ms Justice Geoghegan was highly critical of Nama. In a public indictment of the agency, she found it acted unfairly and unreasonably against the developers because it did not fulfil its obligation to give a fair hearing to proposals which could have saved the company.

Two months later, Mr Ronan’s chief legal counsel, Mr Williams, wrote on Mr Ronan’s behalf to Finance Minister Michael Noonan. In the letter dated September 6, 2012, he outlined the sequence of events leading to the collapse of Treasury Holdings and raised grave concerns regarding Nama’s actions to that point.

Nama was accused of losing a vast amount of money for Irish taxpayers through the sale of the jewel in Treasury’s assets: London’s iconic Battersea Power Station, which the agency sold for €600m but is now expected to generate profits of up €10bn.

Meanwhile, this weekend one developer who has not yet exited Nama- and who has worked with Mr Hanna- described him as “very, very tough” and “abrupt”.

He said: “He had the power to make or break any of us.”

A friend who would sometimes meet Mr Hanna socially during his time working with Nama said: “He was definitely an outsider in Dublin so he could disassociate from developers when he had to make decisions and I know that made his work easier for him.”

The friend, who would drink socially with Mr Hanna, described him as “lonely” in Dublin, adding: “He would get the train down early on a Monday morning and come back up here to Belfast late on a Friday evening. He seemed under a lot of stress during his time with Nama. You could see it in his face.

“He aged hugely in the few years he was in Dublin and he didn’t look great. He looked absolutely wrecked when I met him.”

He went on: “I do know there was huge political pressure and Nama had to produce and deliver quickly and that’s why very, very fast decisions were made. He was in a tough place. The atmosphere inside was very politically sensitive. Some developers appeared to have no chance to survive. People wanted blood and that was it. Politicians wanted results quickly.”

Speaking about learning that his friend was embroiled in the Project Eagle controversy, the source said: “We were all shocked. I don’t think he was the type of man who could do such a thing. I hope there will be an investigation to figure out what the hell happened. There is something definitely amiss [with the Nama controversy], things don’t add up.”

In recent months it has emerged that, on March 31 2014, Mr Hanna met John Snow, the head of Cerberus, the day before the US fund bid to buy the loans, worth £4.5bn. Three days later, Cerberus bid just £1.2bn for the loans, which was accepted by Nama. Six months later, Mr Hanna unexpectedly left the agency.

Under Dail privilege, Independent TD Mick Wallace said Mr Hanna “was part of a cabal to seek payment for effecting the biggest property deal in the history of the State”.

In March of this year both Mr Hanna and Mr Cushnahan were arrested by police, who seized documents and computers during raids on properties in Belfast. Nama belatedly lodged a complaint to the Standards in Public Office Commission in relation to its Northern-based former adviser Frank Cushnahan. When asked why Nama hasn’t also lodged a complaint to the Standards in Public Office Commission in relation to its southern-based former adviser, Ronnie Hanna, a spokesperson for Nama refused to comment.

This weekend, commentators have suggested that Nama is trying to keep the controversy north of the border, for fear of it spilling into its dealings in its Dublin office.

Deputy Mick Wallace claimed that there is a “strong reluctance” to deal with the controversy due to” the fear that allowing a few cracks to develop could lead to the collapse of the Nama edifice.”

This weekend, a source close to the BBC Spotlight investigation told the Sunday Independent: “The team are still quietly plugging away. This is only the tip of the iceberg. There will be more to come.”

Sunday Independent

 

Will Shane Ross, John Halligan, Finian McGrath Protect Noonan and NAMA From INVESTIGATION??

NOONAN WILL NOT APPEAR BEFORE THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ON NAMA FIRE-SALE—-MINISTER VERADKAR ON THE WEEK IN POLITICS ON RTE

GOVERNMENT  WANTS TO CONFINE STATUTORY INQUIRY INTO NAMA TO PROJECT EAGLE-VERADKAR

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NOONAN PRESSURISED NAMA TO SELL OFF ASSETS QUICKLY THOUGH PROPERTY PRICES WERE RISING COSTING THE STATE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS

“This is confirmed by people with knowledge of the agency’s dealings. In his letter to the Minister for Finance decrying the C&AG report, Nama chairman Frank Daly pointedly remindedMichael Noonan that it was operating on his instructions when it accelerated the sale of its loan book.

Daly reminded Noonan this approach was “endorsed by you” during the agency’s 2014 review, when it adopted the target of 80 per cent of senior debt (a cumulative total of €24 billion) by the end of 2016.-Irish Times 15/09/2016

“As you know this ambitious target, which has not alone been achieved but exceeded some nine months ahead of schedule, could not have been attained without the sale of some large loan portfolios at market value,” Daly reminded the Minister.

This sounds a lot like: hold on, pal – this was your idea all along.

There is some truth to it. Noonan had long been of the view, even before he became Minister for Finance, that Nama needed to accelerate loan disposals, to “put a floor” on the market, to get things moving. This process necessarily required offloading properties which would subsequently rise in value. That is what happens in a rising market.-Irish Times 15/09/2016

 

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Kenny, Noonan and Labour Ministers  Gave Away Billions in Bank of Ireland Shares

Wilbur Ross Celebrates Huge Windfall Gain in BoI Shares on Bloomberg TD

Kenny Refused Call of Seamus Healy TD to Sack Noonan

“The answer to the Deputy’s question is that the Minister for Finance will not be sacked”

Seamus Healy TD – Leaders Questions 05 March 2014    Watch and Listen

WUAGWordpress   http://wp.me/p1Uvd5-z3

Statement Seamus Healy TD   March 2014

In the course of his speech on the Governments Economic Plan , Seamus Healy TD called on the Taoiseach to Correct the Dail Record  on  the disastrous sale of shares in BoI which he totally misrepresented to the Dail yesterday.  READ Full Dail Record BELOW   

He said:

In July 2011, that “financial wizard” Michael Noonan sold 1.123 Billion of government shares in Bank of Ireland to Wilbur Ross and a North American Consortium. Now the shares are worth 3.8 billion. Wilbur thinks Michel Noonan and Richie Boucher are marvellous!! The reason the shares rose is that investors have been assured by Michael that BoI is a pillar bank. Recently Michael saved Wilbur and the mainly private owners of BoI a further 325m at the expense of the state when he voluntarily sold 1.3 billion in preference shares which the bank couldn’t redeem to a third party.

Yesterday the Taoiseach said in answer to me at Leaders Questions Mr Ross’ investment in Bank of Ireland meant there was less of a capitalisation requirement for the taxpayer.” This is totally untrue. The sale of 1.123 billion in state shares had no effect on capitalisation.  It merely meant that 1.123 billion of state shares was replaced by 1.123 billion of shares held by the north American consortium of vulture capitalists.  I call on the Taoiseach to correct the record of the house. It is a disservice to democracy if a Taoiseach can tell a blatant untruth to the house to cover up the fact that Wilbur Ross and associates walked away with 2.7 billion euro in Irish Peoples money because of the ideological position of the government

 

Healy Calls for Dismissal of Noonan as Governments helps Vulture Capitalists walk away with 2.7 Billion of Irish Money

 

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The Taoiseach’s and the Government’s ideological commitment to private banking has ripped off the taxpayer and the people. The value of Wilbur Ross’s and his North American vulture capitalist friends’ shares in Bank of Ireland has more than trebled, from €1.1 billion to €3.8 billion. They are now selling 6.75% of Bank of Ireland for €690 million, at a huge profit, while retaining 30%. I raised this issue during Leaders’ Questions on 7 November 2013 when I said:

In April 2013, on Bloomberg television, Wilbur Ross, the American vulture capitalist, described Bank of Ireland as his best investment anywhere in the world during the financial crisis. In July 2011 the Government sold State shares in Bank of Ireland to a consortium of North American vulture capitalists for €1.123 billion. The effect of the sale is that the State now owns 15% of Bank of Ireland’s shares at a net cost of €4 billion, while these vulture capitalists own 37% at a cost of €1.123 billion. The fire sale of Bank of Ireland shares has handed Wilbur Ross and his wealthy associates a capital gain of €2 billion. No wonder he was celebrating on television. They are onto a sure winner in the future.

This is all too true. Not alone had the people bailed out Bank of Ireland, the Government had guaranteed the shares would rise by designating Bank of Ireland a pillar bank. It made no sense. Now in the media Wilbur Ross is lavishing praise on Richie Boucher and the Government. Why would he not? With no risk, he and his partners trebled their investment. Will the Taoiseach tell the people the truth? Will he tell them that while they were being fleeced in budget after budget, owing to the Taoiseach’s ideological commitment to the privatisation of banking, he has cost them €2.7 billion which has gone straight into the pockets of Wilbur Ross and his North American friends. If a person ran a sweet shop in the way Deputy Michael Noonan handles State investments, he or she would not be long in business. Will the Taoiseach sack the Minister for Finance who proposed this rip-off to the Cabinet – the rip-off of taxpayers and the people – in what was and is a fire sale?

The Taoiseach:   The answer to that question is “No.” I was not sure whether the Deputy was going to propose that Anglo Irish should have been made a pillar bank, if one was to follow through on his dissertation. There are two things he should bear in mind. First, the fact that Mr. Ross invested in Bank of Ireland meant there was less of a capitalisation requirement for the taxpayer. Second, there will be no legacy debt attached. When the Minister for Finance brings his memo to the Government with a recommendation to dispose of the State’s element of ownership of Bank of Ireland, the taxpayer will make a profit. Therefore, the taxpayer was saved from further capitalisation of Bank of Ireland and when the Government decides to dispose of its shares, the taxpayer will make a profit. I am no fan of banks. As the Deputy is well aware, what has happened from the point of view of the Government is that it has put in place a set of targets and requirements for banks and the Central Bank: to offer every mortgage holder in distress a sustainable offer by the end of the year; establish the Personal Insolvency Agency; meet the requirement for SME lending; and provide the opportunity to open doors for greater access to credit in order that people can do business and create jobs.

The answer to the Deputy’s question is that the Minister for Finance will not be sacked; the taxpayer will make a profit on the disposal of the shares we own in Bank of Ireland.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   I thank the Taoiseach for his response, but, once again, we have heard the usual smoke and mirrors blather. The fact is that the Government’s ideological commitment to private banking has gone even further. As bad as the Wilbur Ross affair was, the taxpayer has been ripped off again, as recently as December 2013. This happened when Bank of Ireland was unable to call or buy all of the preference shares held by the Government. On that occasion the Government voluntarily sold the excess shares to a third party at a knockdown price to facilitate the bank. The Government rushed deliberately to complete that sale before 31 March 2014, when those shares will be worth an additional €325 million. In addition, the whole operation meant the State’s share in the bank was reduced by another €100 million. The Government, therefore, lost €425 million in the deal. How can the Taoiseach continue to support a Minister for Finance who has stood over such a rotten and shameful deal for the taxpayer?

The Taoiseach:   As I pointed out, we cannot have a functioning economy without functioning banks. When the Government was elected to office, we had a banking system which was completely dysfunctional, had gone off the rails and required radical restructuring. This happened with the putting in place of the pillar bank system.

The Deputy asked if the Minister for Finance would be sacked. The answer to that question is “No.” We have a duty to the Irish taxpayer to see—–

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The Taoiseach is standing over that.

The Taoiseach:   —–that money paid into banks can be recovered to the greatest extent possible given the catastrophic economic mess left by those who went before us.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   Shame.

The Taoiseach:   In the case of Bank of Ireland the fact that Mr. Ross invested in the bank meant that the Irish taxpayer had to put less money into the bank than it might have had to do.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   When did the Taoiseach sell shares for €425 million?

The Taoiseach:   When the State, on the recommendation of the Minister for Finance, decides to dispose of its equity there the taxpayer will make a profit. That is our commitment, our duty and responsibility to the Irish taxpayers not to leave them at a loss, given the scale of what was inherited here.

Deputy Willie O’Dea:   It was €3 billion less than the Taoiseach would have paid.

STORMONT CRITICISES NOONAN JUDGEMENT IN PROCEEDING WITH SALE

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/stormont-criticises-noonans-judgment-in-going-ahead-with-16bn-nama-sale-34527429.html?

NOONAN NOT ABLE TO HALT PROJECT EAGLE SAYS DEPARTMENT-Irish Times

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/noonan-not-able-to-halt-project-eagle-sale-says-department-1.2569898#.VuPBx20tcuk.mailto

Newspaper commentators seem to have forgotten that the FG-Lab Government ,through Finance Minister Michael Noonan,sold risk free shares in Bank of Ireland “Pillar Bank”(Cant Fail!)  to Wilbur Ross in 2011

3 years later Wilbur had walked off with a total profit of 500m Euro by selling on the shares!

An official who worked on the sale project in Dep of Finance was appointed to a senior position in BoI whose board was joined by Wilbur Ross! (Following an appeal to the Ceann Comhairle by Seamus Healy TD, Noonan was forced to confirm this in PQ Reply to Seamus Healy TD)

Seamus Healy TD asked Taoiseach Kenny at Leaders Questions in the Dail to sack  Noonan following this  but Kenny refused and defended Noonan

Noonan also authorised the transfer of 1.2 Billion in state owned shares in AIB into the AIB pension fund owned by contributors and pensioners. As a result senior people who wrecked the bank retained huge pensions though small share holders had lost their life savings

Nama was allowed to sell assets worth over 6 billion to vulture fund Cerebus for less than 2 billion Euro

The sale of Nama properties in NI for a song to a single remaining bidder is nothing new.

The Cushnahan affair, though important, is small change

Noonan and Nama refused to appear before the Stormont Committee investigating the Scandal

Categories: Uncategorized

Defend Irish Neutrality, Reclaim our Sovereignty

November 22, 2015 1 comment

Read also Michael Roberts Blog

https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/donald-trump-and-the-poisoned-chalice-of-the-us-economy/

Triple threat to our low rates as EU targets Irish ‘tax sovereignty’–Brussels’ top economic official has told the Irish Independent that “tax sovereignty” will ultimately be vested at EU level, while Donald Trump has vowed to ship jobs and tax income back to America during his presidency.

 

Donal O,Donovan   Irish  Independent PUBLISHED12/11/2016 | 02:30

The Irish strategy of boosting jobs by acting as a low tax bridge between US corporations and the EU is facing an unprecedented combination of threats, just as the fallout from Brexit rattles the domestic economy. 

Brussels’ top economic official has told the Irish Independent that “tax sovereignty” will ultimately be vested at EU level, while Donald Trump has vowed to ship jobs and tax income back to America during his presidency.

In Brussels, Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that his push for a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (cccbt) is a response to public demand for action.

“We are in a new world where people want transparency and want the multinationals to pay their fair share of tax where they take profits,” he said. “We are really, I think, not trying to act against national tax sovereignty but to create a European sovereignty in this matter.”

The Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs is one of the EU’s most powerful officials. If he’s successful and tax authority shifts from Dublin to Brussels, it will end Ireland’s often controversial but legally protected ability to use independent tax powers to attract US multinationals to set up here when they enter the European market.

The EU push includes having big companies pay tax in territories where they make sales instead of at a global or regional level. That would leave Ireland, as headquarters for a significant number of large multinationals, worse off.

Any major changes at EU level need support from all member states, but Ireland has historically relied on support from the UK in the horse-trading on tax issues at the European Council, but it is set to exit the Union.

The rapidly unravelling global political environment means the Government in Dublin now faces a potentially bruising war on at least three fronts, including the fallout from June’s Brexit vote in the UK.

The Governor of the Central Bank, Philip Lane, told members of employers’ group Isme yesterday that Brexit is now the biggest threat to small business.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s senior economic adviser Stephen Moore this week said they will slash corporate tax rates to bring jobs and money “home” to the US.

He predicted “a flood of companies leaving Ireland and Canada and Germany and France.”

The Trump plan is to slash US corporation tax to 15pc from 35pc, the highest in the developed world.

However, the US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley, said he doesn’t believe Mr Trump’s election as president will lead to a mass exodus of American business from Ireland.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said: “If you think that Ireland is a tax haven, then you might be concerned about a lower tax rate. But I don’t believe that.

“If, like me, you believe that these companies are here because of the Irish workforce and they’re doing well here – there is no reason for them to leave.”

Some of Ireland’s biggest employers include Apple, Microsoft and Google. There’s an estimated $1.3trn of cash held outside the US by American corporations, according to a report this week by Moody’s.

A tax cut or tax amnesty by the new Trump administration could see much, or even all of that money flood into the US. Even at a reduced rate, the one-off gain would be huge.

Read more: Is EU putting our 12.5pc tax rate under siege? It’s sure starting to look that way

Read more: EU harmonisation push tipped to shrink Irish corporate tax take  

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TRUMP TO REDUCE AMERICAN CORPORATION TAX RATE TO 15%

AFTER BREXIT AND TRUMP ELECTION

Irish Economy and Irish Jobs are in Deadly Danger.This is due to growing dependence on foreign direct investment  fostered By FF, FG and Labour and the Irish Elites over more than 50 years.

PROTECTIONISM-SELECTIVE TARIFFS ON IMPORTS FROM EU TO USA TO BE IMPOSED

FF, FG, LAB COMMITTED THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL OF THE IRISH PEOPLE. THEY PUT OUR DESTINY IN THE HANDS OF OTHERS

TOTAL DEPENDENCE ON MULTI NATIONALS, THE EU FISCAL TREATY,  PRIVATISATION OF STATE COMPANIES, HAS LEFT IRELAND WITH ZERO SOVEREIGNTY. EIRCOM SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED INTO AN IRISH NOKIA NOT PRIVATISED

RECOVERY OF IRISH SOVEREIGNTY IS CENTRAL TO DEALING WITH THE OUTCOME

MULTI-NATIONALS PROVIDE 90% OF IRISH EXPORTS AND 57% OF VALUE ADDED IN THE IRISH  ECONOMY!

US investment in Ireland totals $310bn

As a destination for US investment, Ireland is bigger than Latin America and China

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APPLE Paid No Taxes For 10 years in Ireland!!!!!

         see full article further down

“A former company executive and Irish officials told Reuters the almost tax-free status dates all the way back to Apple’s arrival in Cork 33 years ago.

“There were tax concessions for us to go there,” said Del Yocam, who was vice-president of manufacturing at Apple in the early 1980s. “It was a big concession.” Apple paid no taxes for the first 10 years in Ireland, he added.

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US investment in Ireland totals $310bn, report finds

As a destination for US investment, Ireland is bigger than Latin America and China

Study cites recent investment announcements by Oracle, LinkedIn, Workday and Apple as evidence of deepening economic ties.

US investment in Ireland surged to a record $58.1 billion in 2014, accounting for more than 20 per cent of total US investment flows to Europe.

The figure was contained in a report on the Irish-US economic relationship commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland.

It cites data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which puts total US investment in Ireland as of 2014 at $310 billion.

This makes Ireland, as a destination for US investment, bigger than many regions of the world, including Latin America ($139 billion), Central America ($118 billion), China ($66billion), Africa ($64 billion), and the Middle East ($52 billion).

The report was launched on Thursday at the American Chamber’s annual president’s lunch event.

Author Joseph Quinlan told The Irish Times that the key finding of his study was that while US investment in the EU was “at best stagnant”, US multinationals were deepening their investment Ireland.

He said there was a “bundle of attributes” related to Ireland which continued to attract US firms. “It is not one variable but many variables-a package of attributes and endowments-that account for Ireland being among the most attractive destinations in the world for US foreign direct investment,” he said.

Chief among them are the State’s fast-growing economy, its wealth in human capital and its pro-business policies, Mr Quinlan said.

The report does not refer to the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (Beps) project and its possible effect on US investment here but describes the State’s low corporation tax rate as a “cornerstone” for foreign firms.

Mr Quinlan said the pace of Ireland’s recovery, with gross domestic product now expanding at 6 per cent annually, had surprised most international observers.

“Ireland’s turnaround reflects the resilience of the economy and Ireland’s adaptability, flexibility and foresight to ever-changing and challenging circumstances, traits that are very attractive to US multinationals.”

In his report, Mr Quinlan cites recent investment announcements by Oracle, LinkedIn, Workday and Apple as evidence of deepening economic ties.

He also highlighted the cutting edge nature of Ireland’s foreign direct investment (FDI), which was being driven by life sciences, social media and telecommunications

“Ireland is doing a very good job of tapping into the global growth drivers by company and by sector,” he said.

On the other side of the ledger, Ireland’s investment stakes in the US are significant as well, with Irish affiliates estimated to have generated some $90 billion in affiliate sales from their US operations in 2014 and $35 billion in US economic output.

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EU to publish new multinational disclosure rules

Tuesday 12 April 2016 07.5

Scrutiny of international tax affairs stepped up after the Panama Papers

The European Commission will issue new proposals later this morning which would force large multinational companies operating in the EU to make public all revenue and taxation details involving any of their operations in countries across the globe.

The move comes amid a growing clamour over alleged global tax evasion by companies and individuals through the use of secretive offshore companies, as revealed in the so-called Panama Papers.

In a separate move, the German and French governments have called for international cooperation to blacklist all territories that breach transparency standards.

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker had made tax transparency a key priority of his five-year-term, so the Panama revelations have added sharp impetus to proposals that were already in the pipeline.

The so-called country-by-country reporting rule would require all companies with a turnover more than €750m to publish a breakdown of profits, tax, employees and net turnover in countries inside and outside the EU.

Originally the plan would have allowed firms to publish only an aggregate of the data on operations outside the EU, but the new version will require them to open-up details on activities in countries beyond the EU, including in alleged tax havens.

Separately, France and Germany want to blacklist any countries which breach international transparency standards, and to force the publication of the names and beneficiaries of all corporate structures, including shell companies, trusts and foundations that offer anonymity.

The Irish government line is that Ireland has already signed up to new tax transparency rules under the OECD.

But while those rules would allow national tax authorities to exchange information with each other about suspect companies, the details would not be made public.

Taxation is a highly sensitive subject for member states, not least Ireland.

Normally each country has a veto on any taxation issues, but today’s proposals come under the EU’s accounting rules, so ultimately no member state will have a veto on any final outcome.


Ireland Must Resist New Pressures To Give Up Military Neutrality

Recovery of All-Ireland Sovereignty of Irish People More Vital than Ever!

The militarisation of Europe is a far greater threat than Brexit -Prof Ray Kinsella

Irish Independent PUBLISHED11/07/2016 | 02:30

The most searching challenge that the EU faces is not the fallout from Brexit – it’s from the militarisation of Europe and the US-led Nato encirclement of Russia, endorsed by the Nato Summit in Warsaw last weekend.

 

It is as misconceived as austerity and authoritarianism, which are at the heart of the European crisis. But it is infinitely more dangerous. If the Chilcot Report on the war in Iraq proves anything, it is that the momentum towards armed conflict, once started, becomes difficult to contain.

Militarisation will make it much more difficult to deal with the EU’s migration crisis, itself largely a consequence of the catastrophic effects of Western military intervention. A conflagration between US-led Nato and Russia would increase the numbers of refugees in Europe by an order of magnitude. As for the impact of such a conflagration on the European and global economy – well, all bets are off. We could not begin to model the impact – but we can look at post-war Europe and Iraq and Syria and Libya… Only what are euphemistically termed ‘Defence’ industries do (exceedingly) well out of war.

In April, I suggested in these pages that Europe was in denial. It was mired in an identity crisis largely brought on by itself – a crisis of values, democracy – as well as macroeconomic instability marked by inequality, youth unemployment and long-term indebtedness among peripheral countries. There was no trust in Europe. “The governance of the eurozone is characterised by self-interest, subservience among weaker indebted members and, also, tenacity beyond all reason, in persisting with failed policies.”

In June, prior to the Brexit Referendum, I pointed out that “while it was not the job of UK voters to resolve this mess – Brexit can force these same Euro elite to see reality. The EU is incapable of understanding that the dissenting voices across Europe – which they like to dismiss as ‘populism’ – are not the problem: the real issue is the underlying causes that have precipitated opposition to what the EU has become.”

This perspective was vindicated by the EU’s initial response to Brexit – denial, anger and a blame game.

Then, more positively, the first stirrings of a change in attitude by the EU ‘Top Table’ – notably Dr Wolfgang Schäuble – including a decision not to respond to Brexit by pressing ahead with ‘union’ and not to overly pressurise the UK in implementing Article 50.

Militarism threatens this. The process of rebalancing and reform, including greater democratisation across the EU, is now in jeopardy from the increased militarisation of the EU over the last two years, which is set to increase in the wake of the Warsaw summit. It is an appalling prospect.

Why do ‘leaders’ never see these things coming down the track? Every Leaving Cert student knows ‘The Causes of World War I’ – knowledge didn’t prevent it happening. Why did the ‘leaders’, with the notable example of Churchill, not see what was unfolding in Germany in the short few years from 1935 to 1939?

Why did the US not understand the malign dynamic of the Vietnam War during the 1960s – and its consequences for Asia and the global financial system?

Why did ‘leaders’ not envisage the catastrophic impact of the Iraq invasion?

Now, consider this recent statement by Nato: “Since 2014 Allies have implemented the biggest increase in collective defence since the Cold War… Four robust multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland … a brigade in Romania … further steps to improve cyber-defences, civil-preparedness and to defend against ballistic missile attack … extend Nato’s training mission in Iraq and to broaden (its) role in the Central Mediterranean … deploy Nato’s Awac surveillance aircraft to support the Global Coalition to counter Isil…”

Now read the Nato Communique issued after last weekend. This is in just two years. The scale and scope of this process has largely gone unremarked. So too have the ironies: of more “training” in Iraq, of support for a “Global Coalition to counter Isil” when we know that it was the military invasion of Iraq that largely created Isil, of “defensive missile systems” ostensibly operated by Nato, which as a recent article in the ‘Wall Street Journal’ points out, “are essentially American initiatives” – and can be redeployed in hours as a long-range offensive system.

The purported justification for this new militarisation of Europe is the intervention of Russia in Ukraine, culminating in the annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its re-integration into Russia.

What is inferred by Nato from this is that ‘a resurgent Russia’ poses an existential threat to Europe. It doesn’t stand up. It also puts fundamental reform of the EU – and peace – in jeopardy. The sensitivities of Poland and the Baltic states to a military threat from Russia are understandable. But that does not mean the argument driving militarisation is robust. Nor does it mean that their interests, and the interests of peace and stability in Europe, are well served by this militarisation of Europe.

Russia is not the USSR. The rebuilding of its economy and infrastructure, including the modernisation of its defence capability, under President Putin does not remotely equate to a threat to its neighbours.

The military capability of the US dwarfs that of Russia, in terms of assets and the number of bases from which to project those assets. Russia’s defence budget is a fraction of that of the US.

Moreover, the track record, and legacy, of Western military intervention in recent decades demonstrably poses a much greater threat to global peace and stability compared with Russia. But indeed any such comparisons are pitiless and, everywhere, add up to incalculable suffering. The decision by the EU to facilitate accession to the EU by Ukraine and, before that Georgia, was foolish and provocative beyond belief. It was foolish because the expansion of the EU has created a ‘Union’ so unwieldy and overextended in its governance as to pose a threat – now all too evident – to its very existence.

Reflect, for a moment, on a ‘Union’ that also included Ukraine and Georgia. To compound that by facilitating accession to the EU – and, by extension, participation in Nato-led security arrangements – of nations bonded to Russia geographically, historically and in terms of language and culture, went way beyond provocation.

It has kick-started a vicious circle of ratcheting-up ‘defence’ spending. The deployment by Nato of men, heavy equipment and missile systems effectively encircling Russia will inevitably elicit a response.

We have seen this kind of dynamic before – it is taking Europe to a bleak place.

The militarisation of the EU has been rapid, largely invisible and facilitated by self-serving propaganda. Diplomacy provides a better basis for engaging with Russia as a European power, with shared interests at a time of global uncertainty.

Militarisation, now unleashed, threatens Europe.

Economist Ray Kinsella is Professor of Banking and Financial Services, and Healthcare at UCD

Irish Independent

Public officials, world leaders, royal families, and sports stars were among those revealed this week as having squirreled vast quantities of wealth away in various manoeuvres designed to cut their tax bill .

Dubbed the Panama Papers, the cache of 11.5 million records showed how a global industry of law firms and big banks sell financial secrecy to politicians, fraudsters and drug traffickers as well as billionaires, celebrities and sports stars.

The revelations centre around a Panama-based law firm called Mossack Fonseca which specialises in building corporate structures that can be used to conceal assets. Among 143 politicians that were exposed were 12 national leaders.

The Panama Papers is also part of a wider story – the growing public ire at how big companies and rich individuals manage to avoid paying a lot of tax, often entirely legally, by the use of various devices.

The Republic’s own role in global tax avoidance was also in the news, as US drug giant PFIZER called off its planned $160 billion takeover of Dublin-based Allergan. The deal collapsed due to new rules in the US aimed at preventing corporate “inversions”, which is the practice of companies moving overseas in tax-avoiding paper-based mergers.

The move would have led to Pfizer’s relocation to Ireland and allowed it to cut its tax bill by an estimated $1 billion annually by domiciling in Ireland. US president Barack Obama this week called the practice “one of the most insidious loopholes out there”.

Speaking after a third round of restrictions aimed at curbing the practice were unveiled, he accused companies of enjoying the rewards of being American “without fulfilling the responsibilities to pay their taxes the way everybody else is supposed to pay them.”

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Apple tax probe could yield billions

Brussels investigating deals between firm and Revenue dating back to 1990s

PUBLISHED30/09/2014 | 02:30    Irish Independent Thomas Molloy

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple event announcing the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch at the Flint Center in Cupertino

THE State could be forced to collect an unwanted windfall worth billions of euro if Apple is forced to pay legacy taxes following a probe into its affairs by Brussels.

The possibility of a repayment comes as the European Commission explains today why it has begun a detailed investigation into tax deals between the Revenue Commissioners and Apple stretching back to the 1990s.

The Government has resisted the investigation and said repeatedly that Apple has no case to answer.

A finding that Apple had been given illegal state aid would be an embarrassment to the Government here and weaken Ireland’s hand as the international community cracks down on tax avoidance measures.

It could also trigger further probes that would shine a light on how Ireland has convinced so many tech companies to set up shop here.

A US Senate investigation into Apple’s tax affairs in 2013 found that the world’s most valuable company used Irish-registered businesses that were not tax-resident in any country, thereby sheltering tens of billions of dollars in profit from tax.

Apple’s operations in Cork have allowed the company to operate almost tax-free in Ireland since 1980 thanks to tax holidays and other deals. That has saved Apple tens of billions of euro, according to some calculations.

A Commission source close to the investigation told the Irish Independent that some repayment of unpaid taxes was now likely, although they declined to speculate on the figures involved. The fresh probe by the Commission could take 18 months and be open challenge in the courts.

Both Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Apple chief executive Tim Cook say the company did not get a special deal with the Revenue Commissioners.

The European Commission will effectively say today that Mr Kenny’s assurances to the Dail are not enough to stop a full investigation.

The Government has again resisted claims that Apple had a sweetheart deal with the Revenue Commissioners.

But Tanaiste Joan Burton gave a far less emphatic denial than the Taoiseach’s previous comments, saying only that she “would anticipate and hope” that tax arrangements with Apple are compliant.

“If changes are required we will obviously address whatever recommendations are made in the commissioner’s report,” she added.

The Department of Finance reiterated yesterday that it “is confident that there is no breach of state aid rules in this case.” The Government “already issued a formal response to the commission earlier this month, addressing in detail the concerns and some misunderstandings” in the EU’s June decision announcing the probe, it added.

The probe comes at a tricky time for the State. While no other country has taken aim at the 12.5pc corporate tax rate, many are unhappy with other parts of our tax code such as transfer pricing transfer, the setting of prices for intra-group transactions.

The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said last month that our tax rules would have to be reformed to effectively outlaw the so-called ‘Double Irish’ tax avoidance scheme which is popular with tech companies such as Google.

US President Barack Obama’s administration has meanwhile banned so-called tax inversions which made it lucrative for some US pharmaceutical companies to buy smaller Irish companies and move their base here to avoid US taxes.

While both measures may still fail, they highlight the challenges faced by the Government as it battles to keep foreign companies in Ireland.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook faced fierce criticism from a Senate subcommittee in Washington last year over the iPhone maker’s tax practices, which had been shrouded from full view behind secretive tax-exempt Irish-based corporate entities.

The European Commission probe will hinge on two periods of intense talks between Apple and the Revenue Commissioners in the early 1990s and again in the latter parts of the last decade. Apple says it went to the Revenue Commissioners looking for guidance on how it should pay its taxes.

Deals around transfer pricing are complex and companies regularly seek guidance from the authorities on how to pay their taxes.

Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the US Senate subcommittee looking into Apple’s tax affairs, said in May last year that Apple had sought “the Holy Grail of tax avoidance”.

A former company executive and Irish officials told Reuters the almost tax-free status dates all the way back to Apple’s arrival in Cork 33 years ago.

“There were tax concessions for us to go there,” said Del Yocam, who was vice-president of manufacturing at Apple in the early 1980s. “It was a big concession.” Apple paid no taxes for the first 10 years in Ireland, he added.

Apple’s investment was a major coup for Ireland. At the time, the country was struggling with high and rising unemployment, double-digit inflation and a brain drain of the young and educated through emigration.

Ireland is not the only country under the cosh.

This morning, European Union regulators will provide more details of their reasons for launching in-depth inquiries into the tax arrangements reached by both the Irish Government and by Luxembourg with a Fiat subsidiary.

The European Commission has launched a similar investigation into the Dutch government’s tax treatment of Starbucks, but details of that will be published later, Euroepan Commisison spokesman Antoine Colombani said.

On Ireland, he added: “In this case, we have doubts that through tax rulings a company may have been granted selective treatment, preferential treatment, compared with what another company under the same rules, the general rules of the Irish tax system, would have received.”

Some tax lawyers told Reuters they doubted whether the Commission could force Apple to repay taxes and said that it was more likely that Ireland would be forced to change its light-touch approach to taxing multinationals.

Asked to comment yesterday, Apple reiterated its June statement, saying it had not received any selective treatment.

Irish Independent

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Speech By Seamus Healy TD on Report by Taoiseach from EU Council In Dáil

Underfunding of Healty Services caused by New Colonialism within Europe

40 Patients on Trolleys at South Tipp General as 7 billion in annual Interest paid to European Banks

Total Surrender of Economic Sovereignty by successive Governments

Dail Record

Deputy Seamus Healy:    Today at South Tipperary General Hospital, there are 44 patients on chairs, trolleys and corridor beds awaiting admission. I am told this is the highest number on trolleys in the hospital in the whole country. What has this to do with the debate we are having here today? It has, of course, everything to do with it. The hospital is starved of resources. Approximately 25% of its budget, or approximately €15 million, has been cut over recent years. This is because the previous Government, namely the Fianna Fáil–Green Party Government, and the current Government, the Fine Gael–Labour Party Government, have agreed to pay €7 billion in debt interest repayments every year to EU institutions and banks. I wonder whether the Taoiseach raised the issue of debt and its renegotiation at the recent meetings. He told us approximately two and a half years ago that there would be a game-changer in regard to debt. It never happened. Now our services, including health and housing services, and economy are being absolutely devastated by the fact that huge sums of money are being paid out of the country to financial institutions right across Europe, including very wealthy ones. Some €7 billion per year is being paid in interest alone.

The fiscal treaty agreed following the Lisbon treaty has created a new colonialism within Europe. That treaty flies in the face of the 1916 Proclamation. It is not a sovereignty-sharing treaty. It effectively sets aside Irish sovereignty and hands it over to big EU powers. It must be renegotiated. This could best be done in the framework of a debt-neutralisation conference. Ireland should demand such a conference and seek support for this demand from Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and others. The fiscal treaty requirement for Ireland is essentially a continuation of austerity over the next 20 years. This is linked to the circumstances we note today in South Tipperary General Hospital and the 1,600 children living in emergency hotel accommodation.

The fiscal compact requires that the current budget deficit be reduced below 3% of GDP, that the structural deficit be eliminated by 2018 and that the public debt–GDP ratio be reduced to 60% over the next 20 years. Despite the physical exit of the troika from Dublin, the Government and this country are still bound by the treaty to keep the current budget deficit below 3%. On the other hand, the current budget deficit in Germany, for instance, has been below 3% for the last number of years. It has no structural deficit and the German national debt–GDP ratio is at 57%, already below 60%. In other words, there are no impositions whatsoever on Germany under the fiscal treaty. The treaty is merely a device to force the programme countries and other indebted countries to make huge repayments to stronger countries, led by Germany, although all EU countries were responsible for the banking busts and European recession.

A new economic colonialism has been established within Europe through the fiscal treaty. Owing to this and the payment of €7 billion in interest, the Irish economy and public services, including health, education, housing and other services, are being devastated. Ireland will continue to pay over €7 billion per year in interest on borrowings. Our public service will remain under-funded. Any attempt to reduce our reliance on foreign direct investment through public investment in modern indigenous industry will fail because of that huge payment out of the country.

The combination of our over-reliance on multinationals and the provisions of the fiscal treaty mean the State has virtually no sovereignty or power to ensure the economic and social well-being of its citizens.

The new Dáil must demand the renegotiation of the fiscal treaty and the convention of a European debt mutualisation conference to ensure moneys are available to provide for citizens and public services in health, education, housing and much more besides

Clare Daly and Mick Wallace Arrested arising out of attempt to inspect military aircraft at Shannon

Peace AND Neutrality Alliance

Demonstration Tomorrow Thursday Nov 10,1 pm, Leinster House

————————————————————-

TURKEY(NATO MEMBER) SHOOTS DOWN RUSSIAN JET!

ROGER COLE, SPEAKING at PANA AGM WARNED AGAINST IRELAND GETTING INVOLVED IN EU MILITARY PLANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST. HE WAS RIGHT! SIMILAR WARNINGS BY ED HORGAN in THE IRISH TIMES HAVE NOW BEEN VINDICATED.

US  is supplying arms to Saudi Arabia which is passing them on to Islamic State. Turkey is buying oil from Islamic State which is enabling the caliphate to survive. TURKEY is an ally of France which is bombing Islamic State. Russia is an ally of the SHIA muslim powers, Iran, Iraq and the Alawite Shia Bashir AL ASSAD. Meanwhile Saudia Arabia is carpet bombing Shia areas of YEMEN. Meanwhile, the British Tories, longtime allies of Saudia Arabia and ISRAEL say they now want to begin bombing Islamic state. But what are the real plans and objectives of these big powers?

Any Irish Person who advocates Irish involvement with the EU military block in the Middle East is either demented or a toady of big powers.

Now is the Time to stand up for IRISH NEUTRALITY. Support PANA!

LETTER TO IRISH TIMES : Edward Horgan , Peace and Neutrality Alliance

Sir, – Our Minister for Defence, without Dáil approval, has backed the French decision to invoke Article 42.7 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty mutual defence obligation. Irish officials said that Irish neutrality will not be affected by the decision. Ministers have repeatedly stated that Ireland is still a neutral state, in spite of allowing over 2.5 million US troops to transit to wars through Shannon airport. Ministers are afraid to acknowledge that Ireland’s policy of neutrality has been abandoned since 2001, because they realise that up to 80 per cent of the Irish people strongly support a policy of positive neutrality that includes active involvement by the Defence Forces in maintaining international peace, and avoidance of becoming entangled in wars.

Of course we should be sympathetic and helpful toward the 129 people killed in Paris. Like many thousands of Irish people, I have immediate relatives, including three grandchildren, living in France.

Ireland and the United Nations have serious obligations under the UN charter to maintain international peace in Syria. Yet the opposite is occurring. The so-called international community is now bombing Syria, contributing to the death toll of 250,000 people since 2011. That’s well over 240 Syrian people killed each day. That means that up to 25,000 Syrian children have been killed.

What Ireland must do is to promote peace in the Middle East and to oppose wars, and thereby to stop the killing of Syrian and other Middle Eastern children (and adults). This will eventually stop the sort of terrorist attacks that have killed children and adults in Paris, London, Madrid and New York.

The only justified “mutual defence treaties” are those that respect the mutuality of humanity, including our friends and neighbours in Syria and Paris. – Yours, etc,

EDWARD HORGAN,

Castletroy, Limerick.

Categories: Uncategorized

HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS CRISIS

October 24, 2015 3 comments

Committee Stage Of Courts Bill Adjourned as it is revealed that State-Owned PTSB has appealed Hogan Judgement to The Supreme Court

But No Media Coverage Despite Circulation of Report and Full-Time Dáil Correspondents Employed???

Government Bill TO FAST-TRACK EVICTIONS (Courts Bill) Adjourned
Government Caught out in double try-on
Government attempted to Appeal Hogan Judgement through State Owned PTSB appeal to Supreme Court while at the same time taking Courts Bill designed to overcome Hogan Judgement through Dáil—Committee Stage of Courts Bill has been adjourned after Government found out !
Minister Staunton claimed Minister Noonan knew nothing about state owned PTSB appeal to Supreme Court!!!!

Explanation

If tenants and mortgage holders could not be evicted in future, the value of property in dwellings would fall sharply. NAMA would get far lower sale price for blocks of apartments. Vultures who have already bought apartment blocks would make far less profit. Banks, including state-owned AIB and PTSB would be worth far less as their loan books would fall in value. Under the Eu Fiscal Treaty which cedes all Irish economic sovereignty, the state debt to GDP ratio must be progressively reduced.  FF/FG/Lab have no intention of doing this by taxing the huge assets of the Irish rich.(See Irish Super-Rich Awash with Money in another post on this blog.) Instead they hope to do it by selling off Irish assets and using the proceeds to repay debt. Already the Dundrum and ILAC centres are in majority foreign ownership as are many shopping centres and much commercial and other property throughout the country. The government intends to sell off AIB, PTSB, EBS and use the proceeds to pay down state debt. It also wants to sell off its shareholding in other banks for the same purpose. Consequently it wants to keep interest rates on mortgages and loans to small business kept very high by European standards. It wants the value of bank loan books kept high by accelerating evictions so that banks can recover distressed bank loans.(AIB has reduced its bad debts by €18.4bn since the peak in June 2013 – a reduction of 63pc over the three years.This leaves 10.8 billion of impaired loans on its books to-day). Government is also accelerating the sell-off of properties owned by the state through NAMA.

It is in the interest of the Irish Government and the very rich Irish whose interest it represents to accelerate repossession of dwellings and the eviction of residents.

The Land and Conveyancing Act 2013, introduced by Fg-Lab, was a major step in the acceleration of evictions of tenants and distressed home owners. It transferred the majority of repossession cases from the slow and clogged-up High Court to the county  Circuit Courts.  However a case was taken to the high court against Permanent TSB by a borrower and the court “reluctantly” ruled that the Circuit Court had no Jurisdiction (right to rule) in a whole series of cases involving commercial property and buy-to-let dwellings.

This judgement known as the Hogan Judgement would slow up repossessions and consequent eviction of tenants if not altered. The Government acted quickly through the initiation in the Dáil of the Courts Bill 2016 to restore the jurisdiction to the Circuit Courts which had been removed by the Hogan Judgement. It was generally believed that this was the means by which the government intended to restore the pace of eviction of tenants.

The amendments tabled by Seamus Healy TD (carried below) were designed to formally declare a housing emergency, to  halt evictions and to resist the intent of government to speed them up.

Amendments were to be given detailed consideration at the Committee Stage of the Bill on Dec 1, 2016.

However the Committee Stage of the Bill was adjourned because it was discovered that Government through PTSB, which it owns, was seeking to speed up evictions by appealing to the Supreme Court to strike down the HOGAN JUDGEMENT at the same time as it was proposing the Courts Bill in the Dail for the same purpose-That is speeding up evictions.

For some reason the Government must fear that the Bill alone will not be effective in this regard. Hence it is attempting to use a twin-track approach.

The government is pretending that it was unaware of the Supreme Court Appeal though this was reported in Irish Times on November 17.

Department of Finance, headed by Minister Michael Noonan, has a special banking affairs section. It is not credible that Noonan was unaware of the Appeal

The majority of the Oireachtas Committee reused to continue to discuss the Bill and the session was adjourned

 

Amendments to Court Bill (Fast-Tracking Evictions) from Seamus Healy TD

Seamus Healy TD has submitted the following amendments for the Committee Stage of The Courts Bill,2016:

Amendments

First Amendment  Formally Declaring a Housing Emergency

Amendment for Committee Stage of Courts Bill,2016

From lines 15 to 22 Inclusive insert new section 1, paragraph 1 of the Courts Bill,2016:

 

  • (1)Dáil Eireann formally declares that a housing emergency exists in the state and while this emergency continues the right of any person to remain in the dwelling in which the person   currently resides will take precedence over any property right of any other person including that of landlords
  • Accordingly no court or other authority shall order the removal  of the current occupant of a dwelling  or by its decisions enable such removal notwithstanding the provisions of any Act currently in force including the provisions of the Land and Conveyancy Act 2013
  • The housing emergency declared in this section can only be terminated by a vote of Dáil Eireann and government including any minister of government are precluded from annulling the housing emergency without approval  in such a vote

and renumber existing sections  accordingly

 

Second Amendment   Stopping The State RETROSPECTIVELY MAKING FLAWED EVICTION CLAIMS LEGAL

Amendment for Committee Stage of Courts Bill,2016

From lines 15 to 22 Inclusive delete section 1, paragraph 1 of the Courts Bill,2016 as set out below

  1. (1) Subject to subsection (2), where proceedings have, before the passing of this Act,

been initiated in the Circuit Court, being proceedings that—

(a) are referred to in a specified provision, and

(b) relate to a property that is not rateable,

and which the Circuit Court would have jurisdiction to hear and determine if the

relevant associated provision had been in operation immediately before the               2

proceedings’ initiation, then the Circuit Court shall have, and be deemed always to

have had, jurisdiction to hear and determine the proceedings.

Seamus Healy TD 087-2802199

AMENDMENT TO PLANNING and DEVELOPMENT (Housing) and Residential Tenancies ACT (2016)

( government is pretending to protect tenants when buy-to-lets are sold)

 

AMENDMENT RECOMMENDED BY FOCUS IRELAND TO MAKE PROTECTION OF

TENANTS  REAL in Sale of Buy-to-Lets

Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2016

Committee Stage Amendment

________________

 

New Section 16.

In page 48, after line 37 to insert the following new section –

“Restriction on termination of tenancies of buy-to-let dwellings.

  1. The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 is amended by inserting the following section after section 34 –

 

Restriction on termination of tenancies of buy-to-let dwellings.

34A. – (1) A Part 4 tenancy may not be terminated by the landlord on the ground specified in paragraph 3 of the Table to section 34 where the property to which the tenancy agreement relates is the subject of an existing investment mortgage.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to all tenancies, including a tenancy created before the coming into operation of this section.

(3) Where, immediately before the coming into operation of this section, a notice of termination has been served on a tenant in reliance upon a ground provided for in paragraph 3 of the Table to section 34, section 34 shall continue to apply to that notice as if this section had not been enacted.

(4) In this section, “investment mortgage” means a mortgage which has been taken out as security in respect of a residential property that was not at the time of its purchase intended to serve as the principal private residence of the mortgagee, and is subsequently the subject of a tenancy agreement.”.

Seamus Healy TD   087-2802199

———————————————————–

GOVERNMENT OWNED BANKS AND OTHER LENDERS SEEK TO EVICT OVER 2000 FAMILIES BEFORE CHRISTMAS

More than 2,000 HOME REPOSSESSION Cases listed in the courts before Christmas-

placing stress on families before the festive season

Significant “escalation” in enforcement orders since the middle of the summer

Mark O’Regan  Sunday IndependentPUBLISHED20/11/2016  

The rise of family home repossession court cases is set to continue in the run-up to Christmas, with figures currently at 2,600 a month.

There are 650 family court appearances a week, and experts have predicted there will be this many into next year.

It came amid claims of a significant “escalation” in enforcement orders since the middle of the summer.

The Sunday Independent has learned more than 2,000 cases will come before the courts in the next five weeks – placing stress on families before the festive season.

New Beginning – a group of lawyers providing representation for those facing repossession – said 100 cases on average are being heard a month in Limerick, with the figure for Cork running at 200.

In Meath, 150 cases are being heard on average each month, with 100 in Tipperary, 46 in Kilkenny, 88 in Mayo, and 83 in Kerry. Central Bank figures have revealed the number of repossessions of a “primary dwelling home” has dramatically increased in the past four years.

In 2015, 726 homes were repossessed. This compared with 315 dwellings seized by banks and financial institutions in 2014, and 251 in 2013.

In the first six months of this year, 240 homes were retaken by financial institutions.

Founder of New Beginning Ross Maguire said there had been a marked escalation in enforcement orders in recent months. He added: “There is a cohort of people in the country who, no matter what they do, cannot afford their mortgage, and are facing inevitable repossession.”

David Hall, director of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, said the “system is failing” families grappling with mortgage debt. He called on Housing Minister Simon Coveney to declare a national emergency on the issue.

He said: “There are 34,000 cases in arrears of more than two years and 59,000 between one and two years.”

 


VOTING ON SECOND STAGE OF COURTS BILL IN DAIL

Bill  removes legal obstacles to continued repossession of dwellings which are not principal private residence of the owner through the Circuit Court. The Government has also announced that it will seperately raise the threshold for the market value for such properties to be considered by Circuit Court from 75,000 to 3 million by Ministerial Order.

These measures cannot fail to increase the number of evictions of tenants  from apartments and houses, increasing homelessness.

This will restore the value of such properties to Vultures, Banks, Nama. This had been “reluctantly”damaged by a Supreme Court ruling

FF, FG, Labour, Independent Alliance(Including Finian McGrath) ,INDEPENDENT Dr Harty (Clare), VOTE FOR COURTS BILL (Second Stage) INCREASING EVICTIONS AND HOMELESSNESS

VOTED AGAINST:Seamus Healy,Sinn Fein, AAA-PBP, Independents for Change, Social Democrats, Greens, 3 Rural Independents (Michael Fitzmaurice, Michael Collins, Mattie McGrath)

DID NOT VOTE: Noel Grealish, Michael Lowry, Healy-Rae (2)

Bill has now Gone to Committee Stage. A final Vote on Bill in Dail is expected before Christmas Recess.

 

Question put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 92; Staon, 0; Níl, 42.

Staon Níl
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Tellers: Tá, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Jonathan O’Brien.

Question declared carried.


FORMAL DECLARATION OF HOUSING EMERGENCY NEEDED TO REDUCE  OUTRAGEOUS MORTGAGE RATES

MINISTER NOONAN OPPOSES MOVE TO REDUCE RATES BY CITING PROTECTION OF PROPERTY RIGHTS OF BANKS IN THE CONSTITUTION

LENDERS CHARGE UP TO 5% INTEREST WHILE ACCESSING MONEY FROM ECB AT 0%-MORTGAGE HOLDERS BEING USED TO BAIL OUT BANKS

The protection of property rights in the constitution is not absolute. It is subject to the public good. Governments introduced a formal declaration of a financial emergency to enable them to confiscate private property in pensions.But the government is refusing to formally declare a housing emergency which would enable the private property rights of banks, vultures and landlords to be overcome in order to halt evictions.

Now NOONAN has given another reason for the refusal-it could prevent lenders being allowed to fleece mortgage holders

These huge interest rates are making it impossible for many householders to escape from mortgage distress which means they are constantly threatened with eviction

From Irish Examiner  21/10/2016     Dáil Report

Mr McGrath(FF) said banks here are being allowed by the Central Bank to charge borrowers up to 5% when they themselves are accessing the money at close to 0% rates.

“Real constitutional issues will need to be considered as this Bill is further progressed by the Oireachtas. As it is drafted, the Bill will clearly impact on the existing property rights of some creditors,” Minister Noonan  (FG) said.

 

SPEECH ON HOUSING AND EVICTIONS

Seamus Healy TD IN Dáil

Listen Live

https://wuag.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/housing-crisis-and-failed-clonlara-eviction/

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The proposals in respect of social housing in this budget are grossly inadequate. Housing is a fundamental right of human beings but shamefully the Taoiseach has written to the EU seeking permission to borrow the money required to build social housing. Ireland does not have the sovereignty to house its own people.

There are 140,000 people on local authority waiting lists and in the first four months of this year an additional 3,527 have been added to that figure. This probably underestimates the situation because people now availing of the housing assistance payments, formerly rent supplement, are being removed from local authority lists. We need an emergency house building programme of at least 10,000 houses per year to address this situation. The Government’s target of 47,000 houses to be provided between now and 2021 will fall far short of dealing with the problem. In 2021 we will be, as we are today, in a housing crisis. There is an absolute necessity to declare a housing emergency. The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Deputy Coveney, said publicly in July that he believed we had a housing crisis. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Donohoe, signed off on an emergency measure to ensure that public service pensioners were deprived of their pensions under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2015 but this Government refuses to declare a housing emergency which is absolutely necessary to halt evictions generally and in rented and mortgaged properties. The Government, through the banks it owns, Allied Irish Banks, AIB, and Permanent TSB is effectively allowing evictions. It is also allowing them through other banks, and landlords, including vulture funds. These evictions are continuing. As a result, many unfortunate families have been devastated by suicide.

A shocking eviction was attempted last week in Clonlara in County Clare. I demand that the Minister for Justice and Equality instruct the Garda to investigate the conduct of security companies at that failed eviction of a family. Will the Minister establish what security companies were involved and did those security firms possess an execution order for taking possession of that family home? Did they present an execution order to the owners of the property? If they had no execution order or did not present it to the family, were they guilty of trespass? Were all the security firms involved in this horrific event licensed according to the law? Had all the individuals involved in this attempted repossession legal authority for their actions? Were all the individuals registered employees of the security firms. Were children unlawfully detained during that incident? Were all involved acting on behalf of the Bank of Ireland in which the State has a significant shareholding? This was a shocking and horrific attempted eviction. Thankfully, it failed. In a year when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of 1916, when we promised to cherish all the children of the nation equally, what would Pearse and Connolly and the signatories to the Proclamation think of the eviction battering ram of 2016?

 

I compliment the family, their friends and neighbours, and the anti-eviction task force which successfully stopped this eviction. People power stopped this eviction. People power will force this Government to stop evictions and to declare a housing emergency. The sooner the Government does that, the better.

————————————–

Supply of new houses to fall short amid surge of demand-ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ESRI)

Irish Examiner   By Caroline O’Doherty,Senior Reporter   05/12/2006

House building is set to fall even further behind demand based on new forecasts that put the number of extra homes needed at a higher level than previously thought.

The Economic and Social Research Institute says that demand for new homes will grow to more than 30,000 a year within eight years.

Under the Government’s current housing plan, a target of 25,000 per year has been set for the coming years but nowhere near that number has been provided this year and there are doubts that the figure can be reached next year either.

Population growth, fuelled in part by net immigration which returned this year for the first time since 2009 and is likely to strengthen because of Brexit, will be the key driver of demand.

Apart from the challenges for the construction industry, the ESRI says domestic banks would struggle to provide the necessary level of credit without affecting safeguards around deposit to loan ratios.

In a report published today, the ESRI warns: “Results of our analysis suggest that in the future the traditional deposit base will be unable to fund the level of credit required to meet the housing demands of the economy. This will require significant changes in the domestic financial sector.

“Given the calamitous events of the past decade, a significant expansion in the lending capacity of the domestic banking sector will immediately give rise to concerns about the emergence of another credit- fuelled bubble.”

It suggests there may be a case for the entry of foreign banks into the Irish retail banking sector.

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CLARE FM REPORT REVERSAL OF ATTEMPTED EVICTION AT CLONLARA

http://www.clare.fm/news/garda%C3%AD-investigate-allegations-assault-following-attempted-clonlara-eviction

 

CLARE FM  WEBSITE

 

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF ASSAULT FOLLOWING ATTEMPTED CLONLARA EVICTION

18 October, 2016 – 08:18

Gardaí are investigating allegations of assault following an attempted eviction in South East Clare.

It’s understood the court-sanctioned reposession of a home in Clonlara on Friday has since been abandoned.

A video of the incident was posted on Facebook in recent days.

The video of the attempted court-sanctioned eviction in Clonlara has been viewed tens of thousands of times since it was uploaded to facebook on Friday.

It appears to show a number of men, believed to be from a security company, being confronted by members of the Anti Eviction Taskforce.

It’s understood the eviction was subsequently abandoned, after family members gained access to the home, which had been sealed off with steel shutters.

A senior Garda Spokesperson has confirmed to Clare FM that members of An Garda Síochána responded to a call-out to the area to prevent a breach of peace.

An allegation of assault has been made, but no arrests have yet been made.

Gardaí are continuing with their investigations.

 

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REPORT ON CLONLARA HOME SEIZURE BY LIAM DEEGAN ON FACEBOOK

(Seamus HEALY TD HAS PUT DOWN A PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION ASKING MINISTER FOR JUSTICE FRANCIS FITZGERALD TO INSTRUCT THE GARDAI TO INVESTIGATE ALL THE ALLEGATIONS SET OUT IN LIAM DEEGAN’S REPORT)

THE LAND OF SHAME AND WHERE BAILIFFS PLAY HIDE AND SEEK FROM THE LAW

THE CIRCUIT COURT

In another illegal and shameful attempt at an eviction by the Bank of Ireland, again in County Clare and this time on a mother with seven children. The mother of seven had been understood to be in the Circuit court on Tuesday last having an appeal heard and had arrived home only to find that one or more security companies had broken into the house.

The possession order had originally been given in the Circuit Court on the basis of rateable valuation as previously used in civil bills by the banks. It is not yet clear as to why the Circuit Court dismissed the families appeal on Tuesday.

Ironically the Circuit Courts are still hearing cases based on rateable valuation even though it has been ruled that the Circuit Court no longer enjoys any such jurisdiction due to a judgement given by Ms Justice Murphy some months ago and added to by having had the verdict subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal within the last number of weeks.

CHILDREN LOCKED IN A BEDROOM

The security companies involved immediately moved in to take possession, having been seen by passers-by to be hanging around the area earlier that morning. Metal shutters were fitted to the most of the windows and doors of the property to stop anybody trying to enter or leave, with the exception of one bedroom window which remained unfitted with the shutters.

Meanwhile, members of the family have claimed that they remained locked inside the property unable to access bathrooms and the kitchen area as security personnel remained in situ with them. Calls were made for help by the family and as more family, neighbours and friends arrived at the scene, the situation appeared to turn nasty with one security man seen to block and assault a man trying to gain entry into the house to get access to the children locked in a bedroom by security personnel.

Witnesses allege that the security team had taken chairs and mattresses from the children’s bedroom leaving them nowhere to sleep. Two of the children have further alleged that they were physically assaulted by members of the security team in the bedroom.

According to eyewitnesses and a video shown on social media sites and seen by thousands of people, the security operative with grey hair and clearly seen in the video is alleged to have assaulted a man attempting to gain entry and can be seen to leave the house to confront another bystander in the garden. It appeared from the video that a verbal altercation ensued between the two men, with the security operative going head to head with the other man in a very intimidating manner and then seen to back off.

The identity of that particular security operative has now been established as Kevin Maguire from Carrigaline in County Cork. Maguire was not wearing any form of identification including any Private Security Authority issued ID card and refused to identify himself when asked to by people at the scene. The PSA register has no record of Maguire as an individual licence holder under that name.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Maguire claims to work as a director for Senture Security Limited; however there is no record of him or anyone of that name on record in the CRO acting as a company director. Maguire’s wife Mary is listed instead as a director of Senture Security Ltd.

Further to that Maguire’s wife Mary also is named as a director of Secure Management Solutions Limited with an address in Citywest, Dublin 24. Maguire, according to his LinkedIn profile has claimed that he is a director of this company and again there is no record of him in the CRO listed as holding such a position.

According to sources, Maguire was on the board of management of Carrigaline Community School from 2012 and was made Chairman during the period of 2014 to 2015.

SECURITY COMPANIES ON SITE

The primary security company/companies allegedly involved were named locally and on social media as Nightsafe Security Services Ltd and Active Security Management Ltd, both with the same address in Melitta Rd in Kildare town and both owned by ex-soldier Ross Howard and fellow director Tristan Hogan. Their website has a Vina Skehan (otherwise known as Vina Horgan) listed as sales director.

After an initial investigation it was discovered that Horgan-Skehan who was clearly witnessed to be in attendance at the attempted eviction is not registered with the Private Security Authority (PSA) under either of her assumed surnames. Another individual who goes by the name of John McShera and who is living in Boyle, County Roscommon was later identified as one of the security personnel from his Facebook profile and by witnesses on the ground and is alleged to be unregistered with the PSA under that name.

Another member identified on social media and by witnesses at the scene was named as Anthony Hobbs from Kerry. Hobbs is alleged to be unregistered with the Private Security Authority under that name.

Another individual clearly identified at the scene was named as Czech national, Roman Fako. Although Fako is registered with the Private Security Authority, it is understood from sources that information pertaining to his licence has been passed to the Private Security Authority.

Other members of the security team have now taken down their Facebook pages after they were identified by eyewitnesses at the scene. However ongoing investigations are continuing into confirming their identities.

NO ID WORN BY SECURITY

None of the security personnel wore any form of PSA issued ID card and had refused to identify themselves when questioned. Witnesses have indicated that they will be making complaints to the PSA about Nightsafe Security Services Ltd and their sister company Active Security Management Ltd, a company that Horgan-Skehan claims that she also works for, according to her Facebook page.

THREATS

It is further alleged that Horgan-Skehan when contacted by telephone by an individual who had been at the eviction attempt claimed that she has now resigned from the company and that G4S Security has “taken over and that there would be 40 people sent from G4S to take the house back”. No one from G4S turned up at the site.

On Saturday evening, in a telephone call with an individual who was on scene, Vina Horgan-Skehan’s sister had made claimed that Horgan-Skehan was in hospital and that she was distressed and suicidal. The sister went on to claim that “everyone blocking the eviction would be held liable if Vina Horgan-Skehan was to commit suicide”.

She also claimed that “Gardaí have all of the names and that arrests would be made”. She went on to state that “the Sunday World was going to do a story on the individuals who were present at the scene”.

However, claims were made by eyewitnesses that Vina Horgan-Skehan was heard and seen to physically threaten a female bystander with actual bodily harm and that she (Horgan-Skehan) had allegedly shouted to the bystander that she would “dig the head off her”.

It was further noted and observed that Horgan-Skehan had used threatening language in a Facebook private message sent to one individual who had been at the scene and in which Horgan-Skehan was seen to have threatened an individual with words to the effect of “Get your facts right, the guards will be dealing with you” and “I have your address, you’ll be dealt with”.

It is alleged by eyewitnesses that Vina Horgan-Skehan took an active part in the eviction attempt as seen on the many videos circulating on social media. It was further alleged that Horgan-Skehan was seen back at the property later that night (Saturday) by witnesses who were still on scene.

The directors of Nightsafe Security Services Ltd and a sister company Active Security Management Ltd were contacted for a response. A man calling himself “Ian” refuted any allegations put to them in regard to their legality of their actions at the scene. He also refuted allegations made by Horgan-Skehan that G4S were now the new owners of Active Security Management Ltd. When it was pointed out that they were using unlicenced operatives in evictions, “Ian” refused to engage any further after an initial denial of same and ended the call.

Nightsafe Security Services Ltd/Active Security Management Ltd has failed to reply to emails sent to their office.

CONFUSION OVER COMPANIES AT THE SCENE

There was some confusion in the initial stages as to which security company or even how many security companies was involved. AOC Specialist Services of Ratoath, Co. Meath were contacted for clarification as to their role in the eviction. They have not responded to any telephone calls made to their company.

It should be noted that AOC Specialist Services acting on behalf of Bank of Ireland employed ex-detective Garda Michael Murphy at a previous attempt at an illegal eviction in Corofin County Clare some months back.

Murphy has now lodged an affidavit into the courts claiming that he was obstructed from carrying out his duty as agent for the bank and is looking for a committal order against an Anti-Eviction Taskforce member and the home owner Tommy Collins. This was the attempted eviction where the security men wore balaclavas and taped up the registrations of their cars in a misguided attempt to hide their identities.

Another company named for its part in the latest eviction was Dwellguard owned by John Murray and based in Ballincollig in County Cork. Dwellguard supplied and fitted the shuttering on the family home. Murray was not available for comment at the time of publication.

Sources have indicated that allegations are now being made that the some of the security personnel were being paid cash in hand as they are not employees of some of the companies named here. These same sources have indicated that they have bought the matter to the attention of the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Social Protection.

The Department of Social Protection now have opened an investigation into certain named individuals who were part of the security team.

NAME AND SHAME CAMPAIGN

Meanwhile, anti-eviction activists throughout the country have vowed to step up the campaign to publically name and shame companies and individuals actively involved in evictions anywhere in the country. In a chilling warning, a spokesman for the groups involved, stated that any companies or individuals who take part in any eviction attempt on a family home would be named and shamed not just on social media but in other more visible and public ways.

GARDAI ON SCENE

According to eyewitnesses, Gardaí only attended the scene after as they had received a report of an incident on Saturday but did not appear to get involved in any real effort to assist the security companies. Gardaí left the scene shortly thereafter and did not return.

Later on Saturday afternoon, family members, neighbours and friends peacefully removed the security companies occupying the premises and regained possession of the family home.

THE AUTHORITIES NEED TO GET TOUGH

In what is becoming glaringly obvious, security companies are using unregistered individuals while hoping not to get caught in the act. The Private Security Authority need to be seen to be strictly enforcing the law surrounding the misuse of licences or in many cases the enforcement of the law on security companies that use unlicenced people as appears to be the case in this story. It further appears and is alleged that criminals from other countries are routinely slipping through the vetting process and are obtaining licences using false personal details.

The security industry already has a bad name and it’s about to get a lot worse. This is a nightmare scenario for any law abiding security company trying to rise above the severely tarnished image presented by security companies who have a lot less regard for the law.

Banks must also be taken to task in regards to their liability in using unlicenced operators, and legal action needs to be taken against them accordingly for shirking their responsibility in the matter. It is now quite clear that the law is being flouted by some security companies and the banks jointly, and wholeheartedly supported by a very questionable judicial system operating on the Circuit Court level.

It seems incredulous that the security industry still has its cowboys even after the big clean up by the Private Security Authority. It would make sense for the law abiding security companies to push the cowboys out of the market and help mop up what is essentially an important industry mainly populated by decent people just looking to make a clean living.

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Family Home With Several Children In Clonlara Co Clare : Possession Recovered

by PEOPLE POWER AND ANTI- EVICTION TASK FORCE  AFTER HOUSE SHUTTERED UP

BY SECURITY FIRM EARLIER IN THE DAY

Congratulations To All Involved

Footage of the  events which took place on Friday Oct 14 can be found by clicking below and scrolling down to view several posts

Patrick Hannon

https://www.facebook.com/banjo.hannon?fref=ts

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Homeless at Increased Risk of Suicide-Official Report-Gerry Raleigh, Director of National Office of Suicide Prevention on RTE

Stop Evictions! Stop SUICIDES!

HEART-FELT APPEAL FROM KEN SMOLLEN-TIRELESS ANTI-EVICTION CAMPAIGNER

I was talking to Paddy Healy on the phone earlier today. Paddy works tirelessly for his brother, Independent TD for Tipperary Seamus Healy. Both of these men are the only people who work within the confines of Leinster House and who are actively calling on the Government to declare an Official Housing Emergency… However, they are alone and receive little or NO support (you can’t be upsetting the markets).
It’s unfortunate that in order to make the other removed from reality elites sit up and take notice, that it’s now becoming necessary that members of some family in Ireland do the unbelievable brave thing of being willing to speak about a family member who has taken their own life as a result of being in mortgage distress and facing the horrifying thought of facing one of the EVICTION Courts.
 
The death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie close to The Dail made the elites take notice of the homelessness crisis.
The elites are not interested in attending any of the EVICTION Courts, and are so removed from reality to think they know what it’s like for people in this situation as all of them spout on about distressed mortgage holders approaching them in the comfort of their constituency offices.
NONE OF THEM have the faintest idea what so many people are enduring on a daily basis…
I’m not expecting anyone to come forward to tell their own story about a family member taking their own lives as a result of this very hidden crisis, but it’s a terrible indictment on our uncaring TD’s that I should even have to ask… and all I can do is hope that someone is brave enough to do so!

Ministers John Halligan and Finian McGrath ,Shane Ross, Boxer Moran, Sean Canney of the Independent Alliance must Force Government to HALT ALL EVICTIONS NOW

EVICTION RELATED SUICIDES CONTINUE

Ken Smollen’s post on Facebook

It has just been confirmed to me in the last few minutes that the father of a number of young children who was due to appear before one of the EVICTION Courts this week has sadly taken his own life. Out of respect for his family I will not be naming the location. Suffice to say that our uncaring TD’s have more blood on their hands as they DO HAVE the power to put a stop to the never ending nightmare that’s being experienced by thousands of innocent victims of the bailed out banks and vulture funds!…
May he Rest in Peace-Ken Smollen

GOVERNMENT, FF, LAB, INDEPENDENT ALLIANCE ARE RESPONSIBLE

But Sinn Féin and Independents for Change Must Share Some of the Blame

ONLY Ruth Coppinger Dissented from Flawed Recommendation

The Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessnes recommended that there be a pause in eviction proceedings until new debt resolution procedures were in place

· “Subject to advice of the Attorney General, the Government should introduce legislation for a moratorium on home repossessions until such time as the Government’s proposals are in place.”     AND

“The Government should urgently seek flexibility from the European Commission on the application of the EU fiscal rules to the financing of social housing”

Surprise! Surprise! There is no halt to evictions (even on a temporary basis) in Minister Coveney’s housing plan. Unfortunately Sinn Féin and Independents 4 Change(Mick Wallace, Maureen O’Sullivan) went along with this easily rejected recommendation. (The same attorney general had advised Alan Kelly against it)

Shamefully, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has written a letter to EU seeking flexibility under the Fiscal Treaty  which would give permission to Ireland to borrow money to build social housing for the Irish People! This permission has not been given.

Government has also consulted its own the Attorney General, Labour’s M. Whelan but evictions have continued.

Hence, the government can claim to have complied with two key recommendations of the Committee. But the evictions and the suicides continue.

The  anger at the continued evictions is more than justified. However, my bother Seamus Healy TD(Tipperary) has repeatedly called in the Dáil for the formal declaration of a housing emergency and a total halt to evictions. The formal declaration of a housing emergency is required to overcome the qualified protection of the private property of banks and landlords in the constitution.

But Government,itself, continues to evict people through banks owned by state (AIB, PTSB, EBS)

FG, FF, Lab, Ind. Alliance and, Unbelievably, Independents for Change and Sinn Féin put those facing Repossession in the Hands of The Attorney General who previously advised that any significant interference with the private property of Banks and/or landlords  was a violation of Constitution!!! In addition the recommended moratorium on evictions is only for a few months!!!!!

(see Evidence of Alan Kelly to the Commission on Constitutional Obstacles to Solving The Housing Crisis further down)

Recommendation on Evictions

· “Subject to advice of the Attorney General, the Government should introduce legislation for a moratorium on home repossessions until such time as the Government’s proposals are in place.”

Commission Fails to recommend a formal declaration of a housing emergency by Government!!!!! This will enable banks an landlords to continue evictions despite the spin in the Commission Report

Even the Minority Report by Ruth Coppinger TD, Socialist Party, fails to call for the formal declaration of a housing emergency by the Dáil

Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessnes-Majority Report

http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/media/committees/32housingandhomelessness/Final-Report-.pdf

MINORITY REPORT

http://antiausterityalliance.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Housing-doc-2.pdf

The Minority Report makes some very good points, particularly pointing out that the FISCAL TREATY must be broken to enable the state to invest in housing. But the advocacy of a referendum to change the constitution on property rights and the right to a home, however laudable, is not an emergency measure. It is no substitute for the immediate formal declaration of a national housing emergency by government to enable legal interference with property rights in order to implement emergency measures including a halt to eviction proceedings.

The Majority Report fails to call for breaking of  the FISCAL TREATY in order for the state to build adequate numbers of social houses. Not alone does it put those facing repossession in the hands of the Attorney General(a member of the government), Chair Curran(FF) has explained that the moratorium on evictions would only be a short term measure for a few months. It would last until government put in place the government’s (inadequate) measures on debt resolution.

To make things worse, The Fianna Fail Finance Spokesperson, Deputy Michael McGrath says in the Irish Examiner(18/06/2016) says that the recommendation to pause repossessions is unworkable and SOMETIMES KEEPING THE HOUSE IS NOT THE BEST ANSWER. “In an interview with the Irish Examiner, Mr McGrath said losing the home and starting again may be best for some people who can no longer afford to remain where they are.”–Michael McGrath TD

Independents4Change was represented on the Commission by Deputies Mick Wallace and  Maureen O’Sullivan. Following the failure of I4C to support an amendment strengthening the Workers Rights Bill put down by AAA-PBP, its complete acceptance of the grossly deficient report is leading to queriess as to where it is headed politically.

Sinn Féin took the same position as I4C. A piece by Eoin ÓBroin SF (member of the Commission) in the Irish Independent 18/06/2016 points to no deficiencies in the report and is quite complimentary of its FF and FG members.  http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/cowen-detached-durkan-rambled-but-report-shows-tds-agree-cure-34812099.html

The acceptance of the Fiscal Treaty by Sinn Féin has a particular significance. The Treaty , in effect,removes the fundamental right of the government to provide housing for all citizens. How far has Sinn Féin travelled since Coimhín Ó Caolain TD opposed the Treaty in the Dáil on the grounds that “it flies in the face of the 1916 Proclamation” in its undermining of Irish sovereignty?

Even after FF through Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath pulled the rug on the moratorium on evictions recommendation , Eoin O’Broin (SF) wrote in an opinion piece in Sunday Business Post 19/06/2016
“The Committee also called on the government to urgently request flexibility
from the European Commission on the application of fiscal rules for investment
in tackling the crisis”——-
“the strength of the Report lies in the fact that all but one of our 14 members
signed up to the final recommendations.
There is now strong support across the political spectrum for greater state
involvement in the provision of social housing, the regulation of the private
rental sector and targeted measures to meet the housing needs of those most
neglected by past policies”

Coming from a professed republican, the request for permission from the EU to put roofs over the heads of the Irish people is very strange. The notion of FF, FG who have always favoured the rich, genuinely working to solve the crisis is at best naive.

Alan Kelly  TD (Labour) gave evidence to the Commission  on constitutional obstacles to solving the housing crisis. (The protection of private property in the constitution is not absolute-it is subject to right of government to provide for the common good). Kelly was effectively quoting the Attorney General who continues in the new government. It is important to note that Brendan Howlin(Labour) who was also  a minister in the outgoing government claimed to have overcome the constitutional obstacle to confiscating private property in pensions in the FEMPI ACT by a formal declaration of a Financial Emergency by Government and the laying of a document certifying continuation of the Financial Emergency every year.

My conclusion from the evidence of Alan Kelly (below) is that the outgoing FG-Lab government was not prepared to formally declare a national housing emergency and to lay the documents before the Oireachtas. FG-Lab put the rights of property before the common good. It continued evictions, including evictions by banks it owns.

Evidence to Commission by Alan Kelly (Lab) TD- former Minister for Housing

 “Mr Alan Kelly, former Minister, stated that legal advice on Article 43 had stopped him from introducing a more powerful vacant site levy, which would have imposed a fee on developers who refused to build on unused land. He said that it had also stopped legislation preventing keeping houses vacant and laws that would protect tenants from so-called vulture funds, which invest in undervalued properties and then profit from selling them: “I was not hampered by political or financial obstacles. I was blocked by the Constitution. (Advice to Sitting Ministers either comes directly from the Attorney General or is commissioned by the Attorney General-PH). Kelly continued: From the time it is taking to introduce the Vacant Site Levy in order to tackle land hoarding, to protecting tenants from eviction in circumstances where their landlord wishes to sell the property, and many other issues, I was repeatedly blocked from making provision for what I believed was the common good by the strength by which property rights are protected under Article 43 of the Constitution. I believe that we need to honestly re-examine the balance between the protected and legitimate property rights of individuals, as property owners, and the wider needs and common good of society, including housing needs. As a society we need to reflect on the desired impact of the constitution here. I believe that addressing these issues raises politically and socially important issues which will have to be debated over the coming years.”

Letter To All Members of  Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness-Paddy Healy   Wed 15/06/2016

A Cháirde,

I am an activist in a campaign against eviction of homeowners and tenants in the context of a the national housing emergency  as recently affirmed by Minister Coveney.

Some of those who are having their homes being repossessed  are being evicted by the government which is the owner of a number of banks including AIB and PTSB

I believe it would be outrageous for any member of the Oireachtas Committee  to agree to the issue of  recommendations  on housing and homeless ness which did not call for an immediate halt to all evictions.

In the case of Banks in majority state ownership no legislation or constitutional change is required. The government can simply issue an instruction to the banks it owns. If the bank refuses to comply the Minister can call a special general meeting of shareholders in order to put  in place directors who will carry out the instructions of the owners. The Framework Agreement between Government and Banks is a purely informal, non-legally binding  arrangement.

But, of  course, all evictions should be banned in this emergency. This would require emergency legislation which could be completed in one day.

It would also be important for government to formally declare a housing emergency and to lay a document before both houses of the Oireachtas certifying that the emergency exist. This would prevent landlords and banks blocking the implementation of the legislation by attempting to invoke the constitutional protection of private property which is limited by the necessity to provide for “the common good”.

I and my allies will hold each member of the Oireachtas Committee responsible for future evictions who assents to recommendations  of the Committee which do not include the emergency prohibition of all evictions  until the housing and homelessness crisis has been resolved.

Government is about to lay a document before both houses by June 30 which will certify that a Financial Emergency continues to exist. This, it believes is necessary in order to protect confiscation of private property in public service  pensions from constitutional challenge.

Yours sincerely

Paddy Healy

88 Griffith Court, Fairview, Dublin 3

086-4183732

PS  I was very disappointed by the decision of the Committee not to invite The Hub Ireland and Mr Ken Smollen to address you

Your Recommendations will be discussed at a public conference of anti-eviction activist to be held in Killeshin Hotel Portlaoise before the end of this month-PH

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PRESIDENT HIGGINS TELLS GOVERNMENT:

IGNORE FISCAL TREATY! BORROW NOW TO BUILD HOUSES AND TO INVEST IN HEALTH AND EDUCATION

Well Done President Higgins!!

“He (President Higgins) insists that seeking access for all to housing, health and education – what he calls “values for decent living” – are not “wild, Bolshevik ideas”.

And at a time of low interest rates, there is opportunity to invest in these services. Better to spend now when money is cheap, he appears to suggest, than be overly concerned with sticking to EU fiscal rules.”–Paul Melia Irish Independent   17/09/2016

Instead of borrowing the money to build the houses, Taoiseach ENDA KENNY HAS WRITTEN TO THE EU SEEKING PERMISSION! IRISH SOVEREIGNTY-HOW ARE YOU!!!

Seamus Healy TD has repeatedly told the government in the Dáil: STOP THE EVICTIONS: Borrow the money immediately to build the houses and rescue the homeless! Don’t ask the EU. TELL the EU that the government is doing it, he said.

Italy, Spain, Portugal and other countries are ignoring the Fiscal Treaty when it suits them. We should do the same!

AS THE BUDGET APPROACHES, GOVERNMENT SHOULD TAKE THE ADVICE OF PRESIDENT HIGGINS

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From Martina Doyle and the HUB-IRELAND    PHONE NO    01-5349118

A Sheriff has NO AUTHORITY to take a property

Even a receiver cannot trespass on your property

If they do, and you are fearful, call the Gardai, and tell them that you fear for your safety.
Quote Section of the Section 13(1) of 1 of the Criminal Public Justice Act, and ask the “Receiver/trespasser” to leave.
If they refuse, they are committing a criminal offence which can incur hefty fine or a prison sentence.
Stay in your homes. Fight the banks. We will help you. We are FREE

ANOTHER HUGE TAX GIVEAWAY BY GOVERNMENT AND Michael “Tommy Cooper” Noonan

How did the Government shaft mortgage holders and taxpayers in one fell swoop?

The State may well have missed out on huge tax profits through its sale of distressed home loans

Stephen Donnelly

Sunday Independent  Published 10/07/2016 | 02:30

Questions to answer: Finance Minister Michael Noonan – the Government refused to let people bid on their own distressed mortgages Photo: Tony Gavin

The Irish Government could be complicit in wholesale tax avoidance by foreign investment firms, which are generating huge profits in Ireland off the backs of Irish mortgage holders.

Sarah and Dominic (not their real names) live in Kilkenny with their two children. They bought their home in 2007.

The shop Sarah worked in closed during the recession – she lost her job and they started to fall behind on their mortgage payments.

They’re getting back on their feet now, but with lower wages, they’re struggling to make full payments. Their mortgage was with Irish Nationwide, which was nationalised, so it ended up in state ownership, along with about 13,000 other mortgages.

Two years ago, the Government sold these mortgages at big discounts, mainly to US investment funds. The Government refused to let individual mortgage holders bid on their mortgages. Sarah and Dominic’s mortgage was bundled with about 1,400 others and sold to Mars Capital. According to finance minister Michael Noonan, this was done with “funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management”.

Oaktree is a very large US-based distressed-debt firm that has bought up many of the mortgages sold by the Government.

Until recently, we didn’t know how big the discounts were that the State was selling people’s mortgages at. Mars Capital’s newly filed 2015 accounts show they paid 42 cent in the euro.

Sarah and Dominic’s mortgage was about €350,000, so Mars Capital got it for about €140,000 – an amount the couple could have afforded. Instead, they still owe the full €350,000 to Mars Capital and face the prospect of eviction.

It gets better (or worse if you are Sarah and Dominic, or an Irish taxpayer). Mars bought these 1,400 mortgages for €155m. About half of this was financed by a loan from Citibank, with the remaining €80m being, presumably, the “funds managed by” Oaktree Capital. The 2015 accounts of Mars Capital forecast that this €80m investment will harvest almost €400m (net of the Citibank loan) in mortgage interest and principal repayments (so that’s the €80m back, plus almost €320m extra, less administration costs). And this is just Mars Capital’s first estimate. It assumes a level of non-payment on the mortgages they bought. But as the Irish economy recovers and payment rates improve, profits could become much higher.

In May 2014, Ireland was borrowing 10-year money at 2pc. Mars Capital’s accounts show them earning 14pc on their €80m, just taking into account mortgage interest payments, from the likes of Sarah and Dominic. Why sell an asset yielding 14pc when your cost of funds is 2pc? The Irish State could have given every one of those Irish mortgage holders a 60pc discount on their loan and still have made 14pc per annum in repayments. Wasn’t Nama set up to do this?

However, it gets even better (and definitely worse, if you are an Irish taxpayer). The “funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management” seem to be accounted for in Mars Capital as “notes”.

Essentially, the €80m was loaned to Mars Capital, and Mars must pay it back, plus interest. The interest on these notes is set at “10pc + variable residual”.

In other words, the interest payable on the €80m can be hiked to soak up any, and all, profit Mars Capital makes.

The accounts of Mars Capital clarify that these notes will suck nearly all of the profits (interest and capital) from the company in excess of the Citibank loan. The 2015 accounts claim exactly €1,000 as taxable profit, while paying millions in interest on the notes.

This tax-management structure is similar to what is used by some multinationals based in Ireland. Often, such notes are registered in an offshore zero-tax location such as the Cayman Islands, where their “note interest” payments are made and accumulate tax-free, and get lent back to the parent as needed. As such, the profits are taxed neither in Ireland, nor in the US.

Irish accounting and legal firms provide the expertise to the multinationals to help them minimise their tax obligations. So what? Sure aren’t they providing jobs here? Well yes, they are.

But if that same expertise is now being used to help foreign investment firms suck huge profits out of Ireland without paying tax on them, then we’re all worse off.

We don’t know where are the loan notes of Mars Capital located. We do know, from Oaktree’s US SEC annual filings, that many of their funds linked with European distressed debt (ie Sarah and Dominic’s mortgage), are listed in the Cayman Islands.

So, if the Mars Capital notes happen to have been issued by an Oaktree Capital fund located in the Caymans (and we have no evidence that they are), and if the interest on the notes is adjusted in a way that leaves Mars Capital with very little taxable profit (say the €1,000 filed for 2015), then not only will the State have missed the opportunity to retain hundreds of millions of euro of value (and maybe spare Sarah and Dominic’s family the threat of eviction), it would also be the case that none of the profits will be taxed in Ireland.

To be clear – tax avoidance is, by definition, legal (as opposed to tax evasion, which is illegal). There is no suggestion that Mars Capital, or Oaktree Capital, have done, or are doing, anything illegal. They are clever investors who saw an opportunity and took it – if they are structuring their investments to minimise tax obligations, then they are acting rationally. The Irish Government, however, is not.

If very little tax ends up being paid in Ireland on the Mars Capital deal, the tax leakage could reach well over €50m. And this is a very small deal in the scheme of things – if other investment firms have structured their affairs to avoid paying taxes here, the total missed tax take will be in the hundreds of millions, conservatively.

Why did the Government not seek assurances from all foreign bidders that their structures would ensure they pay fair Irish tax on their Irish-generated profits? If some bidders organised themselves to move their profits offshore, did the Irish Government know? Did the investment firms seeks assurances from the Government that any proposed off-shoring of profits would be acceptable? Just how complicit is the Government in what could be large-scale tax avoidance on profits earned off the backs of ordinary families trying to recover from the collapse?

Best little country to do business in? I doubt Sarah and Dominic would agree. Neither would those using our underfunded public services and infrastructure.


—————————-

RENT OF HOUSES ROCKETTING

FISCAL TREATY RESTRICTIONS ON GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND BORROWING IS THE CAUSE

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has written a letter to EU seeking permission to borrow money to house our people!!!

THe IRISH PEOPLE must establish ITS OWN SOVEREIGNTY

A 32-county assembly wielding People’s Power is The Answer

At the end of 2015, there were 139,359 or almost 140,000 people on local authority waiting lists for housing. This is because virtually no local authority houses have been built for years. Now due to the restrictions of the FISCAL TREATY, Ireland is not allowed to borrow money to build social houses. This is despite the fact that governments can now borrow money ay rock bottom rates. Enda has written a letter to EU seeking permission to borrow money to house our people. Irish People have been reduced by FF,Fg,Lab, Greens to the staus of beggars.

Now over 140,000 people have to seek private rented accomodation to get a dwelling place!

Thousands of distressed mortgage holders are being driven from their homes each year. They too must seek rented accomodation.

Massive and growing demand-No additional supply!!!This is driving the cost of rented accomodation through the roof. The crisis is rendered even more acute when third level colleges re-open.

The only answer is for The Irish People to establish its own sovereignty

—————————–

Stay in your homes-HELP IS FREE!

FROM Martina DOYLE  THE HUB-IRELAND ON Facebook

PHONE NO    01-5349118

#�thehubirelandrepealtheevictionbill�
Don’t suffer in silence.
There is help in hand.
It is FREE.
Stay in your homes.
If anybody tries to charge in our name, they are scamming you.
Get a receipt…
Please share as you never know who might need our help.
Thank you.

———————————-

Seamus Healy TD Supports the Call by THE HUB-IRELAND to Repeal the Land and Conveyancing Act, 2013

Seamus voted against The Land And Conveyancing  Act (2013)

Seamus Healy repeatedly Called for a Halt to Evictions and the Declaration of a Housing Emergencyin the Dáil

Irish Times:Minister Noonan Replies to Seamus Healy on Evictions

Minister says no political interference in bank decision, but progress being made

Irish Times  Thu, Jan 14, 2016

Marie O’Halloran

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate how upset people are.”

Banks have been dealing with the issue of home repossessions “reasonably well”, according to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

He said “this idea of tens of thousands of houses being repossessed is just not correct”.

Mr Noonan said “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate the concerns and I appreciate how upset people are.

“But in a very extreme situation it’s been handled reasonably well by the banks.”

He was responding to Independent TD Séamus Healy who asked Mr Noonan, as the majority shareholder in AIB and its subsidiary EBS as well as the majority shareholder in Permanent TSB, “to call a meeting of the boards of the banks and to instruct them “not to repossess family homes”.

He said that if the bank directors would not agree to that then “sack those members. You have the power to do that as majority shareholder.

“There are thousands of families in this country, irrespective of what you say Minister, facing homelessness by these banks, of which the Government is a majority shareholder.”

Mr Noonan said a relationship framework had been agreed by the Government’s predecessors in office that “the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions” and they did not want to politicise the banks.

“It would be a very sad day for the country if you were looking for a loan and your first port of call had to be your local TD rather than the bank manager.”

He said 207 houses were repossessed on foot of court order and “that is not the 10s of thousands of houses that’s sometimes recited on the commentary on this”.

He said 121,000 mortgages on private dwellings had been restructured and the success rate was 86.6 per cent.

“So progressively the problem is being solved.”

Mr Noonan said statistics from the Central Bank showed that in the third quarter of 2015 (July, August and September) legal proceedings were issued in 1,687 cases of private mortgages.

“There were 798 cases where court proceedings concluded but arrears remained outstanding and the court granted a repossession order in 329 cases.

A total of 422 properties were taken into possession by lenders during the quarter and 215 were voluntary.

“It’s a very small amount to go through the system and since the changes were made by the Minister for Justice and that the money and Budgeting Advice Service are assisting people before the courts that will diminish even further,” Mr Noonan added.

 

Government Evicts Families—-Statement by Seamus Healy TD     Jan 18 2016

This government is continuing to evict families from their homes.

In the Dáil last Thursday, I appealed to Minister Michael Noonan to order the banks he owns to withdraw repossession proceedings in light of the extreme housing emergency which exists.

The Minister refused.  This means that the government has given the green light to the banks they own, to continue to evict families.

Court Orders for repossession of 47 primary residences were granted at Clonmel and Nenagh Circuit Courts in the first 3 quarters of 2015. A further 8 buy-to-lets which also house families were also repossessed. Banks are now seeking a further 97 repossession orders for dwellings in Tipp, of which 32 are being sought by AIB, EBS and Permanent TSB which are owned by the Government through Michael Noonan (FG) Minister for Finance

Minister Noonan claimed that the issue was being reasonably handled by the banks. Totally misrepresenting the situation, Mr Noonan quoted the 208 orders for repossessions for the whole country for Quarter 3,2015 as representative of the scale of the problem. COURTS ONLY SIT FOR 1 OF THE 3 MONTHS IN QUARTER 3!! The Court Service Figures for the whole country for Quarters 1 and 2 are 586 and 314 respectively.

The proposed Eviction of 97 Tipperary Families Must Be Stopped Now!

 

Senior Minister Alan Kelly (Lab) and Minister of State Hayes(FG) must now intervene at Cabinet to have a Housing Emergency Declared and all repossession applications withdrawn.

In particular they must force Minister Noonan to withdraw the repossession applications by the banks he owns.

Land and Conveyancing Act 2013

Second Stage

Níl

Question declared carried.

Voting was also as above on the Report and Final Stage of the Land and Conveyancing Bill (2013)
—————————————————

 3,041 families up for eviction in court in this month of July

A grand total of 3,041 families up for eviction in court this month of July. Ignoring the mortgage arrears crisis is fueling homelessness at a horrifying scale. I am tired contacting all the people who are paid to care. What else can we do?—Martina Doyle, The Hub-Ireland

Limerick 146 and 5.

Dundalk 55 and 52.

Tullamore 19 and 71.

Waterford 34 and 18 and 20 and 70 .

Dublin 57 and 4 and 4 and 55 and 1 and 50 and 59 and 5 and 10 and 2 and 5 and 54 and 8 and 57 and 62 and 2.

Cork 72 and 98 and 32 and 87 and 20 and 5 and 59.

Monaghan 102.

Trim 75 and 80 and 76.

Carrick on Shannon 35.

Bray 125.

Castlebar 78.

Portlaoise 40 and 32.

Naas 9 and 71 and 101 and 16.

Letterkenny 89.

Cavan 39 and 100.

Wexford 43 and 60.

Kilkenny 33 and 40.

Sligo 30.

Roscommon 75.

Ennis 84.

Clonmel 46.

Nenagh 58.

Carlow 41.

Tralee 64.

A grand total of 3,041 families up for eviction, one month = July.

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John McManus Business Editor Irish Times: 23/07/2016

Housing plan looks very like a bailout for big builders

It’s not that the Government can’t bring down house prices, more that they don’t want to

Irish Times  Sunday, July 24, 2016, 11:18

When it comes to sorting out the housing crisis, the Government really has two choices. They can try to bring down the price of houses to a level people can afford or they can help people buy houses at their current unaffordable prices.

Affordability is hard to define but for Irish purposes it equates to the limit put by the Central Bank on how much a bank can lend you, which is 3½ times your gross income. For two people on the average wage, this is about €245,000. This is not a million miles away from the average house price in most places other than south Dublin, but if you are a single-income or low-income family, you are not buying a house any time soon.

The Government would argue they have done a bit of both with the action plan for housing and homelessness published this week, but the true picture will not be clearer until the details of the measures to help first-time buyers and house builders are unveiled at budget time. Of the two options, bringing down house prices is by far the hardest one. Assuming you could actually come up with a way of doing it that did not borrow from the Khmer Rouge handbook, it would still be deeply, deeply unpopular.

The losers would include pretty much everybody who has a house. People would see their positive equity eroded or their negative equity increased. The precarious buy-to-let sector would be decimated. Builders and developers would be ruined and the banks would be bust once again.

Strange though it may seem, a policy that underpins high house prices is the rational political choice in a representative democracy. Consequently, you should not expect the measures announced this week to bring down the price of houses to any significant degree. If you are in any doubt, you should know that one of the bigger developers, Cairn Homes, has welcomed the plan. Turkeys don’t vote for certain Christian winter festivals.

Downward pressure

It’s not that the Government couldn’t bring down the price of houses. The main levers at their disposal are social housing and rent controls. These are viable long- term solutions to home ownership and if they are provided in sufficient quantities at the right price, they exert downward pressure on prices.

But the targets for social housing set out in the plan will not put a tooth in the problem. The plan calls for the construction of 125,000 houses by 2021, of which only one in five or fewer will be social housing built by the Government.

The rest will presumably be provided by the private sector, and we can take it as read that they don’t plan selling these houses for any less than they are selling them at the moment . They argue they are not even making money at current prices.

If prices are not coming down and wages are not going up and the Central Bank won’t let banks lend people more than they can afford, you get the sort of stalemate that prevails in the Irish market. The Government, to its credit, is trying to solve the problem by providing a limited amount of cheap housing but the bulk of its effort seems to be going into subsidising the building industry either directly or indirectly.

The measures to be announced in the budget in October are expected to include a €10,000 package for first-time buyers and other measures to increase the profitability of house-building. At best, this will allow more people to buy houses at current prices and also allow more builders to build profitably at current prices. At worst, it will trigger a jump in prices.

No costing has been put on this part of the plan but if, for argument’s sake, you assumed that half of the buyers of the 100,000 houses that will be built by the private sector got the money, it would be €500 million over five years.

It represents a massive subsidy for an industry that is fundamentally uncompetitive because it has overpaid for land and is now sitting on sites, refusing to develop and playing chicken with the Government. Those who worship market forces would argue these builders should all be made go bust and the price of land should drop, allowing profitable house-building by new entrants. In a socialist version of this fantasy, the State would then spend €500 million building 200,000 council houses.

It doesn’t really matter because neither of these things are going to happen. It may not be the Government’s intention but the housing plan looks like a massive State bailout for an industry that is being protected from the consequences of its mistakes. Sound familiar?

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Eviction Proceedings-No Pause in Government Action Plan On Housing and Homelessness

FALSE PROMISE TO FIRST TIME BUYERS! Bonanza for Developers!

Now we Know why the Oireachtas Committee refused to invite Ken Smollen and THE HUB-IRELAND to address it!

“Plan” is just a pre-election gimmick

The Oireachtas Committee recommended that there be a pause in eviction proceedings until new debt resolution procedures were in place

· “Subject to advice of the Attorney General, the Government should introduce legislation for a moratorium on home repossessions until such time as the Government’s proposals are in place.”

Surprise! Surprise! There is no halt to evictions (even on a temporary basis) in Coveney’s plan. Unfortunately Sinn Féin and Independents 4 Change(Mick Wallace, Maureen O’Sullivan) went along with this easily rejected recommendation. (The same attorney general had advised Alan Kelly against it)

But now government promises  to introduce more favourable resolution procedures for distressed mortgages have been seriously “watered down”

The number of people presenting as homeless has doubled in the last 12 moths

Opposition members of the Oireachtas Committee say the Coveney Plan for building  social houses contains half the investment recommended by the committee.

The EU have been resisting informal government requests to allow money to be borrowed  by Ireland to build social houses despite the restrictions of the Fiscal Treaty for months..

NOW Taoiseach Kenny is going to WRITE A LETTER to the EU asking that Ireland be allowed to borrow money to house Irish people? (Decisive action that!!!)-Irish sovereignty how are you?

Eoin O’Broin (SF) wrote in an opinion piece in Sunday Business Post 19/06/2016
“The Committee also called on the government to urgently request flexibility
from the European Commission on the application of fiscal rules for investment
in tackling the crisis”——-

The Committee should, of course. have recommended that the government TELL THE EU THAT IRELAND WOULD BE BORROWING THE MONEY TO HOUSE IRISH PEOPLE IN THIS EMERGENCY, as advocated by Seamus HealY TD.

Instead Sinn Féin and Independents 4 Change joined  FF and FG in a shamefully compliant recommendation in the frame work of the Fiscal Treaty

BONANZA FOR PRIVATE DEVELOPERS-FALSE PROMISE TO FIRST TIME BUYERS

Before any extra houses are built, financial supports will be given to first time buyers in the budget next  October (and backdated to to-day) “to help  them” to purchase houses! But there will be no freeze on house prices! In the context of miniscule supply this cannot fail to raise the price of houses. This will be of no benefit to first time buyers but will provide a bonanza for developers. Others moving jobs will also have to pay the higher prices!

Developers will also be given publicly owned land at cheap leasing rates on which to build private houses.

IRISH HOUSING NETWORK-“In effect, it looks like this will mean leasing public land to private developers who will decide whats affordable. Without secure rent controls and more public housing this will leave people as vulnerable as they are now, with evictions and rent hikes commonplace as the markets decide people’s future for them. This hasn’t worked before and it wont work now.”

According to Minister Coveney these measures will”fix the housing market”!

NO Housing Emergency Formally Declared

Despite verbal recognition of “a national housing emergency” by Minister Coveney earlier this year, no formal declaration of a housing emergency will be laid before the Oireachtas.

Such a declaration would enable the public good to out-weigh the right to private property in accordance with the Irish Constitution. Former Minister Howlin explained to the Dáil that annual certification of a financial emergency was necessary to enable continued confiscation of private property in pensions. Minister Donoghue has done this recently

The absence of such a formal declaration could  enable banks an landlords to continue evictions even if the government ordered a pause.

Also, it is at least possible that private owners (including vulture funds) will be able to block even some of the inadequate improvements contained in the Action Plan.

My DIT colleage, Dr Lorcan Sirr ( Faculty of the Built Environment) has pointed out that thousands of dwelling houses are becoming obsolescent each year, thus reducing the number of houses available for habitation.  Government or local authorities are unable to intervene unless the building becomes a physical danger to the public. No account is taken of these obsolescences in the government targets for housing provision.

The absence of the formal declaration of a housing emergency enables the owners to resist any interference with their private property no matter how outrageous their disregard for the common good!

Misleading Government Spin

“People Laughed at Richard Bruton when he said he would create 100,000 jobs but he did it.  Simon Coveney will drive the housing plan in the same way”-Brian Hayes MEP(FG) on Today with Sean O’Rourke(RTE) 22/07/2016

In fact the government were cutting public service jobs while jobs increased in private sector. These private sector jobs were created despite the government austerity policy due to favourable external circumstances-weak euro, cheap oil, strong demand for multi-national exports produced in Ireland. These circumstances are already changing rapidly and  a new world recession will completely reverse them.

But government politicians never !miss an opportunity to reinforce a misleading story!

CONCLUSION

Like many previous Plans and Reports this ACTION PLAN is bound to fail

I believe that the government ACTION PLAN is a combination of a pre-election gimmick and a bonanza for private developers.

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FINAL WARNING TO GOVERNMENT-HALT EVICTION PROCEEDINGS NOW!

-KEN SMOLLEN

Next Saturday 25th June, the ‘Standing Together’ meeting at 1.30 pm in The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise can see real progress being made in our fight against the bailed out banks and the vulture funds who have engaged in a hidden onslaught on thousands of decent, hardworking citizens in our country and their families. There can be no doubt that in years to come there will be an inquiry into how and why 3 successive Governments not only allowed the terrorising of so many of their own people but actually gave this great injustice their full support. Such an inquiry will undoubtedly lead to proper justice being meted out to those directly responsible and also to anyone who helped facilitate this wrong doing!

For real progress to be made it is imperative that all genuine people, groups, political parties and other determined organisations must work together. Any division in this very justified campaign will not only please the very many uncaring TD’s in Leinster House; it will also lead to failure to achieve our ultimate aim. That aim should be to achieve fairness for our people and a fair and sustainable solution to the mortgage distress crisis where families should no longer have to go without some of the basic necessities of life in order to keep a roof over their heads!

There can be no doubt that many of the people who will attend on Saturday will be living through this ongoing nightmare every day. Others attending will simply be aware of the crisis and see the urgent necessity for a resolution to be found. We can also be reasonably certain that a number of politicians will also attend, with most if not all of them being fully supportive of our unified campaign.

It is for that reason that I urge anyone who intends to be there on Saturday NOT to bring banners of any kind, and NOT to bring coffins or coffin lids with slogans written on them. This is NOT a protest meeting. IT IS a meeting where we must give the Government a final warning or an ultimatum that they must force the banks who operate within this jurisdiction to find a fair and sustainable solution for all mortgage holders, and while that solution is being sought, that ALL Eviction proceedings in the courts throughout Ireland be halted. We cannot afford to give them or any of the media who will be present reason to see us as just a group of disorganised protesters. We MUST be seen as reasonable people demanding a reasonable resolution to a hidden and growing humanitarian crisis that affects probably well over ONE MILLION people in our country!

I have requested that the reporter and camera crew from RTE not to film or show the faces of anyone in attendance unless they do so with the full permission of anyone concerned. They have agreed to this and before any filming or photo is taken of the attendance that it is done from the back of the room with a warning beforehand. This is to ensure that we protect the identities of everyone in attendance. I would therefore ask that anyone who intends to take photographs or film the proceedings to please adhere to the same principle as we must not cause distress of any kind to anyone in attendance.

It is highly likely that the uncaring TD’s in Government will call our bluff as many of them will be of the opinion that there is very little we can do if they fail to take the necessary and appropriate action in forcing the banks to engage fairly with their customers and if they also fail to ensure that there is a moratorium on the Eviction proceedings in the courts.

This is where I am of the opinion that their thinking is very flawed. I have no doubt that a properly organised group of people can have a huge effect on the workings of the courts, solicitors, MABS, the Personal Insolvency Service and other such Government backed organisations and all without the need for protest of any kind.

I have discussed such a plan with a handful of people and it will be openly discussed at Saturday’s meeting. I feel that it’s better that it not be revealed until then for the simple reason that we don’t want to show our hand before we need to. It will be simple to implement, does not involve protests, but will require a minimum of about 10 dedicated people in each county that takes part. I believe that together we can achieve great success by working closely with people who genuinely want a resolution to this desperate crisis.

On Saturday if we decide to implement this plan, it should be enough to cause a huge ripple effect that will cause major problems for the cosy cartel who obviously feel that they will always have the upper hand. The more people there are per county will result in our aim in those counties being achieved in a shorter period of time.

Even though Saturday’s meeting begins at 1.30pm, I and a number of other people will be in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise from 11.30am. It’s not for me to decide who the seriously committed people are who will lead the way. That decision must be made by each individual themselves.

We must have a proper plan in place in order to succeed. As the saying goes, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!’

Finally, thanks everyone for your continued support. I hope to meet as many of you as possible before the meeting and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone else at the meeting which must commence at 1.30pm sharp.

Ken


INVITATION TO TDs AND SENATORS-KEN SMOLLEN

Dear Member of the Oireachtas,

I would like to personally invite you to our third meeting in The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise on Saturday 25th June at 1.30pm concerning the desperately hidden mortgage distress crisis and the associated Courts repossession hearings crisis that currently exists in Ireland.

Unfortunately the number of people taking their own lives as a result of this hidden crisis continues to grow every day.  The vast majority of these deaths go unreported, meaning that the problem remains a very hidden and personal one for thousands of people in Ireland.

This is our 3rd such meeting and again all TD’s, Senators and MEP’s are being invited to attend.  We appreciate the fact that a number of TD’s and County Councillors attended the two previous meetings.  At the last meeting it was unanimously agreed that all TD’s should again be invited to attend on Saturday 25th June.

Your personal attendance at the meeting in Portlaoise would be very much appreciated, when this extremely hidden crisis must be openly discussed and REAL solutions found.

Since retiring from An Garda Siochana in 2012, I have been highlighting the mortgage distress/eviction crisis and working closely with many families in distress for the last few years.  It has been suggested by the many groups who volunteer their help and support to families in mortgage distress, that it’s possible there could be as many as 10 people or even more taking their own lives every single week.

I have attended many repossession courts throughout the country to offer my support to the families who are being summoned to the courts by the banks and many people have told me their own harrowing stories of hardship and desperation.  One case involved a family who were advised to go into bankruptcy.  They raised the €4,000 required for the process by selling the cooker and all of their furniture.  They then removed the radiators from the walls and sold them.  The family, including their 14 year old daughter are now living in a car in a secluded place close to Tullamore.

It is very clear that the Personal Insolvency arrangement and services such as MABS are not the solution and are very far from resolving this crisis.  This has led to a number of voluntary groups coming together in an attempt to offer genuine help to thousands of people who simply have nowhere else to go.

The meeting in Portlaoise is not a protest meeting.  It will be attended by many families who find themselves in this desperate situation and by others who are naturally concerned by the continuing assault on thousands of families by financial institutions.

We are attempting to find possible solutions to the crisis and your attendance at The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise on Saturday 25th June at 1.30pm would be very much appreciated.

Kind Regards, Ken Smollen, 085 143 2898

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FG, FF, Lab, Ind. Alliance and, Unbelievably, Independents for Change and Sinn Féin put those facing Repossession in the Hands of The Attorney General who previously advised that any significant interference with the private property of Banks and/or landlords  was a violation of Constitution!!! In addition the recommended moratorium on evictions is only for a few months!!!!!

(see Evidence of Alan Kelly to the Commission on Constitutional Obstacles to Solving The Housing Crisis Below)

Recommendation on Evictions

· “Subject to advice of the Attorney General, the Government should introduce legislation for a moratorium on home repossessions until such time as the Government’s proposals are in place.”

Commission Fails to recommend a formal declaration of a housing emergency by Government!!!!! This will enable banks an landlords to continue evictions despite the spin in the Commission Report

Even the Minority Report by Ruth Coppinger TD, Socialist Party, fails to call for the formal declaration of a housing emergency by the Dáil

MINORITY REPORT

http://antiausterityalliance.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Housing-doc-2.pdf

The Minority Report makes some very good points, particularly pointing out that the FISCAL TREATY must be broken to enable the state to invest in housing. But the advocacy of a referendum to change the constitution on property rights and the right to a home, however laudable, is not an emergency measure. It is no substitute for the immediate formal declaration of a national housing emergency by government to enable legal interference with property rights in order to implement emergency measures including a halt to eviction proceedings.

The Majority Report fails to call for breaking of  the FISCAL TREATY in order for the state to build adequate numbers of social houses. Not alone does it put those facing repossession in the hands of the Attorney General(a member of the government), Chair Curran(FF) has explained that the moratorium on evictions would only be a short term measure for a few months. It would last until government put in place the government’s (inadequate) measures on debt resolution.

To make things worse, The Fianna Fail Finance Spokesperson, Deputy Michael McGrath says in the Irish Examiner(18/06/2016) says that the recommendation to pause repossessions is unworkable and SOMETIMES KEEPING THE HOUSE IS NOT THE BEST ANSWER. “In an interview with the Irish Examiner, Mr McGrath said losing the home and starting again may be best for some people who can no longer afford to remain where they are.”–Michael McGrath TD

Independents4Change was represented on the Commission by Deputies Mick Wallace and  Maureen O’Sullivan. Following the failure of I4C to support an amendment strengthening the Workers Rights Bill put down by AAA-PBP, its complete acceptance of the grossly deficient report is leading to queriess as to where it is headed politically.

Sinn Féin took the same position as I4C. A piece by Eoin ÓBroin SF (member of the Commission) in the Irish Independent 18/06/2016 points to no deficiencies in the report and is quite complimentary of its FF and FG members.  http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/cowen-detached-durkan-rambled-but-report-shows-tds-agree-cure-34812099.html

The acceptance of the Fiscal Treaty by Sinn Féin has a particular significance. The Treaty , in effect,removes the fundamental right of the government to provide housing for all citizens. How far has Sinn Féin travelled since Coimhín Ó Caolain TD opposed the Treaty in the Dáil on the grounds that “it flies in the face of the 1916 Proclamation” in its undermining of Irish sovereignty?

Even after FF through Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath pulled the rug on the moratorium on evictions recommendation , Eoin O’Broin (SF) wrote in an opinion piece in Sunday Business Post 19/06/2016
“The Committee also called on the government to urgently request flexibility
from the European Commission on the application of fiscal rules for investment
in tackling the crisis”——-
“the strength of the Report lies in the fact that all but one of our 14 members
signed up to the final recommendations.
There is now strong support across the political spectrum for greater state
involvement in the provision of social housing, the regulation of the private
rental sector and targeted measures to meet the housing needs of those most
neglected by past policies”

Coming from a professed republican, the request for permission from the EU to put roofs over the heads of the Irish people is very strange. The notion of FF, FG who have always favoured the rich, genuinely working to solve the crisis is at best naive.

Alan Kelly  TD (Labour) gave evidence to the Commission  on constitutional obstacles to solving the housing crisis. (The protection of private property in the constitution is not absolute-it is subject to right of government to provide for the common good). Kelly was effectively quoting the Attorney General who continues in the new government. It is important to note that Brendan Howlin(Labour) who was also  a minister in the outgoing government claimed to have overcome the constitutional obstacle to confiscating private property in pensions in the FEMPI ACT by a formal declaration of a Financial Emergency by Government and the laying of a document certifying continuation of the Financial Emergency every year.

My conclusion from the evidence of Alan Kelly (below) is that the outgoing FG-Lab government was not prepared to formally declare a national housing emergency and to lay the documents before the Oireachtas. FG-Lab put the rights of property before the common good. It continued evictions, including evictions by banks it owns.

Evidence to Commission by Alan Kelly (Lab) TD- former Minister for Housing

 “Mr Alan Kelly, former Minister, stated that legal advice on Article 43 had stopped him from introducing a more powerful vacant site levy, which would have imposed a fee on developers who refused to build on unused land. He said that it had also stopped legislation preventing keeping houses vacant and laws that would protect tenants from so-called vulture funds, which invest in undervalued properties and then profit from selling them: “I was not hampered by political or financial obstacles. I was blocked by the Constitution. (Advice to Sitting Ministers either comes directly from the Attorney General or is commissioned by the Attorney General-PH). Kelly continued: From the time it is taking to introduce the Vacant Site Levy in order to tackle land hoarding, to protecting tenants from eviction in circumstances where their landlord wishes to sell the property, and many other issues, I was repeatedly blocked from making provision for what I believed was the common good by the strength by which property rights are protected under Article 43 of the Constitution. I believe that we need to honestly re-examine the balance between the protected and legitimate property rights of individuals, as property owners, and the wider needs and common good of society, including housing needs. As a society we need to reflect on the desired impact of the constitution here. I believe that addressing these issues raises politically and socially important issues which will have to be debated over the coming years.”

Letter To All Members of  Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness-Paddy Healy   Wed 15/06/2016

A Cháirde,

I am an activist in a campaign against eviction of homeowners and tenants in the context of a the national housing emergency  as recently affirmed by Minister Coveney.

Some of those who are having their homes being repossessed  are being evicted by the government which is the owner of a number of banks including AIB and PTSB

I believe it would be outrageous for any member of the Oireachtas Committee  to agree to the issue of  recommendations  on housing and homeless ness which did not call for an immediate halt to all evictions.

In the case of Banks in majority state ownership no legislation or constitutional change is required. The government can simply issue an instruction to the banks it owns. If the bank refuses to comply the Minister can call a special general meeting of shareholders in order to put  in place directors who will carry out the instructions of the owners. The Framework Agreement between Government and Banks is a purely informal, non-legally binding  arrangement.

But, of  course, all evictions should be banned in this emergency. This would require emergency legislation which could be completed in one day.

It would also be important for government to formally declare a housing emergency and to lay a document before both houses of the Oireachtas certifying that the emergency exist. This would prevent landlords and banks blocking the implementation of the legislation by attempting to invoke the constitutional protection of private property which is limited by the necessity to provide for “the common good”.

I and my allies will hold each member of the Oireachtas Committee responsible for future evictions who assents to recommendations  of the Committee which do not include the emergency prohibition of all evictions  until the housing and homelessness crisis has been resolved.

Government is about to lay a document before both houses by June 30 which will certify that a Financial Emergency continues to exist. This, it believes is necessary in order to protect confiscation of private property in public service  pensions from constitutional challenge.

Yours sincerely

Paddy Healy

88 Griffith Court, Fairview, Dublin 3

086-4183732

PS  I was very disappointed by the decision of the Committee not to invite The Hub Ireland and Mr Ken Smollen to address you

Your Recommendations will be discussed at a public conference of anti-eviction activist to be held in Killeshin Hotel Portlaoise before the end of this month-PH

PQ REPLY YESTERDAY TO SEAMUS HEALY TD-NOONAN REFUSES TO HALT EVICTION PROCEEDINGS BY BANKS HE OWNS DESPITE NATIONAL HOUSING EMERGENCY ANNOUNCED BY MINISTER COVENEY

“ONLY” 301 Home Loans Repossessed Last Year By AIB, PTSB-MICHAEL NOONAN

“Repossessions of Home Loans are not frequent amounting to 183 and 118 for AIB and Permanent TSB respectively in 2015”-Minister Noonan

Just as he did in a previous reply on in Jan 2016(Dail Record further Down), Minister Noonan seeks to minimise the horror facing families by misrepresentation and omission of key information.

The 301 repossessions of family homes are 301 too many. These are the 301 cases in which the state owned Banks Only were granted repossession orders.  (See I.T., KITTY HOLLAND further down)

Noonan omits the no of repossession cases taken by the state owned banks. Most of these never reach the stage of the issuance of a repossession order. People are too terrified to appear in court, of the publicity in small communities, the stress on young children at school etc. it is common to surrender the house and to go to live with relations in often overcrowded conditions. Some have committed suicide due to the extreme stress of the threat of repossession.

Mr Noonan says he has no role in the matter of repossessions by AIB, PTSB, EBS. He cites the Framework Agreement with Banks. This Agreement has no statutory force. Mr Noonan adheres to the Agreement in order to wash his hands. Mr Noonan does have a role in evictions. As owner of these Banks on behalf of the State, he  knowingly permits repossession cases to be taken though he can forbid this.

Please recommend that all repossession proceedings affecting dwelling houses, owned or rented, be halted immediately

Paddy Healy

 

PQ as originally Submitted

To ask the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD,

if, in view of the statement by Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney TD that there is a NATIONAL HOUSING EMERGENCY,

he will insist that Allied Irish Bank and its subsidiary the Educational Building Society and Permanent TSB, which are in majority State ownership, desist from seeking repossession of family homes through the Courts and withdraw all such existing applications before the Courts and

if these bodies refuse to comply, will he call a special general meeting of shareholders and use his majority share-holding to dismiss and replace directors refusing to comply with his instruction and

if he will make a statement on the matter ?

Seamus Healy   TD 087-2802199

QUESTION NO:  175

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)
by Deputy Seamus Healy
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 14/06/2016

To ask the Minister for Finance if he will insist that a bank and its subsidiary (details supplied) which are in majority State ownership desist from seeking repossession of family homes through the Courts and withdraw all such existing applications before the Courts; in the event of the bank and its subsidiary refusing to comply, if he will call a special general meeting of shareholders and use his majority share holding to dismiss and replace the directors who refuse to comply with his instruction

REPLY.

As the Deputy will be aware, I have no role in the day-to-day running of the banks in which the State is a shareholder. These institutions are run on an independent and commercial basis and the details of the formal relationship between my Department and these institutions are set out in the respective Relationship Framework Agreements, which can be found via the following links.

AIB: http://finance.gov.ie/sites/default/files/Allied-Irish-Banks1.pdf

PTSB: http://finance.gov.ie/sites/default/files/Relationship%20Frameworks%20for%20the%20Irish%20Banks%20Irish%20Life%20and%20Permanent.pdf

In relation to the individual institutions referred to  in “details supplied” Permanent TSB, Allied Irish Banks and its subsidiary  EBS:

AIB and Permanent TSB have informed me that they prioritise keeping customers in their homes. Repossession is a last resort. Repossessions of Home Loans are not frequent amounting to 183 and 118 for AIB and Permanent TSB respectively in 2015.  In comparison AIB and Permanent tsb have entered formal forebearance measures in respect of 29,514 and 28,532 Home Loans respectively at December 2015.

While there are some differences between the banks referred to, their processes are similar.  In cases where customers do not meaningfully engage or do not engage at all with the bank, reject the offer of a sustainable mortgage restructuring solution or do not prioritise their mortgage payment,  both banks are likely to pursue enforcement through the court process.  It’s important to note that the initiation of legal proceedings does not necessarily result in repossession and both banks seek to engage constructively with borrowers at all times.  Both banks offer a wide range of solutions and operates multiple engagement channels that facilitate the maximum possible levels of engagement with customers in difficulty.

Within the Programme for Government there are several policy proposals detailed which are being worked on at present.  The objective of these proposals is to accelerate the restructuring of mortgage arrears cases and keep families in their homes in so far as possible.

Irish Times Report and Full Dail Record of Noonan Reply to Seamus Healy TD’s Call to STOP REPOSSESSIONS  Further Down

REPOSSESSIONS: NOONAN’S  MASTER CLASS–Paddy Healy

SPINNING TO MISLEAD ON REPOSSESSIONS IN THE DÁIL!

It is No Joke but Tommy Cooper Strikes Again! 

State Owned Banks, AIB, EBS,PERMANENT TSB, are seeking repossession of homes by court order throughout the country.

Seamus Healy TD  recently asked Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in the Dáil to instruct these banks to desist from this.

Mr Noonan refused and stated that  “In a very extreme situation, the issue is being handled reasonably well by the banks.”

In the course of his reply Minister Noonan quoted figures from a Central Bank report which stated that in Quarter 3(July, August, September)  207 properties were repossessed on foot of a court order. “The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct” he said.

This statement is entirely deceptive though there is nothing technically incorrect in it. It is not just that he attempts to minimise the awful trauma for 207 families which are losing their homes. A key tactic of the “spinner to deceive” is the omission of key information.

Noonan’s 207 court orders for repossession are for 1 month only!!! Circuit courts do not sit in August and September. Hence the “Quarter 3” figures are for the month of July only!

 

The full information provided by the Courts Service and reported by Kitty Holland in the Irish Times Last November is: ” Of the 1,088 court orders for repossession made in the three quarters of 2015 up to September 30,  758 were for primary homes, 131 were for buy-to-lets and 199 were for “other” dwellings”. “-Irish Times

Courts Service: Repossession Orders in Circuit Courts 2015

Q1       314,   Q2   586,  Q3   188

There was a huge increase in possessions in the April to June period. Mr Noonan omits this information, and picks the figure for Q3 which he then implies is typical though it contains one month( July)  figures only! The reason the Central Bank figure for Q3 (207) is slightly above the Courts Service figure (188) may be that the Central Bank figure contains High Court orders in addition to the Circuit Court orders supplied by the Courts Service.

In time honoured fashion “Spinner Noonan”, to cover his tracks claims that it is others who are misrepresenting the situation! The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct” he said. Additionally, this allows him to suggest that the repossession problem is really minimal and not nearly as bad as is being represented.

No journalist or serious person has spoken about “tens of thousands” of repossessions. 1,088 orders in the first 3 quarters of 2015 is already a disastrous figure!!!

For example,  Kitty Holland, Irish Times Nov 12, 2015. says

: “Banks have sought to repossess almost 4,500 homes  since the start of the year up to September 30, the latest figures from the Courts Service of Ireland indicate”-Kitty Holland, Irish Times Nov 12, 2015.

This is in line with the Central Bank Report: During the third quarter of 2015, legal proceedings were issued to enforce the debt security on private dwelling house mortgages in 1,687 cases (Central Bank Report).

Noonan invents the “tens of thousands” in order to minimize a problem which is in fact already disastrous-“the oldest trick in the book” of the spinner.

STATE DIRECTION OF BANKS IS UNTHINKABLE!-Noonan 

The right of human beings to stay in their own homes is a most important right. The vast majority of people in mortgage difficulty are entirely blameless for their own predicament. They were setting up homes at a particular time. They may have had to move jobs or have been transferred in their job at a particular time. They were failed by the state and by its organs such as the central bank and the financial regulator and by the government of the day.

But Mr Noonan believes that there are superior rights and superior interests and that the vindication of the rights of householders to stay in their own home  is a secondary consideration even if families must be placed in hotel rooms or hostels and may be dispersed.

Mr Noonan: “Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a shareholder in these institutions, I must ensure that these banks are run on a commercial and independent basis to ensure the value of the banks as an asset to the State”

Finance Minister Noonan has already made clear his intention to sell the state owned banks to private investors. Clearly, he is concerned to maximise the sale value of the banks.

Mr Noonan voted in the Dáil to compensate in full international investors who risked their funds in Irish Banks. Money was borrowed from international financiers to pay this compensation. Now Minister Noonan and the FG/Labour Government are using the banks to collect money originally paid to international investors in the same banks from the Irish population. Accordingly, Banks are allowed to charge interest rates to all Irish borrowers which are well above average rates in other European countries within the Eurozone. The value of houses in Ireland has now risen. Hence the huge rise in repossessions between Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2015.

The Priority of Government is that the banks “be fattened up for privatisation”

Mr Noonan also tries to give the impression that he has no power to give instructions to state owned banks.

He says:  “There is a relationship framework, signed by my predecessors in office, with the banks and the essential component is that the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions “

Many listening may have got the impression that Mr Noonan had no power to instruct the government owned banks. The old omission trick! Mr Noonan omitted the words “voluntary” from “voluntary relationship framework”  -And he blames his “predecessors”-Fianna Fáil- as well!

The truth is that Mr Noonan can withdraw from the “relationship framework” at any time. He has taken a political decision to continue to honour it-and to allow the banks to evict Irish families!

He then drags up the notion that stopping state owned banks from evicting people would lead to people “applying to their local TD for a loan” and that the notion of state owned and directed banks was preposterous! Of course there have been state owned banks in Ireland for decades and there have been such in other European countries for even longer. There are well tried mechanisms for dealing with the problem of people applying to politicians for loans.

Noonan uses the image to cover up the responsibility of the government for evicting people on the one hand and extorting money to pay off international lenders from mortgage holders and small businesses on the other.. Pontius Pilate Lives!!!

Mortgage Arrears Problem is Being Solved Progressively-Noonan

Noonan gives the impression that the mortgage arrears problem is being progressively solved through helpful measures put in place by his government. The truth is that the problem of the banks is being solved by repossessing homes and extending mortgages at exorbitant interest rates for a greater number of years.

Crafty Capitalist Representative

Michael Noonan is a very crafty political representative of the Irish super-rich, Irish big business and of foreign big business. He is a master of spinning to deceive. He is assisted in this by the editorial writers and by the media political and economic correspondents. It would be simple for these to expose him but they have a vested in not doing so!

In fairness Kitty Holland in the Irish Times has accurately reported the rate of actual repossessions and court applications for repossession and columnist Fintan O’Toole has exposed his “Tommy Cooper”style deception on tax equity in favour of the very rich.

Dail Record   Jan 14/2016  Home Repossession

Parliamentary Question from Seamus Healy TD to Minister for Finance Ml. Noonan

  1. Deputy Seamus Healyasked the Minister for Finance   if he will insist that Allied Irish Bank and its subsidiary the Educational Building Society and Permanent TSB, which are in majority State ownership, desist from seeking repossession of family homes through the Courts and withdraw all such existing applications before the Courts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1426/16]

Deputy Seamus Healy:   Allied Irish Banks, the Educational Building Society and Permanent TSB are in majority State ownership. They are adding to homelessness and the housing crisis by repossessing family homes. I am asking the Minister, as the majority shareholder, to instruct the banks to desist from this practice.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   I would like to thank Deputy Healy for raising this question. As he is aware, I have no direct function in the relationship between the customer and PTSB, or AIB and its subsidiary EBS. Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a shareholder in these institutions, I must ensure that these banks are run on a commercial and independent basis to ensure the value of the banks as an asset to the State.

Decisions taken by the banks are a matter for the board and management of the relevant institution. The relationship framework agreements define the arm’s-length nature of the relationship between the State and the banks in which the State has an investment. The banks are therefore entitled to pursue all options open to them in order to realise the value of their impaired assets, within the significant constraints imposed by their regulator, the Central Bank and the law as it applies.

The Government has put in place a broad strategy to address the problem of mortgage arrears and family home repossessions. The primary focus of this strategy is to support those home owners in difficulty with their mortgage repayments and, in so far as possible, to avoid repossession of family homes. In recent months, the Government agreed measures to enhance awareness of and access to the insolvency framework. We expanded the mortgage-to-rent scheme, making it more accessible. In addition, my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, also introduced the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 2015, which will, among other things, reduce the normal duration of bankruptcy from three years to one year.

The Central Bank of Ireland’s code of conduct on mortgage arrears also provides protection as it sets out requirements for lenders dealing with borrowers who are facing, or in, mortgage arrears on their primary residence. It ensures that borrowers struggling to keep up mortgage repayments are treated in a fair and transparent manner by their lenders and that long-term resolution is sought by lenders with each of their borrowers.

The number of mortgages in arrears continues to fall. There are almost 121,000 restructuring arrangements in place and the vast majority of these are working. The figures demonstrate that most families can, working with their financial institutions, find an arrangement to make their mortgage commitments affordable. Active engagement by indebted borrowers with their lenders is key to achieving sustainable resolutions. I would urge borrowers in arrears who have not already done so to take that step by contacting their lender directly, or MABS, for an independent assessment of their situation and advice on available resolution options.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   There is a tsunami of homelessness in this country. Last November, the Dublin Homeless Executive provided figures according to which some 1,425 children in 677 families were in emergency accommodation. The Dublin Simon Community said that was unacceptable and shameful. Focus Ireland said that the Government had failed these families. The Master of the High Court, Mr. Edmund Honohan, criticised the banks and accused them of hounding home owners to suicide.

[Deputy Seamus Healy:  ] He criticised the fast-tracked repossession regime that the Government has allowed to be introduced in the courts. These banks are majority owned by the State and it is open to the Minister to instruct these banks to desist from repossessing family homes. In Tipperary alone, 100 families are facing repossession. The Minister should insist that this stop.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   Deputy Healy raised the very important issue of homelessness and the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Alan Kelly, brought forward proposals last year that have blunted the edge of this particular social crisis. Certainly, over the Christmas period there was less sense of a crisis with homelessness than there had been earlier in the year. The measures introduced by the Minister, Deputy Kelly, have been working and, please God, they will continue to work.

On the wider issue of repossession, which was the topic of the Deputy’s notified question, there is some interesting data published by the Central Bank. During the third quarter of 2015, legal proceedings were issued to enforce the debt security on private dwelling house mortgages in 1,687 cases. During quarter three, there were 798 cases where court proceedings concluded but arrears remained outstanding. In 329 cases, the court granted an order for repossession or the sale of the property. A total of 422 properties were taken into possession by lenders in the quarter, of which 207 were repossessed on foot of a court order. The remaining 215 were voluntarily surrendered or abandoned. The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct. A small amount goes through the system. With the changes made by the Minister for Justice and Equality and with the Money Advice & Budgeting Service assisting directly people before the courts, I hope the number will diminish even further. It is the policy of the Government to put arrangements in place so that people can live in the family home.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The Minister is the majority shareholder in these banks and he has obviously given permission to the banks to repossess family homes. He could equally instruct these banks not to go down this road and repossess family homes. He could call an emergency meeting of these bank boards and instruct them not to repossess family homes. I ask him to do so immediately and if bank directors do not agree, they should be sacked, as the Minister has the power to do so as a majority shareholder. This is urgent and, irrespective of the Minister’s comments, thousands of families in the country are facing homelessness because of banks in which the State has a majority shareholding. The Minister could give instructions to stop these repossessions and I ask him to do so immediately.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   There is a relationship framework, signed by my predecessors in office, with the banks and the essential component is that the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions. That is for a very good reason as we do not want to politicise the banks. It would be a very sad day for the country if the first port of call for a person seeking a loan had to be the local Deputy rather than a bank manager.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   We are not asking anybody to do that at all.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   There will be no political interference with the banks. On the question of repossessions, 207 houses were repossessed on foot of a court order, which does not equate to the tens of thousands of houses sometimes mentioned in commentary. There are 121,000 restructured mortgages on private dwellings, with a success rate of 86.6%. That means the arrangements stick in just under 87% of cases. The problem is being solved progressively. I appreciate it is very hard on people and I can appreciate that people who lost their jobs do not have money. I also appreciate the concerns and how upset people are. In a very extreme situation, the issue is being handled reasonably well by the banks

———————————–

Woman facing return to prison over refusal

Noonan: home repossessions being handled reasonably well

Minister says no political interference in bank decision, but progress being made

Irish Times  Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 11:39 Updated: Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 12:03

Marie O’Halloran

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate how upset people are.”

Banks have been dealing with the issue of home repossessions “reasonably well”, according to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

He said “this idea of tens of thousands of houses being repossessed is just not correct”.

Mr Noonan said “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate the concerns and I appreciate how upset people are.

“But in a very extreme situation it’s been handled reasonably well by the banks.”

He was responding to Independent TD Séamus Healy who asked Mr Noonan, as the majority shareholder in AIB and its subsidiary EBS as well as the majority shareholder in Permanent TSB, “to call a meeting of the boards of the banks and to instruct them “not to repossess family homes”.

He said that if the bank directors would not agree to that then “sack those members. You have the power to do that as majority shareholder.

“There are thousands of families in this country, irrespective of what you say Minister, facing homelessness by these banks, of which the Government is a majority shareholder.”

Mr Noonan said a relationship framework had been agreed by the Government’s predecessors in office that “the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions” and they did not want to politicise the banks.

“It would be a very sad day for the country if you were looking for a loan and your first port of call had to be your local TD rather than the bank manager.”

He said 207 houses were repossessed on foot of court order and “that is not the 10s of thousands of houses that’s sometimes recited on the commentary on this”.

He said 121,000 mortgages on private dwellings had been restructured and the success rate was 86.6 per cent.

“So progressively the problem is being solved.”

Mr Noonan said statistics from the Central Bank showed that in the third quarter of 2015 (July, August and September) legal proceedings were issued in 1,687 cases of private mortgages.

“There were 798 cases where court proceedings concluded but arrears remained outstanding and the court granted a repossession order in 329 cases.

A total of 422 properties were taken into possession by lenders during the quarter and 215 were voluntary.

“It’s a very small amount to go through the system and since the changes were made by the Minister for Justice and that the money and Budgeting Advice Service are assisting people before the courts that will diminish even further,” Mr Noonan added.

 

Government Evicts Families—-Statement bySeamus Healy TD

This government is continuing to evict families from their homes.

In the Dáil last Thursday, I appealed to Minister Michael Noonan to order the banks he owns to withdraw repossession proceedings in light of the extreme housing emergency which exists.

The Minister refused.  This means that the government has given the green light to the banks they own, to continue to evict families.

Court Orders for repossession of 47 primary residences were granted at Clonmel and Nenagh Circuit Courts in the first 3 quarters of 2015. A further 8 buy-to-lets which also house families were also repossessed. Banks are now seeking a further 97 repossession orders for dwellings in Tipp, of which 32 are being sought by AIB, EBS and Permanent TSB which are owned by the Government through Michael Noonan (FG) Minister for Finance

Minister Noonan claimed that the issue was being reasonably handled by the banks. Totally misrepresenting the situation, Mr Noonan quoted the 208 orders for repossessions for the whole country for Quarter 3,2015 as representative of the scale of the problem. COURTS ONLY SIT FOR 1 OF THE 3 MONTHS IN QUARTER 3!! The Court Service Figures for the whole country for Quarters 1 and 2 are 586 and 314 respectively.

The proposed Eviction of 97 Tipperary Families Must Be Stopped Now!

 

Senior Minister Alan Kelly (Lab) and Minister of State Hayes(FG) must now intervene at Cabinet to have a Housing Emergency Declared and all repossession applications withdrawn.

In particular they must force Minister Noonan to withdraw the repossession applications by the banks he owns.

———————-

Castlebar Court Anti-Eviction Protest

https://www.facebook.com/cashin3/videos/vb.100001246297556/1173381982713334/?type=2&theater

13/06/2016

We have being contacted by RTE Over the passed few days over the selling of family home mortgages to vulture funds across the county When Gerry O Boyle campaigned in the last general election on this issue the matter was not allowed to be high-lighted. Now it has come the light with the assistance of Gerry O Boyle. RTE has decided to do a documentary on corruption of Irish banks and the cover up. RTE is now expected to do full coverage from Castlebar Eviction Court on June the 13th
Men in balaclavas evict families for vulture capitalists invited in by government to feed on the public           Irish Mirror Pat Flanagan 15:33, 3 Jun 2016 Mass evictions loom after it was revealed that 46,000 mortgages – the equivalent to all the homes in Drogheda and Dundalk – are now in the hands of vulture funds. The sight of men in balaclavas attempting to evict families from their homes as gardai stand idly by confirms that we are living in a very sick state. Tens of thousands of families face being evicted by the vultures. When a Government invites vultures into our country to feed on the misery of families in danger of losing their homes, you know Irish society has lost its moral compass. The sight of men in balaclavas attempting to evict families from their homes as gardai stand idly by confirms that we are living in a very sick state.Ireland is indeed a warped country which poisons golden eagles and venerates vultures selling off thousands of distressed mortgages at knockdown prices while refusing to give homeowners a writedown.

It is perhaps a metaphor for a country in terminal social decline where the vulnerable are fed to unscrupulous wealth funds who have not the slightest inkling of concern for their welfare.

There are few more reviled birds then the vulture yet our Finance Minister is a fan and believes they play a pivotal role in nature.

This is what he actually said: “Vultures provide a very good service in the ecology through cleaning up dead animals that are littered across the landscape.”

The dead animals he is talking about are the tens of thousands of people whose mortgages have been sold to foreign wealth funds without them having the opportunity of doing a deal with their former lender.

Ulster Bank’s decision to sell 900 home mortgages to vulture funds at a huge discount could lead to most of the families involved being evicted from their homes.

This rotten bank is not only heartless, they are gross hypocrites as they claim they do not do debt forgiveness yet sell off huge property portfolios to vulture funds at a fraction of their worth.

Ulster Bank is a private company which is in business for profit, what possible excuse can the State have for selling off thousands of homes in the middle of the worst housing in our history.

“Vulture lover” Noonan recently had the gall to claim he put safeguards in place to prevent the vultures kicking people from their homes when the mass evictions have already started.

“Such protection as vultures give to lambs,” said the 18th century Irish dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan…. he could have been talking about our Finance Minister.

The spiralling number of evictions has not come about by accident but as a result of actual Government policies which specifically set out to sell off huge property portfolios which could only be bought by vulture funds.

Around 90% of the State’s bad bank Nama’s assets have been sold to international speculators who have got them at a fraction of their true worth.

What is even more disturbing is that it appears the gardai are allowing hooded agents of the vultures terrorise families in the course of evictions as the Royal Irish Constabulary did for absentee landlords in the 19th century.

It is something of a sick joke that the country has been losing the run of itself celebrating 1916 and the beginning of the end of British rule when our government has handed over the homes, and the lives, of tends of thousands of families to anonymous foreigners.

Both Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan have taken time out to actually meet and greet the vultures and invited these scavengers to our country to feast on Irish families.

To help them digest the financial flesh the law here allows wealth funds to avail of favourable tax deals which are outside the reach of the Central Bank.

On the subject of the Central Bank, two years ago the then Governor Patrick Honohan said he was very unhappy about the sale of mortgage books to vulture funds and highlighted the consequences for tenants.

But Fine Gael and Labour were determined that the vultures be fed and allowed the sell-off which saw property portfolios worth tens of billions of euro go ahead with massive writedowns.

It is estimated that around 46,000 mortgages – the equivalent to all the homes in Drogheda and Dundalk – are now in the hands of vulture funds.

The newly-created Dublin Tenants Association has called for new laws to stop vulture capitalists from forcing families out of their homes.

DTA spokesman Patrick Bresnihan said: “This is not a natural disaster. The reality is government policy has been to facilitate vulture funds at every turn, without any research into the impact of international funds on the Irish housing system.”

The dreadful situation which families find themselves in is a direct reflection of the ethos and ideology of the previous government.

Vultures by their nature rarely attack healthy animals, but will prey on the weak and sick and that’s exactly what the Coalition did.

So we shouldn’t be too surprised about Michael Noonan’s love of vultures – it’s a case of birds of a feather flock together…


1,700 homes promised a year ago – not one has been built

Irish Independent June 7,201

Some 1,706 homes were approved in May 2015. Another 134 were sanctioned the following July, and 890 last January – a total of 2,730 across 145 individual schemes.

The Irish Independent asked each local authority to provide an update on how the projects were progressing. Three – Kerry, Offaly and Wexford – failed to respond. The data shows:

■ No social houses have been built by the local authorities from the 2,730 sanctioned as long as a year ago.

■ Just 26 are under construction in Donegal, Tipperary and Louth. Louth County Council said it expects 12 to be completed this month.

■ Architects and design teams are only now being appointed for many of the schemes. A significant number have yet to proceed to planning.

■ Some units have been purchased – Fingal has secured 44, Cork City another 28 and Louth another eight. But some councils are only beginning to purchase homes now.

■ In some cases, including Cork and Galway, the number of units has been increased, which has resulted in delays as projects must be redesigned.

■ Some other projects have also been cancelled or delayed.

In Longford, no work has started on 13 houses approved in Lanesborough last July. ‘Trial holes’ are being organised for the site, the council said.

A land swap is also being organised with the HSE in Meath to facilitate construction of 19 units in Summerhill, approved in May 2015.

In one case – a €3.1m scheme of 20 units at Strandhill in Co Sligo – construction work is not expected to begin until November next year, 30 months after it was approved.

The minister said special teams would be sent into local authorities to drive delivery.

Last year, 72 social houses were built, and around 1,160 acquired.

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David Walsh Released unconditionally by High Court 03/06/2016

David had spent 4 days in Cork Jail. David was convicted of criminal contempt in Waterford Circuit Court when he insisted on representing his sister who was up for repossession of her home.

David has done all those threatened with eviction a great service

Well Done to Waterford the HUB-IRELAND and Noel Brophy!

WOMAN LOSES HOME TO BANK AND HER BROTHER TO PRISON

Press Release By THEHUB-IRELAND  June 2, 2016
 The Hub-Ireland DATE: 1-6-2016 PRESS QUERIES: info@thehub-ireland.com (enter ‘Press Query’ Subject line) Tel: 01 534 9118 (office hours)
   WOMAN LOSES HOME TO BANK AND HER BROTHER TO PRISON At Waterford Circuit Court on Monday, a woman lost her home and her brother was taken away to prison after Judge Alice Doyle made a possession order in favour of the bank and held the home-owner’s brother to be in contempt of court.
He was sentenced to two weeks in prison and escorted out of the courthouse by Gardaí after voicing his objections to the proceedings in which the Judge had refused his sister the right for him to represent her, as is allowable. The home-owner had intended to defend her home because she believed she had an arguable case and wished to exercise her right to due process. She wished to bring certain matters before the Judge for consideration before any possession order would be given. However, she was unable to afford legal representation and did not feel able to carry out the role of representing herself in such an already stressful situation, where she would be up against the bank’s professional legal team, including a barrister. In previous proceedings in the same case, but in front of a Registrar, her brother had been allowed to represent his sister.
On Monday, she had signed a Power of Attorney for her brother to represent her again, but Judge Doyle disallowed the request.
The Hub-Ireland, a voluntary group working to help distressed mortgage-holders, is extremely concerned at how mortgage cases are being dealt with by the judicial system generally and for the personal plight of the woman in this particular case, who has not only lost her home without being able to present her defence, but has also had to watch her brother being carried away to prison.
The Hub-Ireland is repeating its call for an end to the Evictions Courts. Its members have been observing the workings of such courts throughout the country and have reported many similar cases where home-owners, who could not afford to employ a legal team to match the bank’s one, have their rights to justice severely compromised as a result. “This is wrong and it has to stop,” said Byron Jenkins of The Hub-Ireland. “Tonight there is a man in prison and a woman faces eviction, having lost her home. This is a personal tragedy for this family, but it also highlights all that is wrong about how the mortgage-crisis has been dealt with. We again call on the government and all in the political system to act immediately to put an end to the barbaric suffering being caused to good Irish people, whose only mistake was to borrow to put a roof over their heads.
The Dáil will break for summer holidays in a few weeks time, but it will be a long hot summer for those facing eviction as a result of political inaction,” said Jenkins.
The Hub-Ireland is a voluntary, self-help community organisation that offers free help, support and information to homeowners who are in danger of eviction from their homes by mortgage companies. It has launched a campaign to have the Evictions Courts abolished and asks for the public to support the initiative. It invites anyone in mortgage distress to contact them at info@thehub-ireland.com or phone 01 534 9118.
/ends press release
Please Note: The Hub-Ireland has a number of expert spokespersons who are available to appear as panelists on radio and television programs dealing with the issues of mortgage distress. They are also available to give interviews to print media. Please contact The Hub-Ireland at info@thehub-ireland.com (enter ‘Press Query’ in Subject line) or phone 01 534 9118 during office hours.

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Brother of Woman Facing Repossession JAILED FOR TWO WEEKS FOR CONTEMPT in Waterford Circuit Court

SHOCKING INHUMANITY OF EVICTION SYSTEM

He Had Been Prevented From Speaking on Behalf of his sister in Court though she had given him her Power of Attorney

Waterford The Hub-Ireland

In Waterford court today a man who had  been given power of attorney by his sister  was denied by justice Doyle the right to speak on behalf of his sister in opposing the repossession of her home. When the man Questioned the Judge he was put in contempt of court. Another man questioned her decision also. He was also  put in contempt. Later both were questioned by gardaí and brought back into court. The brother was jailed for two weeks

Earlier,he had handed to the judge the document  stating  that he had been given power of attorney by his sister. The judge left the bench for 10min and  came back with a decision that he could not speak for her in court. She wouldn’t allow him  question her jurisdiction in the matter. She put him in contempt and later jailed him for two weeks

He had repressented his sister 2 months earlier on the same matter in  front of a different judge who had agreed to this procedure

Further Post on Facebook By HUB-Ireland

(A male young man appeared in court to swear the affidavit on behalf of the bank. The signature on the affidavit was that of a woman!!!—-PH)

WANTED:

We need the ID of this child: this is the young man that came to court yesterday as a competent witness for the Banks: he was never sworn in / or gave his name; the only words he uttered from the back of the courtroom was “Yes”, after Judge Alice Doyle had asked “did you sign the affidavit for the Banks”.

Funny that:: the deponent of the Affidavit was in fact a woman, so how come??

The Judge then replied; “that’s good enough for me” and granted a possession Order on a Family Home and Jailed the Brother for two weeks for contempt for wishing to represent his sister.

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The two hooded balaclava wearing individuals entering the Garda Squad Car are not prisoners!
They are employees of a security company leaving the scene having failed to evict a householder in Co Clare recently

“Stop Evictions” Picket on Ennis Banks

DISAPPOINTMENT OVER CLARE’S TDS FAIURE TO ATTEND DEMONSTRATION AT ENNIS BANKS

Clare’s Oireachtas representatives are being condemned for their failure to attend a demonstration outside Ennis banks this morning.

Groups led by Midwest Right2Change launched the picket in protest at the repossession of houses by financial institiutions, as well as the ongoing housing crisis.

As the sun shone down on Ennis town centre this morning, groups picketing the town’s three main banks say the situation isn’t so bright for many people facing homlessneess across the county.

Today’s protest, organised by Right2Change, began outside Ulster Bank in the Height and from there moved on to AIB and then onto Bank of Ireland.

A small group of public representatives and locals highlighted their concerns following a recent high-profile attempted eviction in Corofin.

One of them, Anti-Austerity Campaigner Niamh O’Brien says something needs to be done to stop banks from reposessing homes.

Protestors hit out at Clare’s Oireachtas representatives for failing to attend today.

Shannon Sinn Féin Counillor Mike Mc Kee says they need to put pressure on the Government to deal with the housing crisis.

Limerick City TD Maurice Quinlivan, who represents part of Clare also attended today’s protest.

The Sinn Féin representative is a member of the Dáil Homeless and Housing Committee and he says an adequate Mortgage to rent scheme would help ease the crisis for some families.

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 Noonan feeds the vulnerable to the vultures

Rather than Minister Noonan giving the unfortunate mortgage defaulter a break, he’s been fraternising with their enemy

Carol Hunt, Sunday Independent,  29/05/2016

1Support: Michael Noonan will be happy with evictions Photo: Tom Burke

The video footage is shocking. It shows a number of men, hooded, black scarves covering their faces, attempting to gain access to a private home. To even the most trusting of observers, they don’t look as if they can be up to any good.

Beside them, the car they allegedly drove up in – and which we will see them later drive off in – has no insurance or tax disc displayed and the registration number is covered over with tape. This is undoubtedly illegal.

Local men confront them, clearly agitated. Thankfully, there are gardai present and the traffic violations are quickly pointed out to them.

Except that, as the video footage unfolds, it becomes disturbingly clear that the gardai have no intention of noting these offences, that they are there purely to assist the hooded men in gaining access to the house. They are on the side of what looks like the bad guys.

Welcome to a modern-day Irish eviction. (There was a doubling in the number of properties repossessed by mortgage lenders in Ireland between 2010 and 2013, new research has found.)

This time it fails. The heavy gang leave in their car which still lacks a visible registration number. This time there was no paperwork which allowed them to legally enter the property – but if members of the Anti-Eviction Taskforce had not been present to vociferously, but peacefully, protest, yet another family would have found themselves homeless by nightfall.

Well, that’s what happens isn’t it? When you can’t pay your debts, when you fall behind on your mortgage, when the bank lent you money with no questions or queries beyond “how much?” and “sure, would you not like a few thousand more?” But now, kiddo, it’s payback time.

Well, for some people it is anyway. But we know a few things now that we didn’t know back in 2007. We know, courtesy of Ajai Chopra, that the EU issued an ultimatum to Ireland at the time of the bailout. We know that the ECB would not allow us to burn senior bondholders. We know that we are still paying billions in interest because of this unfortunate “mistake”.

We know this week, thanks to NTMA chief executive Conor O’Kelly, that every worker in the country pays an extra €3,400 in tax every year compared with just €900 in 2007. We know we were taken for a ride by banks, the bondholders, and the head honchos in Europe – as well as our own crowd. And we know, as O’Kelly said, that our State debt pile of €207bn, €102,000 per employee, is “easily the highest in Europe, by a mile”. To be clear he added: “It’s one of the highest ratios in the world.”

Which may explain why so many people are finding it so difficult to service 2007 mortgages with 2016 wages (that’s if they’re still lucky enough to be working).

Half the bloody economy is going into a black hole of debt repayments. The average Irish worker took the hit for all those bondholders and bankers who were allowed play financial roulette with no consequences to themselves if they lost everything.

You’d think the Government would feel a little bit sheepish about that now, wouldn’t you? You’d presume that they would go a bit easy on Joe and Josephine Soap who were unfortunate enough to need a mortgage when prices were beyond the moon and the banks were happy to feed the insanity? And you’d certainly think that, in light of our enormous State debt (remember, “the highest in Europe, by a mile”!) Michael Noonan would still be in the market for a bit of debt forgiveness from the EU or IMF.

You’d think, maybe they’d listen to people – like those in the Anti-Eviction Taskforce, The Phoenix Project, Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, The Hub and all those other groups working at the coalface of people who are in despair at the prospect of losing their homes, and maybe ask the banks to share a bit of the risk, the cost, the fallout?

But no, seemingly everything is going swimmingly in Noonan Land, because earlier this month he said we didn’t need any deals on debt, because we’re in a “pretty good place now”.

Which will come as news to the hundreds of thousands of people in the country in mortgage distress – particularly if their mortgages have been sold on to vulture funds at cheap prices not offered to them – terrified to answer their doors in case it’s the bailiff with a crowd of hooded men and a few gardai backing them up.

It will also come as news to people like Fr Peter McVerry, whose Trust last Friday appealed to the Government to do more for people at risk of becoming homeless and particularly the dangers that the vulture funds bring with them.

Michael Noonan is a fan, seemingly. Of vulture funds. I know, that’s hard to believe, but then some people have hard necks. They can afford to.

Fine Gael TD Catherine Byrne got terribly upset when David Hall, of Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation (IMHO), called Mr Noonan a “vulture [fund] lover” at an Oireachtas Housing and Homelessness committee meeting recently.

After a “face-to-face” meeting with the minister, Hall said: “He was very clear about his love for vultures. We had a very robust exchange in relation to it … the self-confessed predators. They circulate for five years, they suck an asset dry and they move on.”

Last week Ulster Bank announced that it would be selling over 2,900 of its customers’ mortgages to “vulture funds”.

Of those, 900 are family homes, the others, one presumes, are rental properties. (Most evictions in Ireland actually arise when people can’t pay escalating rents, as opposed to mortgages.)

According to the recent report by the Debt and Development Coalition Ireland (DDCI) our Government “wholeheartedly embraced vulture funds”, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about their attitude to Joe or Josephine mortgage problems. Or families like my friend Danielle’s, who have just been given a few months to leave the home they have rented for 10 years.

Their landlord is sorry, but the mortgage has been sold on to vulture funds and all he can do is commiserate and say that they were exemplary tenants.

Like many other families in similar situations, they haven’t a hope of finding affordable accommodation near their jobs and children’s schools.

An EU-wide report headed up by NUIG academic Padraig McKenna also found that “there were relatively high numbers of evictions (including illegal evictions) in the [Irish] private rented sector”. According to the DDCI report, “the arrival of vulture funds means an increased likelihood of people being evicted from their homes”.

Well, “duh” as my kids would say; it shouldn’t take an academic report to deduce that.

The people evicted will probably end up in hotels at the State’s expense – but hey, the vulture funds and Minister Noonan is happy – so that’s all right so.

Groups like the Anti-Eviction Taskforce look set to have their work cut out for them in the immediate future.

Welcome to the “new politics”, and old-style land repossessions.

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KEN SMOLLEN, THE HUB IRELAND  BRIEF DEPUTIES AND SENATORS AT LEINSTER HOUSE AT INVITATION OF SEAMUS HEALY TD

CALL FOR STOP TO EVICTION PROCEEDINGS IN COURT, FORMAL DECLARATION OF NATIONAL HOUSING EMERGENCY BY DAIL

REPORT ON BRIEFING  BY KEN SMOLLEN   18/05/2016

This evening is probably not a good time to write a report on today’s meeting with TD’s, Senators and their representatives in Leinster House as I usually need a day to fully analyse any event or meeting.

However, it was an absolute pleasure to meet what I would describe as three very like-minded people, namely Byron, Adrienne and Martina in The Hub office in Dublin before heading off to Leinster House. Adrienne had the job of looking after callers to The Hub while Byron, Martina and I went to the meeting where we first met Seamus Healy TD and his brother Paddy. We had a cup of coffee in the café there while discussing the approach we would be making when presenting our case on behalf of thousands of people who find that they are the totally innocent victims of the bailed out banks who want to ‘legally’ steal their family homes!

There were approx. 20 TD’s present at different stages during our presentation including the following – Sean Crowe, Eugene Murphy, Pat Buckley, Thomas Pringle, Dara Calleary, Martin Ferris, Sean Fleming, Carol Nolan, Ann Rabbitte, Eoin O’Broin and others. Represented were Richard Boyd Barrett and Joan Collins. Needless to say no representative from either Fine Gael or the Labour Party was there. It surprised me that not one representative of the Independent Alliance made the effort either as all TD’s were invited there by Seamus Healy TD and by myself.

I began the presentation by describing to those present what actually happens in the Eviction Courts and how people are being treated in a shameful way in particular by County Registrars. I described the intimidating atmosphere in these places and the absolute horror, despair and desperation that I see on a regular basis in these awful places. I also informed them that during the month of May alone there are well over 2,000 Eviction cases listed in the courts throughout the country and with an average of 3 or 4 members of each household it would be the equivalent of the population of a large town being hauled before the Eviction courts – and that’s just this month alone. I also impressed on them that not only are there approx. 100,000 families in mortgage distress but that there could be a further 200,000 families going without some of the basic necessities just to pay their mortgages and that many of these people were also slipping into mortgage distress. Again I said that with an average of 3 to 4 people per household we are looking at over ONE MILLION people in Ireland being in this awful situation with no resolution in sight.

I then explained how the banks were refusing to engage with many mortgage holders in any way even though the banks claim that it’s the other way around. I also said to them that the Government must FORCE the banks to engage fairly with mortgage holders and that a fair and sustainable solution must be found for ALL mortgage holders before there would be any recovery for the people of Ireland.

Martina then spoke about and gave an excellent presentation on the Land & Conveyancing (Law Reform) Act of 2013 [The EVICTION Act] and explained how it must be repealed as it gives the bailed out banks easier access to repossessing family homes.

Byron then gave an exception explanation of how The Hub-Ireland is helping families every day for FREE and also urged those present the need for an urgent solution to this desperate crisis.

The politicians who were present then made their own contributions with all of them agreeing that a real recovery for the people of Ireland could only take place once the people of Ireland were treated fairly by the banks. They were all in agreement that they must act in the best interests of the people that they represent.

Our next step with the help of Seamus Healy is to gain an invitation to make a submission to the housing committee where we can again impress on them the necessity for two things – 1) The urgent need for a STOP to be put on EVICTION Court proceedings in the courts while the banks are forced to find a fair and sustainable solution for all mortgage holders and 2) To have an official EMERGENCY declared in relation to this crisis. Such a declaration would put a stop to Michael Noonan’s nonsense about the Government being unable to interfere in private property transactions.

All in all it was a very good day and I’m sure that by keeping the pressure on these people we can achieve real change for the better, not only keeping families in their homes but in the process, saving many lives.

I was not expecting to see Fine Gael’s representative from Offaly there as she was one of those who unashamedly voted YES for the Eviction Bill and because there weren’t any photo opportunities for her to take advantage of. I am however extremely disappointed with the non-appearance of the Fianna Fail TD for Offaly. When the meeting was over he walked as we were talking outside the meeting room, he looked and grinned, as much as to say – Who let those peasants into this important place.

Finally, I would like to thank Paddy Healy and his brother Seamus for arranging this first meeting and I have absolutely no doubt that we will now gain the support of other TD’s in our justified fight for fairness for thousands of our people. With the help of these good men we certainly hope to receive an invitation to make a submission to the housing committee.

KEEP SUNDAY 19th JUNE FREE – 1.30pm in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise – EVERYONE WELCOME!

Thanks everyone,

Ken


Claire Byrne Live on Housing and Homelessness
http://www.rte.ie/…/sh…/claire-byrne-live-30003252/10576915/
Listen to First 30 minutes on Housing and Homelessness

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Housing is national emergency says Simon Coveney, Minister for Housing

Why does he not formally lay a certificate to this effect before the Dáil?

Because then there would be no constitutional prohibition to stopping evictions and compusorily purchasing the property of vulture capitalists  in order to ease the housing crisis

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Why Can’t State Just Borrow 10 billion at very low interest rates to begin Building 50,000 publicly owned  houses immediately as advocated by David McWilliams Below? He claims the loan would be self-financing at much lower than current rents!

ANSWER?   HINT -Read the provisions of the Fiscal Treaty!

David McWilliams  IRISH INDEPENDENT  11/05/2016

Easy for the State to Build 50,000 houses ??

Let’s examine how the State could involve itself in financing a housing trust using the international financial markets to massively reduce housing costs in Ireland.

Currently, the markets will finance any good opportunity. When interest rates are zero, the obvious thing to do is borrow for infrastructural projects and housing is the most significant infrastructural development that one can think of right now.

Let’s look at the numbers.

Builders will tell you that building costs are around €120/130 a square foot. For a large scheme, this could be lower and could move towards €100.

Now let’s say that the average unit in Dublin or any urban centre in Ireland is 1,400 square feet. This means that the average building cost of a house/apartment of this size is €140,000. Add to this VAT of 13.5pc and we get €158,200.

Now on top of this there are professional fees for architects and surveyors and the like. These could be 12pc of the contract price plus 23pc VAT. So this is close to €19,000 on top of this price, bringing the €140,000 initial cost, up with all the fees and taxes to around €166,000.

Then on top of this are development levies which are the costs per unit that are added by the council to pay for new roads, water pipes and sewage. These are typically €9,000 per unit. So we are now up to €175,000 per unit.

Now we have the cost of the build with all the charges and taxes before we talk about site cost.

In 2011, Dublin probably had enough houses to deal with the population. However, there should have been 60,000 built since to keep up with population growth but only 8,000 have been built, so we have a shortfall of around 50,000 for the sake of argument.

Imagine the State was to build or fund the build of 50,000 houses. At €175,000 each, this would cost €8.7bn. This is a big number but the Irish State can borrow for 10 years at 1pc, according to Bloomberg yesterday. Therefore, the State could issue a Housing Executive Bond, which it could sell to Irish residents who are sitting on €94bn of deposits in the Irish banking system. Servicing this debt would cost €87m per year.

Traditionally, countries don’t pay back the principal of their national debts, they simply roll it over.

So it would be prudent to suggest that we would do the same for this Housing Executive Bond.

Now we have a situation where the total annual cost of 50,000 units is €87m. This means that the annual cost per unit is €1,740. The implication is the rent that would be needed to be charged per unit per year to pay the cost of this build, funded by a Housing Executive Bond, is €1,740 per year. Let’s round this up to €2,000 per unit per year, to include maintenance.

So total rental cost of a new house or apartment is not €12,000 per annum, as is the case right now, but €2,000 per annum or €38 a week.

This is feasible. You have seen the numbers. The major cost omitted is the site cost and this is where we come into the land issue.

At a density of 60 units per hectare, this would mean about 833 hectares of development land, or about 2,000 acres, is needed. There are 28,000 acres in Dublin in total but just one bank, Ulster Bank, put a portfolio of 1,850 acres of development land up for sale this year. So the development land portfolio of just one bank could almost cover this total city requirement! Now we are talking.

The State could simply CPO this land at cost and be done with it. You could add the repayment cost of this land to the annual rent. This would bring up the annual cost of the rent needed to cover everything to €3,000 per year or a quarter of present average rent paid.

Thus, the great Irish housing crisis is solved for less than €60 per week for a family of four in return for a new house, fixity of tenure and peace of mind!

That’s how it’s done in proper countries. The choice is ours.

Let’s join the 21st century and stop gouging each other for the basic right of a roof over our heads.

Unlike the lads on the Magic Bus, these are the numbers, no one is smoking funny stuff, just seeing things clearly through the haze of vested interests and inertia.

Problem solved.

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“Organised by former garda Ken Smollen, this is yet another meeting attended by many groups who are at the coalface of the mortgage crisis. And a crisis it is”

PUBLISHED08/05/2016 | 02:30   Sunday Independent

Thousands of homeowners left at the mercy of the banks bear a burden of daily fear and uncertainty, with many contemplating suicide, and some acting on those feelings, writes Carol Hunt

‘My name is Sandy and I am in mortgage distress,” says a woman at the back of the room. She clears her throat and continues: “It was ‘my little secret’, because I told nobody, I was too ashamed. My friends didn’t know, my family didn’t know. I felt I had failed and I had made a huge mistake.” She pauses, I catch her eye and then look away, embarrassed.

We’re in the Hotel Killeshin Portlaoise. There are over 300 angry, frustrated and emotional people here – all united by a common goal of “stopping the evictions”.

Organised by former garda Ken Smollen, this is yet another meeting attended by many groups who are at the coalface of the mortgage crisis. And a crisis it is.

According to Smollen, as well as the 100,000 mortgages currently in distress, there are another 200,000 in danger of slipping into difficulty.

Plus, there are many small businesses and farms on the brink of insolvency. Extrapolate that to include families and that is over a million people affected, he says.

These are not accidental landlords or developers rescued by Nama. These are people who cannot pay back Celtic Tiger-size mortgages in a post-crash economy. Consequently, they are faced with eviction by their banks and, increasingly, by vulture funds.

They are ordinary people, most of whom have never asked for anything or fallen into debt before and they are shocked and sickened at the sudden realisation that they may find themselves homeless.

These are the people for whom debt is seen as a sacred obligation, a moral duty.

If they don’t pay what they owe, the economy as we know it will collapse and moral hazard will ensue.

Or so we are told.

So why isn’t mortgage debt front-page news? Why isn’t it an issue garnering the same attention as those damned water charges? Shame, is the simple answer. People are – sometimes quite literally – dying of shame at the thought that their friends and neighbours will find out their dirty little secret.

Sandy wasn’t given the option of choosing to get her problem off her chest by sharing it with others in the same situation. She didn’t decide that she was going to be brave and f**k the begrudgers.

She had been ‘outed’ by her local newspaper, who put details of her indebtedness on the front page.

It’s obvious that the indignity and disgrace she feels still rankle.

“People will be too ashamed to come out and protest,” she insists. But there were some who disagreed with her.

One elderly man stands up and admits: “The only wish myself and my wife have is that we can die in our own home… Am I suicidal?” he asks us as he clings to the microphone. “Yes, I am,” he answers bluntly. “It’s a companion of mine. Every morning I wake up and think of it.”

He looks around at the sea of emotionally distressed faces. “We need to tell our stories,” he insists. “There are so many, many people in similar situations. We need empathy … we need a hug. We need to work with everyone, but,” he warns with the tired voice of a man who has seen much betrayal and hurt, “put your faith in no one.”

Ciaran Doyle explained that his mortgage was sold to vulture funds without his knowledge. Smollen recalls how one woman said she would rather “set fire to my house and set myself alight in it” than hand it over to the moneylenders.

Martina Doyle from The Hub Ireland (a voluntary organisation which helps people in mortgage distress) explains how the Land and Conveyancing Reform Act 2013, which “gave clarity and comfort to the banks”, has led to the so-called “eviction courts” and needs to be immediately repealed.

Her organisation gets phone calls of desperation “from a mother or father panic-stricken as to where they are going to go, the single person who feels they have no rights, as they are on their own, the elderly couple who are frightened to death of the knock at the door that will drag them out in front of their neighbours.”

Examples are given of how the eviction courts can intimidate such vulnerable people – most of whom are totally unused to courts of any kind.

There is a huge misconception in the public arena that “these people just don’t want to pay their mortgages and are freeloaders”.

“Anyone who thinks that”, she says, “just needs to come to The Hub for just one day and listen to the calls we take.”

But still these people, in despair and anguish, are told, a debt is a debt is a debt. They borrowed money from a bank and they are therefore legally and morally bound to pay it back. Unlike say, the well-heeled speculators who found themselves in Nama.

Earlier this month, it was revealed by Michael Noonan that Nama has written off debts totalling €1.5bn owed by just 80 debtors to the agency.

Noonan explained that the “debt is only written off where all of the underlying assets have been realised, there are no further assets to be realised nor any additional recourse available to Nama to recover borrowings from the debtor”.

Which is the same situation that would apply to most of the ordinary people in unsustainable mortgage debt that I have met up and down the country. And yet it doesn’t.

Why one rule for one group and a much harsher one for the other?

Because, bluntly, when debt is racked up by governments, corporations, banks, or by privileged insiders, it can always be renegotiated or written off. That’s how the system works. It’s only when debts are owed from the poor to the rich that issues such as moral hazard are introduced.

Only then does debt become a sacred obligation. It’s a way of keeping the cash/power flowing upwards. It’s also a way of keeping people in their assigned places.

In the past, precautions were taken to protect debtors from unscrupulous lenders. Yet today it is creditors who are protected at the expense of debtors, corporations at the expense of citizens, banks at the expense of nations.

“There’s no political will to solve this issue,” said one man at the Killeshin Hotel last week. “Because there are no votes in it. Unlike the water charges, people are too ashamed to protest.

He may be right. An invitation was issued to every TD and senator in Leinster House. Five attended – none from the last government parties. “We know that people are going to die [due to debt]” he added.

Another man spoke passionately and bitterly of debt-related suicides occurring daily as he urged people to act now before there are further deaths.

You may think this is emotionally charged exaggeration, but a recent survey by the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation (IMHO) found that of 488 people aged between 29-70 who are in debt (questioned by clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy), 44pc said they felt depressed all or most of the time; 31pc have had suicidal thoughts in the past four weeks; 22pc had active plans to kill themselves and 45pc indicated harmful levels of alcohol abuse.

Now, just think of the thousands of people in mortgage distress in this country and you can begin to imagine the depth of human suffering in our midst.

So what can we do? This week, we heard promises about putting pressure on banks to offer “sustainable” solutions to those in mortgage distress and there are suggestions for a new court to deal with arrears; but, judging by the numbers at risk and the distress involved, this will not suffice.

Certainly we need people to be offered split mortgages, term extensions and long-term interest rate reductions.

But for many families, what is needed is debt-forgiveness. And quickly. But the banks – who brought the country to its knees through their reckless lending and were rewarded for doing so with billions of our euro – won’t play ball.

They are so confident of their power that they are currently swindling variable-rate mortgage-holders with high interest rates.

They are selling off homes to vulture funds at a cost not offered to the now homeless occupiers. They are doing pretty much as they please.

The new Government is making noises about putting manners on them. But for many families in mortgage distress, it may already be too late.

@carolmhunt

The Hub Ireland: http://www.thehub-ireland.com/ Phone: 01 534 9118

IMHO https://www.mortgageholders.ie/contact/

Phoenix Project Ireland 1850203040

Samaritans 116 123.

Aware 1800 80 48 48.

Pieta House 01 601 0000

Sunday Independent

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NO COMITTMENT TO STOP EVICTIONS IN FF-FG DEAL FOR GOVERNMENT

“Protect the family home and introduce additional long term solutions for mortgage arrears cases.”

This is so vague that it could mean nothing.

There is no comittment to declaring a housing emergency

FF-FG DEAL on Minority Government

Securing Affordable Homes and Tackling Homelessness
– Significantly increase and expedite the delivery of social housing units, remove barriers to private housing supply and initiate an affordable housing scheme
– Retain mortgage interest relief beyond the current end date of December 2017 on a tapered basis.
– Increase rent supplement and Housing Assistance payment (HAP) limits by up to 15% taking account of geographic variations in market rents, and extend the roll out by local authorities of the HAP, including the capacity to make discretionary enhanced payments.
– Protect the family home and introduce additional long term solutions for mortgage arrears cases.
– Improve supports and services for older people to live independently in their own home, including a provision for pension increases.
– Provide greater protection for mortgage holders, tenants and SMEs whose loans have been transferred to non-regulated entities (‘vulture funds’).

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GREAT ANTI_EVICTION MEETING  Took Place Saturday, April 30 IN PORT LAOISE

MEETING HAS GIVEN FG-FF 6 weeks to END EVICTIONS Listen at Links Below 

Port Laoise Anti-Eviction Meeting-Proceedings  Part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYkC_QrkZZo
Port Laoise Anti-Eviction Meeting-Proceedings  Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX_2e8dPQLw&feature=youtu.be

Arrival of Vulture funds set to fuel evictions, report reveals

Irish Times Colm Keena

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 01:00

The arrival of “vulture funds” in the Irish property market means an increased likelihood of people being evicted from their homes, according to a report published today.

The funds that have bought into the Irish commercial and residential property market, mostly by way of buying loans from State-owned institutions, will want to see “big yields” on their investments, which in practice means “squeezing debtors hard”.

The report entitled, From Puerto Rico to the Dublin Docklands, Vulture Funds and Debt in Ireland and the Global South, by the Debt and Development Coalition Ireland (DDCI), said that while there is little research yet available on the effect of vulture fund involvement in the European property market, research from the US indicates an increased likelihood of people being thrown out of their homes.

DDCI is a coalition of Irish development, faith-based and solidarity groups concerned about the effects of debt on developing countries. It is chaired by Sorley McCaughey, advocacy and policy officer with Christian Aid. The report was written by Dr Michael Byrne of the UCD School of Social Justice.

Distressed debt

Hedge funds or private equity funds that invest in distressed debt – vulture funds – originally invested in sovereign debt but since the financial crisis in 2008 have moved into buying loans linked to the property market in the US and Europe.

The Irish Government, according to the report, has “wholeheartedly embraced vulture funds” and their entry into the Irish market could not have occurred were it not for two major public banking institutions, the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

Nama is the public entity that acted as Ireland’s bad bank for property loans issued by Irish banks, while the IBRC, which is now in liquidation, took over the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide.

Locals priced out

The report says that these two institutions sold assets under time pressure and did so at high discounts. Because the loans were sold in large “bundles” or portfolios, local investors were priced out. The two institutions “sell big, they sell quick, and they sell cheap”, according to the report.

“This created a context which not only favoured vulture funds, in a sense it meant that only vulture funds had the financial fire power required to play this extremely high stakes game.” The fact that the Irish financial system is in crisis means it was very hard or impossible for domestic actors to obtain credit to invest in Irish real estate.

The creation of a direct link between Irish property and the international financial system, via the vulture funds, exposes the Irish economy and society to the possibility of “sharp shocks” caused by events very much outside the control of the Irish political or regulatory system, according to the report.

Global vulture funds, most of them US-based, are snapping up distressed debt linked to European property, most especially in the UK, Ireland and Spain. Global groups such as Cerberus, Lone Star Capital, and Blackstone, are among the top investors here.

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Irish Times Report and Full Dail Record of Noonan Reply to Seamus Healy TD’s Call to STOP REPOSSESSIONS  Further Down

REPOSSESSIONS: NOONAN’S  MASTER CLASS–Paddy Healy

SPINNING TO MISLEAD ON REPOSSESSIONS IN THE DÁIL!

It is No Joke but Tommy Cooper Strikes Again! 

State Owned Banks, AIB, EBS,PERMANENT TSB, are seeking repossession of homes by court order throughout the country.

Seamus Healy TD  recently asked Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in the Dáil to instruct these banks to desist from this.

Mr Noonan refused and stated that  “In a very extreme situation, the issue is being handled reasonably well by the banks.”

In the course of his reply Minister Noonan quoted figures from a Central Bank report which stated that in Quarter 3(July, August, September)  207 properties were repossessed on foot of a court order. “The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct” he said.

This statement is entirely deceptive though there is nothing technically incorrect in it. It is not just that he attempts to minimise the awful trauma for 207 families which are losing their homes. A key tactic of the “spinner to deceive” is the omission of key information.

Noonan’s 207 court orders for repossession are for 1 month only!!! Circuit courts do not sit in August and September. Hence the “Quarter 3” figures are for the month of July only!

 

The full information provided by the Courts Service and reported by Kitty Holland in the Irish Times Last November is: ” Of the 1,088 court orders for repossession made in the three quarters of 2015 up to September 30,  758 were for primary homes, 131 were for buy-to-lets and 199 were for “other” dwellings”. “-Irish Times

Courts Service: Repossession Orders in Circuit Courts 2015

Q1       314,   Q2   586,  Q3   188

There was a huge increase in possessions in the April to June period. Mr Noonan omits this information, and picks the figure for Q3 which he then implies is typical though it contains one month( July)  figures only! The reason the Central Bank figure for Q3 (207) is slightly above the Courts Service figure (188) may be that the Central Bank figure contains High Court orders in addition to the Circuit Court orders supplied by the Courts Service.

In time honoured fashion “Spinner Noonan”, to cover his tracks claims that it is others who are misrepresenting the situation! The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct” he said. Additionally, this allows him to suggest that the repossession problem is really minimal and not nearly as bad as is being represented.

No journalist or serious person has spoken about “tens of thousands” of repossessions. 1,088 orders in the first 3 quarters of 2015 is already a disastrous figure!!!

For example,  Kitty Holland, Irish Times Nov 12, 2015. says

: “Banks have sought to repossess almost 4,500 homes  since the start of the year up to September 30, the latest figures from the Courts Service of Ireland indicate”-Kitty Holland, Irish Times Nov 12, 2015.

This is in line with the Central Bank Report: During the third quarter of 2015, legal proceedings were issued to enforce the debt security on private dwelling house mortgages in 1,687 cases (Central Bank Report).

Noonan invents the “tens of thousands” in order to minimize a problem which is in fact already disastrous-“the oldest trick in the book” of the spinner.

STATE DIRECTION OF BANKS IS UNTHINKABLE!-Noonan 

The right of human beings to stay in their own homes is a most important right. The vast majority of people in mortgage difficulty are entirely blameless for their own predicament. They were setting up homes at a particular time. They may have had to move jobs or have been transferred in their job at a particular time. They were failed by the state and by its organs such as the central bank and the financial regulator and by the government of the day.

But Mr Noonan believes that there are superior rights and superior interests and that the vindication of the rights of householders to stay in their own home  is a secondary consideration even if families must be placed in hotel rooms or hostels and may be dispersed.

Mr Noonan: “Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a shareholder in these institutions, I must ensure that these banks are run on a commercial and independent basis to ensure the value of the banks as an asset to the State”

Finance Minister Noonan has already made clear his intention to sell the state owned banks to private investors. Clearly, he is concerned to maximise the sale value of the banks.

Mr Noonan voted in the Dáil to compensate in full international investors who risked their funds in Irish Banks. Money was borrowed from international financiers to pay this compensation. Now Minister Noonan and the FG/Labour Government are using the banks to collect money originally paid to international investors in the same banks from the Irish population. Accordingly, Banks are allowed to charge interest rates to all Irish borrowers which are well above average rates in other European countries within the Eurozone. The value of houses in Ireland has now risen. Hence the huge rise in repossessions between Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2015.

The Priority of Government is that the banks “be fattened up for privatisation”

Mr Noonan also tries to give the impression that he has no power to give instructions to state owned banks.

He says:  “There is a relationship framework, signed by my predecessors in office, with the banks and the essential component is that the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions “

Many listening may have got the impression that Mr Noonan had no power to instruct the government owned banks. The old omission trick! Mr Noonan omitted the words “voluntary” from “voluntary relationship framework”  -And he blames his “predecessors”-Fianna Fáil- as well!

The truth is that Mr Noonan can withdraw from the “relationship framework” at any time. He has taken a political decision to continue to honour it-and to allow the banks to evict Irish families!

He then drags up the notion that stopping state owned banks from evicting people would lead to people “applying to their local TD for a loan” and that the notion of state owned and directed banks was preposterous! Of course there have been state owned banks in Ireland for decades and there have been such in other European countries for even longer. There are well tried mechanisms for dealing with the problem of people applying to politicians for loans.

Noonan uses the image to cover up the responsibility of the government for evicting people on the one hand and extorting money to pay off international lenders from mortgage holders and small businesses on the other.. Pontius Pilate Lives!!!

Mortgage Arrears Problem is Being Solved Progressively-Noonan

Noonan gives the impression that the mortgage arrears problem is being progressively solved through helpful measures put in place by his government. The truth is that the problem of the banks is being solved by repossessing homes and extending mortgages at exorbitant interest rates for a greater number of years.

Crafty Capitalist Representative

Michael Noonan is a very crafty political representative of the Irish super-rich, Irish big business and of foreign big business. He is a master of spinning to deceive. He is assisted in this by the editorial writers and by the media political and economic correspondents. It would be simple for these to expose him but they have a vested in not doing so!

In fairness Kitty Holland in the Irish Times has accurately reported the rate of actual repossessions and court applications for repossession and columnist Fintan O’Toole has exposed his “Tommy Cooper”style deception on tax equity in favour of the very rich.

Dail Record   Jan 14/2016  Home Repossession

Parliamentary Question from Seamus Healy TD to Minister for Finance Ml. Noonan

  1. Deputy Seamus Healy   asked the Minister for Finance   if he will insist that Allied Irish Bank and its subsidiary the Educational Building Society and Permanent TSB, which are in majority State ownership, desist from seeking repossession of family homes through the Courts and withdraw all such existing applications before the Courts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1426/16]

Deputy Seamus Healy:   Allied Irish Banks, the Educational Building Society and Permanent TSB are in majority State ownership. They are adding to homelessness and the housing crisis by repossessing family homes. I am asking the Minister, as the majority shareholder, to instruct the banks to desist from this practice.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   I would like to thank Deputy Healy for raising this question. As he is aware, I have no direct function in the relationship between the customer and PTSB, or AIB and its subsidiary EBS. Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a shareholder in these institutions, I must ensure that these banks are run on a commercial and independent basis to ensure the value of the banks as an asset to the State.

Decisions taken by the banks are a matter for the board and management of the relevant institution. The relationship framework agreements define the arm’s-length nature of the relationship between the State and the banks in which the State has an investment. The banks are therefore entitled to pursue all options open to them in order to realise the value of their impaired assets, within the significant constraints imposed by their regulator, the Central Bank and the law as it applies.

The Government has put in place a broad strategy to address the problem of mortgage arrears and family home repossessions. The primary focus of this strategy is to support those home owners in difficulty with their mortgage repayments and, in so far as possible, to avoid repossession of family homes. In recent months, the Government agreed measures to enhance awareness of and access to the insolvency framework. We expanded the mortgage-to-rent scheme, making it more accessible. In addition, my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, also introduced the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 2015, which will, among other things, reduce the normal duration of bankruptcy from three years to one year.

The Central Bank of Ireland’s code of conduct on mortgage arrears also provides protection as it sets out requirements for lenders dealing with borrowers who are facing, or in, mortgage arrears on their primary residence. It ensures that borrowers struggling to keep up mortgage repayments are treated in a fair and transparent manner by their lenders and that long-term resolution is sought by lenders with each of their borrowers.

The number of mortgages in arrears continues to fall. There are almost 121,000 restructuring arrangements in place and the vast majority of these are working. The figures demonstrate that most families can, working with their financial institutions, find an arrangement to make their mortgage commitments affordable. Active engagement by indebted borrowers with their lenders is key to achieving sustainable resolutions. I would urge borrowers in arrears who have not already done so to take that step by contacting their lender directly, or MABS, for an independent assessment of their situation and advice on available resolution options.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   There is a tsunami of homelessness in this country. Last November, the Dublin Homeless Executive provided figures according to which some 1,425 children in 677 families were in emergency accommodation. The Dublin Simon Community said that was unacceptable and shameful. Focus Ireland said that the Government had failed these families. The Master of the High Court, Mr. Edmund Honohan, criticised the banks and accused them of hounding home owners to suicide.

[Deputy Seamus Healy:  ] He criticised the fast-tracked repossession regime that the Government has allowed to be introduced in the courts. These banks are majority owned by the State and it is open to the Minister to instruct these banks to desist from repossessing family homes. In Tipperary alone, 100 families are facing repossession. The Minister should insist that this stop.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   Deputy Healy raised the very important issue of homelessness and the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Alan Kelly, brought forward proposals last year that have blunted the edge of this particular social crisis. Certainly, over the Christmas period there was less sense of a crisis with homelessness than there had been earlier in the year. The measures introduced by the Minister, Deputy Kelly, have been working and, please God, they will continue to work.

On the wider issue of repossession, which was the topic of the Deputy’s notified question, there is some interesting data published by the Central Bank. During the third quarter of 2015, legal proceedings were issued to enforce the debt security on private dwelling house mortgages in 1,687 cases. During quarter three, there were 798 cases where court proceedings concluded but arrears remained outstanding. In 329 cases, the court granted an order for repossession or the sale of the property. A total of 422 properties were taken into possession by lenders in the quarter, of which 207 were repossessed on foot of a court order. The remaining 215 were voluntarily surrendered or abandoned. The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct. A small amount goes through the system. With the changes made by the Minister for Justice and Equality and with the Money Advice & Budgeting Service assisting directly people before the courts, I hope the number will diminish even further. It is the policy of the Government to put arrangements in place so that people can live in the family home.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The Minister is the majority shareholder in these banks and he has obviously given permission to the banks to repossess family homes. He could equally instruct these banks not to go down this road and repossess family homes. He could call an emergency meeting of these bank boards and instruct them not to repossess family homes. I ask him to do so immediately and if bank directors do not agree, they should be sacked, as the Minister has the power to do so as a majority shareholder. This is urgent and, irrespective of the Minister’s comments, thousands of families in the country are facing homelessness because of banks in which the State has a majority shareholding. The Minister could give instructions to stop these repossessions and I ask him to do so immediately.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   There is a relationship framework, signed by my predecessors in office, with the banks and the essential component is that the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions. That is for a very good reason as we do not want to politicise the banks. It would be a very sad day for the country if the first port of call for a person seeking a loan had to be the local Deputy rather than a bank manager.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   We are not asking anybody to do that at all.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   There will be no political interference with the banks. On the question of repossessions, 207 houses were repossessed on foot of a court order, which does not equate to the tens of thousands of houses sometimes mentioned in commentary. There are 121,000 restructured mortgages on private dwellings, with a success rate of 86.6%. That means the arrangements stick in just under 87% of cases. The problem is being solved progressively. I appreciate it is very hard on people and I can appreciate that people who lost their jobs do not have money. I also appreciate the concerns and how upset people are. In a very extreme situation, the issue is being handled reasonably well by the banks

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Woman facing return to prison over refusal

Noonan: home repossessions being handled reasonably well

Minister says no political interference in bank decision, but progress being made

Irish Times  Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 11:39 Updated: Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 12:03

Marie O’Halloran

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate how upset people are.”

Banks have been dealing with the issue of home repossessions “reasonably well”, according to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

He said “this idea of tens of thousands of houses being repossessed is just not correct”.

Mr Noonan said “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate the concerns and I appreciate how upset people are.

“But in a very extreme situation it’s been handled reasonably well by the banks.”

He was responding to Independent TD Séamus Healy who asked Mr Noonan, as the majority shareholder in AIB and its subsidiary EBS as well as the majority shareholder in Permanent TSB, “to call a meeting of the boards of the banks and to instruct them “not to repossess family homes”.

He said that if the bank directors would not agree to that then “sack those members. You have the power to do that as majority shareholder.

“There are thousands of families in this country, irrespective of what you say Minister, facing homelessness by these banks, of which the Government is a majority shareholder.”

Mr Noonan said a relationship framework had been agreed by the Government’s predecessors in office that “the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions” and they did not want to politicise the banks.

“It would be a very sad day for the country if you were looking for a loan and your first port of call had to be your local TD rather than the bank manager.”

He said 207 houses were repossessed on foot of court order and “that is not the 10s of thousands of houses that’s sometimes recited on the commentary on this”.

He said 121,000 mortgages on private dwellings had been restructured and the success rate was 86.6 per cent.

“So progressively the problem is being solved.”

Mr Noonan said statistics from the Central Bank showed that in the third quarter of 2015 (July, August and September) legal proceedings were issued in 1,687 cases of private mortgages.

“There were 798 cases where court proceedings concluded but arrears remained outstanding and the court granted a repossession order in 329 cases.

A total of 422 properties were taken into possession by lenders during the quarter and 215 were voluntary.

“It’s a very small amount to go through the system and since the changes were made by the Minister for Justice and that the money and Budgeting Advice Service are assisting people before the courts that will diminish even further,” Mr Noonan added.

 

Government Evicts Families—-Statement bySeamus Healy TD

This government is continuing to evict families from their homes.

In the Dáil last Thursday, I appealed to Minister Michael Noonan to order the banks he owns to withdraw repossession proceedings in light of the extreme housing emergency which exists.

The Minister refused.  This means that the government has given the green light to the banks they own, to continue to evict families.

Court Orders for repossession of 47 primary residences were granted at Clonmel and Nenagh Circuit Courts in the first 3 quarters of 2015. A further 8 buy-to-lets which also house families were also repossessed. Banks are now seeking a further 97 repossession orders for dwellings in Tipp, of which 32 are being sought by AIB, EBS and Permanent TSB which are owned by the Government through Michael Noonan (FG) Minister for Finance

Minister Noonan claimed that the issue was being reasonably handled by the banks. Totally misrepresenting the situation, Mr Noonan quoted the 208 orders for repossessions for the whole country for Quarter 3,2015 as representative of the scale of the problem. COURTS ONLY SIT FOR 1 OF THE 3 MONTHS IN QUARTER 3!! The Court Service Figures for the whole country for Quarters 1 and 2 are 586 and 314 respectively.

The proposed Eviction of 97 Tipperary Families Must Be Stopped Now!

 

Senior Minister Alan Kelly (Lab) and Minister of State Hayes(FG) must now intervene at Cabinet to have a Housing Emergency Declared and all repossession applications withdrawn.

In particular they must force Minister Noonan to withdraw the repossession applications by the banks he owns.

This can be done by government decision and does not require legislation.

Seamus Healy T.D.                                                                                         18/01/2016

Tel 087 2802199

Dail Record of Reply by Michael Noonan to Seamus Healy TD on Repossessions (Jan 14) is carried below together with article by Kitty Holland and other material from the Courts Service

Homelessness is an Emergency-Minister

BUT GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO EVICT FAMILIES THROUGH BANKS IT OWNS———————————————————————

293 families – and aprox 600 children have become homeless in the first 3 months of this year in  Dublin Alone

From FOCUS IRELAND

———————————————-

HOMELESSNESS UP 50% AS SOUTH DUBLIN CO COUNCIL DECLARES HOUSING EMERGENCY

“The number of people accessing emergency shelters across the State was up by almost 50 per cent in February, compared to the same month last year, according to the latest figures on homelessness.

The figures, from the Department of the Environment, show there were 5,881 people in emergency accommodation in February, which represents a year-on-year increase of 49 per cent. Among them were 1,881 children, which represents an increase of 101 per cent.

Simon Communities of Ireland spokeswoman Niamh Randall said the figures were shocking and demonstrate that existing measures to tackle homelessness are failing.”-Irish Times 14/04/2016

Open letter to Alan Kelly – ‘Don’t blame the housing crisis on the Constitution’

Edmund Honohan     Master of the High Court

PUBLISHED03/04/2016 | 02:30

Sunday Indepenent

In an open letter to Alan Kelly, the environment minister, the Master of the High Court Edmund Honohan says the Constitution cannot be used as cover for political inaction on the housing crisis

Dear Minister Kelly,

It is appropriate that you have, in this centenary year, called for a debate about property rights in the Constitution. Faced with repeated assertions about how the right to property is legally watertight, politicians need to recover control which they have ceded to the lawyers. To do so they need to understand that the position is a lot clearer than they have been led to believe.

Echoes of 1916: The Constitution in effect provides that the State may expropriate private property if the Oireachtas decides that to do so is for the “common good”. Road widening is a good example.

Option A. At the moment there are long waiting lists for housing and the private rental market is unable to provide dwellings at affordable rents.

Consequently, if the Oireachtas is of the view that the State should itself (or its local authorities) provide public housing “in the Common Good”, the State can (and probably, legally, should) decide not to wait the two/three years needed to build social housing but instead to immediately acquire houses now in private hands.

If the owners of these refuse to sell, acquisition can be by compulsory purchase with full compensation assessed by the arbitrator.

It so happens that there is a stock of such housing which has recently been bought by “vulture” property investment funds from Anglo, Irish Nationwide, Nama etc. at knockdown prices. “Compensation” for these funds would be that they would be repaid the price they paid for the housing portfolios. That is the extent of their Constitutional entitlement.

Option B. On the other hand, the Oireachtas might be concerned to enhance tenants’ rights at the expense of the landlords. Rent controls and the like are also a form of expropriation if their effect is to rewrite contracts already operational. And the “common good” rationale for such interference with contracts is not as clearly unarguable as with Option A.

Option A wins hands down and the timing is right.

Cue now the lawyers’ alternative analysis: that the Constitution enshrines marketplace rules; that the Supreme Court will determine what is the Common Good. Publish the Attorney General’s advice to the Government and have a fully informed debate.

But given that the Supreme Court has already decided, in 2000, that the provision of affordable housing is an objective which is “socially just and required by the common good”, what we do about it now is a political decision, not a legal one.

The Constitution cannot be used as cover for political inaction.

Sunday Independent

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Dail Debate: Government Knowingly and Deliberately Causing Homelessness-Seamus Healy TD

Deputy Seamus Healy:Information on Seamus HealyZoom on Seamus HealyThe outgoing Government, knowingly and deliberately, created and caused homelessness. I say this because the State owns Allied Irish Banks, Permanent TSB and the Educational Building Society. The Minister and current caretaker Administration are allowing these financial institutions to evict people from their homes. They can stop such evictions by telling the banks to stop causing homelessness. No legislation is required to do so because the Government, through the Ministers for the Environment, Community and Local Government and Finance, could issue a simple directive to stop financial institutions from making people homeless.

The National Asset Management Agency which is owned by the State is creating homelessness by evicting people and selling residences and apartments to vulture funds that are engaging in evictions. The State could also stop this practice by issuing a simple instruction to NAMA. I reiterate that the State is deliberately creating homelessness and should stop doing so immediately.

I will refer briefly to the Tánaiste’s reference to the housing assistance payment. The HAP scheme is an outrageous rip-off of tenants, most, if not all, of whom must pay differential rent to their local authority and a top-up to their landlord, which is often as much as €50 per week. The scheme should be stopped immediately.

If we are to address the homelessness and housing crisis, the Government and the new Dáil must declare a housing emergency immediately. Otherwise, we will not be able to deal with the problem. The Government should also take up the offer made by the credit unions to provide between €5 billion and €8 billion to help address the housing problem.

Deputy Mick Barry:Information on Mick BarryZoom on Mick BarryI agree with the points made by Deputy Seamus Healy. I will make several points about the scandal that recently unfolded on the Eden estate in Blackrock in Cork city where tenants in 35 apartments received letters earlier this year terminating their leases and giving notice to quit. Many of them had lived in the properties in question for years. The letters were issued by Grant Thornton, the receiver in charge of 127 apartments on the estate, which was appointed by the State-owned IBRC in November 2010. This is the latest chapter in the saga of Anglo Irish Bank and the Irish Nationwide Building Society.

KPMG has been the Government appointed liquidator of IBRC since January 2013. As instructed by the Fine Gael-Labour Party Government, the liquidator’s only interest is in maximising the financial return to the State from the carcases of Anglo Irish Bank and the Irish Nationwide Building Society and it has no regard for the social impact of doing so. In this sense, it is an even more heartless and anti-social arm of the State than NAMA.

As of January 2016, IBRC had netted €2.1 billion from sales such as those envisaged on the Eden estate. This sum has not been used to address the housing crisis because most of it has been ring-fenced for distribution among IBRC’s creditors which include Anglo Irish Bank subordinated bondholders. Some of the money is intended to be used for payment in full of “certain employee and pension claims prior to the date of liquidation”. Does this include pension payments to former members of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society management such as Mr. David Drumm and Mr. Michael Fingleton?

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NAMA (Really the Minister for Finance) Worsening Crisis Through Sale of Homes to Vulture Funds.

Government also evicting Families through Banks it Owns

McPeake Auctioneers (Tyrellstown in Irish Times March 16)

“The supply into the market from the builders is much lower than the market needs, and that is because of a number of reasons.

“The first is that the control of sites into the market is being controlled by a much smaller pool of players. The big developers who were there all ended up in Nama or a financial institution.

“The financial institutions have all now basically all sold off their loans and Nama is selling off the balance. All of those loans have gone basically to these venture capital funds.

“It’s a problem that’s been created, in particular, Nama’s desire to do away with Nama, to be able to say ‘Nama’s now gone, isn’t that great’, but what you’ve really done is transferred the whole stock of development land and a considerable number of private residential properties, that may be rented or may not be rented, into the hands of people outside the country.”

High Court Master, Edmund Honahan, urges State to ‘nationalise’ repossessed homes

The Master of the High Court has called on the Government to “nationalise” repossessed homes and buy-to-lets that banks have sold to speculators and investment trusts and use them as social housing.

http://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/property-mortgages/high-court-master-urges-state-to-nationalise-repossessed-homes-34282536.html

Homelessness is an Emergency-Minister

BUT GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO EVICT FAMILIES THROUGH BANKS IT OWNS

Noonan Pic

It’s no Joke But More Tommy Cooper than Penn and Teller!

Irish Times Report on Dáil Discussion Further Down

REPOSSESSIONS: NOONAN’S  MASTER CLASS–Paddy Healy

SPINNING TO MISLEAD ON REPOSSESSIONS IN THE DÁIL!

It is No Joke but Tommy Cooper Strikes Again! 

State Owned Banks, AIB, EBS,PERMANENT TSB, are seeking repossession of homes by court order throughout the country.

Seamus Healy TD  recently asked Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in the Dáil to instruct these banks to desist from this.

Mr Noonan refused and stated that  “In a very extreme situation, the issue is being handled reasonably well by the banks.”

In the course of his reply Minister Noonan quoted figures from a Central Bank report which stated that in Quarter 3(July, August, September)  207 properties were repossessed on foot of a court order. “The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct” he said.

This statement is entirely deceptive though there is nothing technically incorrect in it. It is not just that he attempts to minimise the awful trauma for 207 families which are losing their homes. A key tactic of the “spinner to deceive” is the omission of key information.

Noonan’s 207 court orders for repossession are for 1 month only!!! Circuit courts do not sit in August and September. Hence the “Quarter 3” figures are for the month of July only!

 

The full information provided by the Courts Service and reported by Kitty Holland in the Irish Times Last November is: ” Of the 1,088 court orders for repossession made in the three quarters of 2015 up to September 30,  758 were for primary homes, 131 were for buy-to-lets and 199 were for “other” dwellings”. “-Irish Times

Courts Service: Repossession Orders in Circuit Courts 2015

Q1       314,   Q2   586,  Q3   188

There was a huge increase in possessions in the April to June period. Mr Noonan omits this information, and picks the figure for Q3 which he then implies is typical though it contains one month( July)  figures only! The reason the Central Bank figure for Q3 (207) is slightly above the Courts Service figure (188) may be that the Central Bank figure contains High Court orders in addition to the Circuit Court orders supplied by the Courts Service.

In time honoured fashion “Spinner Noonan”, to cover his tracks claims that it is others who are misrepresenting the situation! The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct” he said. Additionally, this allows him to suggest that the repossession problem is really minimal and not nearly as bad as is being represented.

No journalist or serious person has spoken about “tens of thousands” of repossessions. 1,088 orders in the first 3 quarters of 2015 is already a disastrous figure!!!

For example,  Kitty Holland, Irish Times Nov 12, 2015. says

: “Banks have sought to repossess almost 4,500 homes  since the start of the year up to September 30, the latest figures from the Courts Service of Ireland indicate”-Kitty Holland, Irish Times Nov 12, 2015.

This is in line with the Central Bank Report: During the third quarter of 2015, legal proceedings were issued to enforce the debt security on private dwelling house mortgages in 1,687 cases (Central Bank Report).

Noonan invents the “tens of thousands” in order to minimize a problem which is in fact already disastrous-“the oldest trick in the book” of the spinner.

STATE DIRECTION OF BANKS IS UNTHINKABLE!-Noonan 

The right of human beings to stay in their own homes is a most important right. The vast majority of people in mortgage difficulty are entirely blameless for their own predicament. They were setting up homes at a particular time. They may have had to move jobs or have been transferred in their job at a particular time. They were failed by the state and by its organs such as the central bank and the financial regulator and by the government of the day.

But Mr Noonan believes that there are superior rights and superior interests and that the vindication of the rights of householders to stay in their own home  is a secondary consideration even if families must be placed in hotel rooms or hostels and may be dispersed.

Mr Noonan: “Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a shareholder in these institutions, I must ensure that these banks are run on a commercial and independent basis to ensure the value of the banks as an asset to the State”

Finance Minister Noonan has already made clear his intention to sell the state owned banks to private investors. Clearly, he is concerned to maximise the sale value of the banks.

Mr Noonan voted in the Dáil to compensate in full international investors who risked their funds in Irish Banks. Money was borrowed from international financiers to pay this compensation. Now Minister Noonan and the FG/Labour Government are using the banks to collect money originally paid to international investors in the same banks from the Irish population. Accordingly, Banks are allowed to charge interest rates to all Irish borrowers which are well above average rates in other European countries within the Eurozone. The value of houses in Ireland has now risen. Hence the huge rise in repossessions between Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2015.

The Priority of Government is that the banks “be fattened up for privatisation”

Mr Noonan also tries to give the impression that he has no power to give instructions to state owned banks.

He says:  “There is a relationship framework, signed by my predecessors in office, with the banks and the essential component is that the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions “

Many listening may have got the impression that Mr Noonan had no power to instruct the government owned banks. The old omission trick! Mr Noonan omitted the words “voluntary” from “voluntary relationship framework”  -And he blames his “predecessors”-Fianna Fáil- as well!

The truth is that Mr Noonan can withdraw from the “relationship framework” at any time. He has taken a political decision to continue to honour it-and to allow the banks to evict Irish families!

He then drags up the notion that stopping state owned banks from evicting people would lead to people “applying to their local TD for a loan” and that the notion of state owned and directed banks was preposterous! Of course there have been state owned banks in Ireland for decades and there have been such in other European countries for even longer. There are well tried mechanisms for dealing with the problem of people applying to politicians for loans.

Noonan uses the image to cover up the responsibility of the government for evicting people on the one hand and extorting money to pay off international lenders from mortgage holders and small businesses on the other.. Pontius Pilate Lives!!!

Mortgage Arrears Problem is Being Solved Progressively-Noonan

Noonan gives the impression that the mortgage arrears problem is being progressively solved through helpful measures put in place by his government. The truth is that the problem of the banks is being solved by repossessing homes and extending mortgages at exorbitant interest rates for a greater number of years.

Crafty Capitalist Representative

Michael Noonan is a very crafty political representative of the Irish super-rich, Irish big business and of foreign big business. He is a master of spinning to deceive. He is assisted in this by the editorial writers and by the media political and economic correspondents. It would be simple for these to expose him but they have a vested in not doing so!

In fairness Kitty Holland in the Irish Times has accurately reported the rate of actual repossessions and court applications for repossession and columnist Fintan O’Toole has exposed his “Tommy Cooper”style deception on tax equity in favour of the very rich.

Noonan: home repossessions being handled reasonably well

Minister says no political interference in bank decision, but progress being made

Irish Times  Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 11:39 Updated: Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 12:03

Marie O’Halloran

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate how upset people are.”

Banks have been dealing with the issue of home repossessions “reasonably well”, according to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

He said “this idea of tens of thousands of houses being repossessed is just not correct”.

Mr Noonan said “I appreciate that it’s very hard on people. I appreciate people have lost their jobs and I appreciate the concerns and I appreciate how upset people are.

“But in a very extreme situation it’s been handled reasonably well by the banks.”

He was responding to Independent TD Séamus Healy who asked Mr Noonan, as the majority shareholder in AIB and its subsidiary EBS as well as the majority shareholder in Permanent TSB, “to call a meeting of the boards of the banks and to instruct them “not to repossess family homes”.

He said that if the bank directors would not agree to that then “sack those members. You have the power to do that as majority shareholder.

“There are thousands of families in this country, irrespective of what you say Minister, facing homelessness by these banks, of which the Government is a majority shareholder.”

Mr Noonan said a relationship framework had been agreed by the Government’s predecessors in office that “the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions” and they did not want to politicise the banks.

“It would be a very sad day for the country if you were looking for a loan and your first port of call had to be your local TD rather than the bank manager.”

He said 207 houses were repossessed on foot of court order and “that is not the 10s of thousands of houses that’s sometimes recited on the commentary on this”.

He said 121,000 mortgages on private dwellings had been restructured and the success rate was 86.6 per cent.

“So progressively the problem is being solved.”

Mr Noonan said statistics from the Central Bank showed that in the third quarter of 2015 (July, August and September) legal proceedings were issued in 1,687 cases of private mortgages.

“There were 798 cases where court proceedings concluded but arrears remained outstanding and the court granted a repossession order in 329 cases.

A total of 422 properties were taken into possession by lenders during the quarter and 215 were voluntary.

“It’s a very small amount to go through the system and since the changes were made by the Minister for Justice and that the money and Budgeting Advice Service are assisting people before the courts that will diminish even further,” Mr Noonan added.

 

Government Evicts Families—-Statement bySeamus Healy TD

This government is continuing to evict families from their homes.

In the Dáil last Thursday, I appealed to Minister Michael Noonan to order the banks he owns to withdraw repossession proceedings in light of the extreme housing emergency which exists.

The Minister refused.  This means that the government has given the green light to the banks they own, to continue to evict families.

Court Orders for repossession of 47 primary residences were granted at Clonmel and Nenagh Circuit Courts in the first 3 quarters of 2015. A further 8 buy-to-lets which also house families were also repossessed. Banks are now seeking a further 97 repossession orders for dwellings in Tipp, of which 32 are being sought by AIB, EBS and Permanent TSB which are owned by the Government through Michael Noonan (FG) Minister for Finance

Minister Noonan claimed that the issue was being reasonably handled by the banks. Totally misrepresenting the situation, Mr Noonan quoted the 208 orders for repossessions for the whole country for Quarter 3,2015 as representative of the scale of the problem. COURTS ONLY SIT FOR 1 OF THE 3 MONTHS IN QUARTER 3!! The Court Service Figures for the whole country for Quarters 1 and 2 are 586 and 314 respectively.

The proposed Eviction of 97 Tipperary Families Must Be Stopped Now!

 

Senior Minister Alan Kelly (Lab) and Minister of State Hayes(FG) must now intervene at Cabinet to have a Housing Emergency Declared and all repossession applications withdrawn.

In particular they must force Minister Noonan to withdraw the repossession applications by the banks he owns.

This can be done by government decision and does not require legislation.

Seamus Healy T.D.                                                                                         18/01/2016

Tel 087 2802199

Dail Record of Reply by Michael Noonan to Seamus Healy TD on Repossessions (Jan 14) is carried below together with article by Kitty Holland and other material from the Courts Service

Homelessness is an Emergency-Minister

BUT GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO EVICT FAMILIES THROUGH BANKS IT OWNS

REPOSSESSIONS: NOONAN’S  MASTER CLASS–Paddy Healy

SPINNING TO MISLEAD ON REPOSSESSIONS IN THE DÁIL!

It is No Joke but Tommy Cooper Strikes Again! 

State Owned Banks, AIB, EBS,PERMANENT TSB, are seeking repossession of homes by court order throughout the country.

Seamus Healy TD  recently asked Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in the Dáil to instruct these banks to desist from this.

Mr Noonan refused and stated that  “In a very extreme situation, the issue is being handled reasonably well by the banks.”

In the course of his reply Minister Noonan quoted figures from a Central Bank report which stated that in Quarter 3(July, August, September)  207 properties were repossessed on foot of a court order. “The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct” he said.

This statement is entirely deceptive though there is nothing technically incorrect in it. It is not just that he attempts to minimise the awful trauma for 207 families which are losing their homes. A key tactic of the “spinner to deceive” is the omission of key information.

Noonan’s 207 court orders for repossession are for 1 month only!!! Circuit courts do not sit in August and September. Hence the “Quarter 3” figures are for the month of July only!

 

The full information provided by the Courts Service and reported by Kitty Holland in the Irish Times Last November is: ” Of the 1,088 court orders for repossession made in the three quarters of 2015 up to September 30,  758 were for primary homes, 131 were for buy-to-lets and 199 were for “other” dwellings”. “-Irish Times

Courts Service: Repossession Orders in Circuit Courts 2015

Q1       314,   Q2   586,  Q3   188

There was a huge increase in possessions in the April to June period. Mr Noonan omits this information, and picks the figure for Q3 which he then implies is typical though it contains one month( July)  figures only! The reason the Central Bank figure for Q3 (207) is slightly above the Courts Service figure (188) may be that the Central Bank figure contains High Court orders in addition to the Circuit Court orders supplied by the Courts Service.

In time honoured fashion “Spinner Noonan”, to cover his tracks claims that it is others who are misrepresenting the situation! The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct” he said. Additionally, this allows him to suggest that the repossession problem is really minimal and not nearly as bad as is being represented.

No journalist or serious person has spoken about “tens of thousands” of repossessions. 1,088 orders in the first 3 quarters of 2015 is already a disastrous figure!!!

For example,  Kitty Holland, Irish Times Nov 12, 2015. says

: “Banks have sought to repossess almost 4,500 homes  since the start of the year up to September 30, the latest figures from the Courts Service of Ireland indicate”-Kitty Holland, Irish Times Nov 12, 2015.

This is in line with the Central Bank Report: During the third quarter of 2015, legal proceedings were issued to enforce the debt security on private dwelling house mortgages in 1,687 cases (Central Bank Report).

Noonan invents the “tens of thousands” in order to minimize a problem which is in fact already disastrous-“the oldest trick in the book” of the spinner.

STATE DIRECTION OF BANKS IS UNTHINKABLE!-Noonan

 

The right of human beings to stay in their own homes is a most important right. The vast majority of people in mortgage difficulty are entirely blameless for their own predicament. They were setting up homes at a particular time. They may have had to move jobs or have been transferred in their job at a particular time. They were failed by the state and by its organs such as the central bank and the financial regulator and by the government of the day.

But Mr Noonan believes that there are superior rights and superior interests and that the vindication of the rights of householders to stay in their own home  is a secondary consideration even if families must be placed in hotel rooms or hostels and may be dispersed.

Mr Noonan: “Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a shareholder in these institutions, I must ensure that these banks are run on a commercial and independent basis to ensure the value of the banks as an asset to the State”

Finance Minister Noonan has already made clear his intention to sell the state owned banks to private investors. Clearly, he is concerned to maximise the sale value of the banks.

Mr Noonan voted in the Dáil to compensate in full international investors who risked their funds in Irish Banks. Money was borrowed from international financiers to pay this compensation. Now Minister Noonan and the FG/Labour Government are using the banks to collect money originally paid to international investors in the same banks from the Irish population. Accordingly, Banks are allowed to charge interest rates to all Irish borrowers which are well above average rates in other European countries within the Eurozone. The value of houses in Ireland has now risen. Hence the huge rise in repossessions between Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2015.

The Priority of Government is that the banks “be fattened up for privatisation”

Mr Noonan also tries to give the impression that he has no power to give instructions to state owned banks.

He says:  “There is a relationship framework, signed by my predecessors in office, with the banks and the essential component is that the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions “

Many listening may have got the impression that Mr Noonan had no power to instruct the government owned banks. The old omission trick! Mr Noonan omitted the words “voluntary” from “voluntary relationship framework”  -And he blames his “predecessors”-Fianna Fáil- as well!

The truth is that Mr Noonan can withdraw from the “relationship framework” at any time. He has taken a political decision to continue to honour it-and to allow the banks to evict Irish families!

He then drags up the notion that stopping state owned banks from evicting people would lead to people “applying to their local TD for a loan” and that the notion of state owned and directed banks was preposterous! Of course there have been state owned banks in Ireland for decades and there have been such in other European countries for even longer. There are well tried mechanisms for dealing with the problem of people applying to politicians for loans.

Noonan uses the image to cover up the responsibility of the government for evicting people on the one hand and extorting money to pay off international lenders from mortgage holders and small businesses on the other.. Pontius Pilate Lives!!!

Mortgage Arrears Problem is Being Solved Progressively-Noonan

Noonan gives the impression that the mortgage arrears problem is being progressively solved through helpful measures put in place by his government. The truth is that the problem of the banks is being solved by repossessing homes and extending mortgages at exorbitant interest rates for a greater number of years.

Crafty Capitalist Representative

Michael Noonan is a very crafty political representative of the Irish super-rich, Irish big business and of foreign big business. He is a master of spinning to deceive. He is assisted in this by the editorial writers and by the media political and economic correspondents. It would be simple for these to expose him but they have a vested in not doing so!

In fairness Kitty Holland in the Irish Times has accurately reported the rate of actual repossessions and court applications for repossession and columnist Fintan O’Toole has exposed his “Tommy Cooper”style deception on tax equity in favour of the very rich.

Repossessions of Dwellings by Court  Order—-From Courts Service

(Q2)April to June 2015

  1. Residence               buy-to-let               other                    Total
383 97 106 586

(Q1)Jan –march   2015

233 29 52 314
         

Q3 (July to September)                           142            5             41                188

Q3 Central Bank                         207 (“properties”)were repossessed on foot of a court order.

Q1,Q2,Q3                                                758                131                   199                 1088

The data, released to The Irish Times, also shows 1,088 repossession orders were granted by the courts in the first nine months of the year, almost 70 per cent more than the 644 granted in the same period last year and 350 per cent more than the 240 granted in the period in 2013.

Of the 1,088 orders made, 758 were for primary homes, 131 were for buy-to-lets and 199 were for “other” dwellings. –Kitty Holland Irish Times  Nov 12

“These  cases (court orders) in  the  statistics  are  not  the only cases in which a financial  institution is foreclosing.  The vast majority of mortgages contain a foreclosure clause which becomes operative, without the need for  a court order, if there is any failure in payment of instalments.

Accordingly,  only  figures  supplied by the credit institutions would disclose  the  overall number of properties being recovered or sold by credit institutions.”-Statement From Courts Service August 6,2015

Noonan in Dáil   Jan 14

Central Bank. During the third quarter of 2015, legal proceedings were issued to enforce the debt security on private dwelling house mortgages in 1,687 cases. During quarter three, there were 798 cases where court proceedings concluded but arrears remained outstanding. In 329 cases, the court granted an order for repossession or the sale of the property. A total of 422 properties were taken into possession by lenders in the quarter, of which 207 were repossessed on foot of a court order. The remaining 215 were voluntarily surrendered or abandoned.

Ml Noonan   “On the question of repossessions, 207 houses were repossessed on foot of a court order(in 2015-ph), which does not equate to the tens of thousands of houses sometimes mentioned in commentary”. Jan 14

More than 7,000 dwellings targeted by lenders up to 2015, says Courts Service

Thu, Nov 12, 2015, 01:00

Kitty Holland

Some 889 applications for repossession were refused by the courts so far this year. Photograph: Getty Images

Banks have sought to repossess almost 4,500 homes since the start of the year, the latest figures from the Courts Service of Ireland indicate.

These are in addition to the 7,100 dwellings lenders had already moved to repossess by January 1st, 2015.

The figures, covering the first nine months of the year, show lenders lodged 4,440 civil bills for repossession across the State’s 26 circuit courts.

Some 3,638 (82 per cent) of these are for primary homes, 89 (2 per cent) are for buy-to-lets with 713 (16 per cent) for “other” dwellings.

However, the number of bills lodged is down compared with the same period last year when 6,420 bills were lodged, indicating a possible levelling off in repossession activity by the banks.

The data, released to The Irish Times, also shows 1,088 repossession orders were granted by the courts in the first nine months of the year, almost 70 per cent more than the 644 granted in the same period last year and 350 per cent more than the 240 granted in the period in 2013.

Of the 1,088 orders made, 758 were for primary homes, 131 were for buy-to-lets and 199 were for “other” dwellings.

Dail Record   Jan 14

Home Repossession

  1. Deputy Seamus Healy   asked the Minister for Finance   if he will insist that Allied Irish Bank and its subsidiary the Educational Building Society and Permanent TSB, which are in majority State ownership, desist from seeking repossession of family homes through the Courts and withdraw all such existing applications before the Courts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1426/16]

Deputy Seamus Healy:   Allied Irish Banks, the Educational Building Society and Permanent TSB are in majority State ownership. They are adding to homelessness and the housing crisis by repossessing family homes. I am asking the Minister, as the majority shareholder, to instruct the banks to desist from this practice.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   I would like to thank Deputy Healy for raising this question. As he is aware, I have no direct function in the relationship between the customer and PTSB, or AIB and its subsidiary EBS. Notwithstanding the fact that the State is a shareholder in these institutions, I must ensure that these banks are run on a commercial and independent basis to ensure the value of the banks as an asset to the State.

Decisions taken by the banks are a matter for the board and management of the relevant institution. The relationship framework agreements define the arm’s-length nature of the relationship between the State and the banks in which the State has an investment. The banks are therefore entitled to pursue all options open to them in order to realise the value of their impaired assets, within the significant constraints imposed by their regulator, the Central Bank and the law as it applies.

The Government has put in place a broad strategy to address the problem of mortgage arrears and family home repossessions. The primary focus of this strategy is to support those home owners in difficulty with their mortgage repayments and, in so far as possible, to avoid repossession of family homes. In recent months, the Government agreed measures to enhance awareness of and access to the insolvency framework. We expanded the mortgage-to-rent scheme, making it more accessible. In addition, my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, also introduced the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 2015, which will, among other things, reduce the normal duration of bankruptcy from three years to one year.

The Central Bank of Ireland’s code of conduct on mortgage arrears also provides protection as it sets out requirements for lenders dealing with borrowers who are facing, or in, mortgage arrears on their primary residence. It ensures that borrowers struggling to keep up mortgage repayments are treated in a fair and transparent manner by their lenders and that long-term resolution is sought by lenders with each of their borrowers.

The number of mortgages in arrears continues to fall. There are almost 121,000 restructuring arrangements in place and the vast majority of these are working. The figures demonstrate that most families can, working with their financial institutions, find an arrangement to make their mortgage commitments affordable. Active engagement by indebted borrowers with their lenders is key to achieving sustainable resolutions. I would urge borrowers in arrears who have not already done so to take that step by contacting their lender directly, or MABS, for an independent assessment of their situation and advice on available resolution options.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   There is a tsunami of homelessness in this country. Last November, the Dublin Homeless Executive provided figures according to which some 1,425 children in 677 families were in emergency accommodation. The Dublin Simon Community said that was unacceptable and shameful. Focus Ireland said that the Government had failed these families. The Master of the High Court, Mr. Edmund Honohan, criticised the banks and accused them of hounding home owners to suicide.

[Deputy Seamus Healy:  ] He criticised the fast-tracked repossession regime that the Government has allowed to be introduced in the courts. These banks are majority owned by the State and it is open to the Minister to instruct these banks to desist from repossessing family homes. In Tipperary alone, 100 families are facing repossession. The Minister should insist that this stop.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   Deputy Healy raised the very important issue of homelessness and the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Alan Kelly, brought forward proposals last year that have blunted the edge of this particular social crisis. Certainly, over the Christmas period there was less sense of a crisis with homelessness than there had been earlier in the year. The measures introduced by the Minister, Deputy Kelly, have been working and, please God, they will continue to work.

On the wider issue of repossession, which was the topic of the Deputy’s notified question, there is some interesting data published by the Central Bank. During the third quarter of 2015, legal proceedings were issued to enforce the debt security on private dwelling house mortgages in 1,687 cases. During quarter three, there were 798 cases where court proceedings concluded but arrears remained outstanding. In 329 cases, the court granted an order for repossession or the sale of the property. A total of 422 properties were taken into possession by lenders in the quarter, of which 207 were repossessed on foot of a court order. The remaining 215 were voluntarily surrendered or abandoned. The idea that tens of thousands of houses are being repossessed is just not correct. A small amount goes through the system. With the changes made by the Minister for Justice and Equality and with the Money Advice & Budgeting Service assisting directly people before the courts, I hope the number will diminish even further. It is the policy of the Government to put arrangements in place so that people can live in the family home.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The Minister is the majority shareholder in these banks and he has obviously given permission to the banks to repossess family homes. He could equally instruct these banks not to go down this road and repossess family homes. He could call an emergency meeting of these bank boards and instruct them not to repossess family homes. I ask him to do so immediately and if bank directors do not agree, they should be sacked, as the Minister has the power to do so as a majority shareholder. This is urgent and, irrespective of the Minister’s comments, thousands of families in the country are facing homelessness because of banks in which the State has a majority shareholding. The Minister could give instructions to stop these repossessions and I ask him to do so immediately.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   There is a relationship framework, signed by my predecessors in office, with the banks and the essential component is that the political side will not interfere in commercial decisions. That is for a very good reason as we do not want to politicise the banks. It would be a very sad day for the country if the first port of call for a person seeking a loan had to be the local Deputy rather than a bank manager.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   We are not asking anybody to do that at all.

Deputy Michael Noonan:   There will be no political interference with the banks. On the question of repossessions, 207 houses were repossessed on foot of a court order, which does not equate to the tens of thousands of houses sometimes mentioned in commentary. There are 121,000 restructured mortgages on private dwellings, with a success rate of 86.6%. That means the arrangements stick in just under 87% of cases. The problem is being solved progressively. I appreciate it is very hard on people and I can appreciate that people who lost their jobs do not have money. I also appreciate the concerns and how upset people are. In a very extreme situation, the issue is being handled reasonably well by the banks

———————————–

Woman facing return to prison over refusal to hand over her home to bank

Claire Knowles was lawfully jailed for contempt of court order, High Court judge rules

Mary Carolan      Irish Times Dec 15

Claire Knowles (56) of Castlejane, Glanmire, Co Cork, who will remain on bail until Wednesday evening after which time she will return to Limerick Prison unless she has purged her contempt of the possession order. Photograph: Collins Court

A High Court judge has ruled a woman was lawfully jailed for contempt of a court order requiring her hand over possession of her home to a bank.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys told Claire Knowles she may remain on bail until 7pm on Wednesday after which time she will return to Limerick Prison unless she has purged her contempt of the possession order in the interim.

Ms Knowles was jailed by a judge at Cork Circuit Court on December 8th for contempt of a court order of January 2014 requiring she hand over possession of her home near Glanmire, Co Cork, to Bank of Ireland.

She was freed on conditional bail on December 10th pending the outcome of the inquiry, under Article 40 of the Constitution, into the legality of her detention.

Giving his decision on Tuesday having heard arguments by Ms Knowles and the State, Mr Justice Humphreys said he was bound by other court decisions concerning Article 40 inquiries and, in all the circumstances, must rule the detention is lawful.

He will give a written judgment outlining his reasons for that decision at a later stage.

The contempt application was brought by solicitors representing Bank of Ireland arising from a mortgage taken out with ICS Building Society on Ms Knowles home at The Pines, Castlejayne Woods, Glanmire, Co Cork.

An order for possession of that property was made by the Circuit Court in January 2014 and the High Court dismissed an appeal against that order in July 2014. Ms Knowles later got an order from the Master of the High Court extending the time effectively for a second appeal.

Attachment and committal proceedings were brought last October against Ms Knowles for contempt over her failure to hand over possession and were adjourned to December 8th when Cork Circuit Court directed her detention in Limerick Prison.

Ms Knowles was freed on conditional bail on December 10th pending the outcome of the High Court inquiry, initiated the previous day under Article 40 of the Constitution, into the lawfulness of her detention.

In his decision today, Mr Justice Humphreys commended Ms Knowles for the manner in which she presented her case but said his hands were tied by various rulings which meant he could not direct her release.

Among arguments advanced by her to support her claim that her detention was invalid, she argued there was an error in the title of the committal warrant in that it was in the name of ICS when it was lawyers representing BOI who sought her committal. She also argued she was wrongly refused an adjournment of the contempt application so as to allow her try and get legal representation.

Remy Farrell SC, for the governor of Limerick Prison, argued the net issue in the Article 40 inquiry was if Ms Knowles was denied an opportunity of getting legal representation, and it was his case she was not.

The transcript of proceedings in the Circuit Court showed Ms Knowles chose to proceed without legal representation after clearly considering matters over the lunch break on December 8th, he said. The Circuit Court judge had made the jailing order after Ms Knowles refused to give an undertaking to leave her home and she was “manifestly in contempt”, counsel said.

On that date, the transcript of the hearing referred to counsel for the bank saying Ms Knowles was still in the house and she was in “flagrant” breach of the order.

The Circuit Court judge warned Ms Knowles she was at strong risk of going to jail, should get legal advice and the case would not be adjourned unless she undertook to abide by the court order to leave the house.

It was “very clear” what she had to do and legal advice would not have altered that. It seemed clear Ms Knowles later decided to represent herself as she was entitled to do but she must take the consequences of that.

The Circuit Court judge had said he did not believe she was serious about getting out of the house, he would jail her and refuse a stay, given the “brazen” contempt.

In her arguments, Ms Knowles said she is being “turned into a criminal out of civil litigation” and these are “not ordinary times”.

She said the banks had had months to get their paperwork in order in her case but had failed to do so until much later and then used the name of a “non-entity” in these proceedings. Lawyers for the bank were unable to answer her when she had raised points about the delay in amending the title of the case, she added.

She also said she had been refused legal aid for the Circuit Court proceedings as she did not know how to get it and was given an hour to do so.

“I was given no choice,” she said.

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http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/the-debt-doctors-there-s-a-black-cloud-over-a-lot-of-people-1.2463335#.Vmw231bKiG0.mailto

Claire Knowles, Resisting Eviction, Released On Bail by High Court as large number of supporters attend court

PLEASE,Could a Legal Team Offer to Represent Her Pro Bono Publico?

It is grossly Unfair That She Should Be Forced to Represent Herself.

Be there again  NEXT MONDAY!

From Irish Times Breaking News

A woman jailed for contempt of a court order directing she hand over possession of her Co Cork home to a bank has been freed on bail by the High Court.

Claire Knowles (56) was jailed on Tuesday over her failure to comply with orders obtained by Bank of Ireland over the property at The Pines, Castlejayne Woods, Glamire.

She was brought to Limerick Prison where she was held until she was brought before the High Court on Thursday for an inquiry into the legality of her detention.

The inquiry, under Article 40 of the Constitution, was sought on her behalf by anti-eviction campaigner Ben Gilroy, who said he had assisted Ms Knowles in previous court cases relating to the repossession.

Following a hearing, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys ordered her release on her own bail of €100, with a condition she stay away from her home, pending full determination of her legal challenge.

She is to come back to court next Monday.

The judge ruled the governor of Limerick Prison was obliged to go behind the reasons for her detention. To do that, the governor would have to apply to make Bank of Ireland a notice party in this case, the judge said.

In those circumstances, the judge adjourned the inquiry to allow that occur.  In the meantime, he granted bail to Ms Knowles who was supported in court by a large number of people.

Earlier, Remy Farrell SC, for the prison governor, said his client had no relationship, legal or otherwise, with Bank of Ireland.

He could not compel witnesses to attend court or provide documentation in order to justify the reasons for committing her to prison, counsel said.

Ms Knowles told the court she was too traumatised to make the case because she had been in Limerick Prison and wanted Mr Gilroy to do it for her.

The judge ruled it was established case law only the person detained could make the arguments before the court or could employ a qualified lawyer to do so.

Following an adjournment to allow the judge consider the law on representation in such cases,  Ms Knowles said she was a little more composed and would present it herself.

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Support Release of brave Claire Knowles From Jail To-morrow

High Court 10.30 tomorrow Thursday Nov 10

Jailed for Refusing to Hand Over Her Home to Bank Of Ireland

 Inquiry on legality of woman’s detention for  contempt ordered

Claire Knowles jailed over contempt of direction to

hand over possession of home to bank

aIrish Timesbout 4 hours ago Updated: about 3 hours ago

Mary Carolan

High Court judge has directed an inquiry into the legality of the detention inLimerick Prison of a woman for contempt of a Circuit Court order directing she hand over possession of her home to a bank.

Ben Gilroy, of Direct Democracy Ireland, applied on Wednesday to Mr JusticeMax Barrett for the inquiry following the imprisonment the previous day ofClaire Knowles (56), who lives with her son at Castlejayne, Glanmire, Cork.

During the application, Mr Gilroy said there was “huge confusion” over possession orders made by the Circuit Court, an apparent reference to conflicting High Court decisions of November and May last concerning the Circuit Court’s jurisdiction to hear certain repossession cases.

Suffered difficulties

He said Ms Knowles suffered difficulties including depression after the possession order was made in January 2014, and the Master of the High Court later agreed to extend time for her to appeal that possession order.

Ms Knowles has no recollection of getting a letter of demand of November 2009 and there were issues about a signature on that, he added.

In an affidavit, Mr Gilroy said he is a friend of Ms Knowles. He said the warrant detaining her was invalid as it was in the name of ICS Building Society and, as far as he was aware, the governor and company of the Bank of Ireland had applied to the Circuit Court to reconstitute the proceedings by substituting the governor and company of BOI earlier this year.

Ms Knowles is in dispute with ICS, he said. On November 10th, the Master of the High Court extended time for her and her son to appeal the Circuit Court possession order of January 20th, 2014. When a further extension was sought on December 2nd, the Master granted an additional 72 hours, he said.

Notice of appeal

Ms Knowles did serve her notice of appeal on December 2nd, he said.

He said the plaintiff bank in the Circuit Court proceedings appealed the Master’s order, and the High Court on Monday last dismissed the appeal and affirmed the Master’s order of November 10th.

Mr Gilroy said Ms Knowles previously appeared before Judge Donagh McDonagh at the Circuit Court on October 27th. The judge said he had no jurisdiction in the Circuit Court possession proceedings, refused to make an order for attachment and committal, and adjourned the matter to December 8th when Ms Knowles appeared before Judge O’Donnabhain.

A friend of Ms Knowles who was present had given a written account stating the judge warned Ms Knowles she was at risk of jail and should get legal representation. She was unable to do so and was refused an adjournment to get a lawyer, the account stated.

Described as ‘brazen’

It was also stated, when her case was called, Ms Knowles began reading from a prepared statement but was interrupted by the judge who made the committal order. It was stated she continued to read the statement and the judge said she was in breach of the order and described her as “brazen”.

Mr Justice Barrett said he would direct an inquiry under Article 40 of the Constitution into the legality of Ms Knowles detention and order she be produced in court on Thursday morning for that inquiry.

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Dublin child homelessness figure doubles to 1,400

Kitty Holland:‘Shameful’:Dublin Simon has described the figures as “unacceptable and shameful”, while FOCUS IRELAND said they showed “Government action has so far failed to halt the constant flow of families becoming homeless”.-Irish Times

Olivia Kelly: “But the deal is a far cry from the proposal by ALAN KELLY, Minister for the Environment, to link private-sector rent increases to the consumer price index for four years. The measures won’t make a dent in existing rents, and it’s far from certain that they will make renting a viable long-term option.”-Irish Times(further down)

Kitty Holland:IRISH TIMES  Saturday, November 14, 2015, 01:00

There are now more than 1,400 homeless children in Dublin – more than twice as many as a year ago, the latest figures show.

Data published last night by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive show that during the week of 18th to 25th October there were 1,425 children in 677 families in emergency accommodation.

This represents a 109 per cent increase in the number of homeless children since October 2014, when there were 680 children in emergency accommodation in the capital.

Of the total, 975 children in 461 families are in hotels, while 450 children in 216 are in supported homeless accommodation.

‘Shameful’

Dublin Simon has described the figures as “unacceptable and shameful”, while Focus Ireland said they showed “Government action has so far failed to halt the constant flow of families becoming homeless”.

Sam McGuinness, Dublin Simon chief executive, said he was “alarmed” at the numbers. “With no measures to stop the ever rising flow of people into homelessness over the past year, we are now faced with the very shameful situation where 1,425 children are forced to lay their head in inadequate accommodation, scared and vulnerable, without a safe home to look to this Christmas.”

He said rent certainty measures announced by the Government this week were inadequate, as rents remained unaffordable for the poorest families dependent on rent supplement.

Mike Allen, director of advocacy with Focus Ireland, said the plan to freeze rents for two years was welcome but added a rise in rent supplement levels was necessary to keep poorer families in their homes.

‘Cumulative impact’

“The families which became homeless in October did so primarily as a result of the cumulative effects of rising rents over the last two years, linked to a freeze in rent supplement,” said Mr Allen.

“Even if the Government’s package does has the effect of slowing down rents it will make no difference to the families who will continue to lose their homes because of the cumulative impact of rent rises over the last two years while the Government took no action.”

A spokeswoman for the DRHE, which manages homelessness services in the capital, said “month-on-month” the provision of emergency accommodation for families was being increased.

In addition the executive was working to ensure 500 modular homes would be delivered next year to provide temporary accommodation for homeless families. National homelessness data for October are to be published by the Department of the Environment over the weekend.

Ireland’s rental crisis: Will new measures help?

Olivia Kelly

Irish  Times Saturday, November 14, 2015, 01:00

After months of inter-Coalition wrangling, and years of escalating rents, the Government has come up with a solution to Ireland’s rental-accommodation crisis: landlords can raise rents only every two years instead of every year. As showpieces go it’s hardly dazzling. But is it enough to make a difference?

There is a bit more to the package that the Government is calling its new deal for tenants. There will be increased notice periods both for ending a lease and for increasing rent. The long-promised deposit-protection scheme, whereby tenants’ deposits would be held by the Private Residential Tenancies Board rather than by a landlord, will be set up.

But the deal is a far cry from the proposal by Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment, to link private-sector rent increases to the consumer price index for four years. The measures won’t make a dent in existing rents, and it’s far from certain that they will make renting a viable long-term option.

At other times this may not have mattered quite so much. Ten years ago one in 10 households lived in privately rented accommodation. Now it’s one in five, and another 10 per cent live in rented social housing. Numbers renting are even higher in urban areas: a quarter of Dublin city homes are privately rented. Historically, most Irish people have viewed renting as a temporary measure, a stopgap between leaving the nest and having the wherewithal to buy your own place.

Even with so many more people renting, this perception hasn’t changed. A report late last year by the economic consultancy DKM on the future of the private rented sector, commissioned by the Housing Agency, showed a low appetite for long-term renting. Almost three-quarters of renters planned to leave the rental market this year or next. Just 17 per cent saw themselves as lifelong tenants, and for most of those it was not because they wanted to but because they had to. The majority in this category cited an inability to afford a house as the main reason they had continued to rent.

Separately, a large group of the population rent from landlords with State assistance, and they don’t seem to want to stay as private-sector tenants either.

We don’t know for certain how many people want a council house. The last national assessment of need, completed in 2013, showed that just under 90,000 applicants were on local-authority waiting lists. Dublin City Council had 16,000 on the list at the time; last July the figure had increased to almost 21,600. More than 100,000 applicants are now likely to be waiting.

And these are just the people who have had their need for a council house approved; many more are skittering around the eligibility threshold and would like the stability of a council house – in effect a home for life, something the private rental sector certainly does not guarantee.

What all these figures show is that almost nobody living in private rental accommodation, supplemented or not, wants to be there. And it’s easy to understand why.

The high cost of renting and the inability to control and predict that cost in the medium or long term is a major drawback. Rents have been rising steadily since 2013, particularly in Dublin. The rises haven’t been minor: rents in the capital went up by 9.2 per cent in the year to the end of June, and rents across the State went up by 5.8 per cent, according to the Private Residential Tenancies Board.

This means that the average Dublin renter, who had been paying €1,275 a month for a house or €1,152 for an apartment in the summer of 2014, is now paying €1,387 for a house and €1,260 for an apartment. Rents for houses outside Dublin increased from €656 to €695 in the year, and for apartments from €623 to €660.

Why has this happened? It’s a simple equation of supply and demand. To give the short version of the housing boom and bust: we spent a few years building too many houses (more than 93,000 in 2006), many of them in the wrong places, then spent a few years building far too few (8,301 homes in 2013) anywhere.

Things improved a little last year: 11,016 homes were completed, but that’s fewer than the number the year records began, 1970, when 13,887 houses were built. The 11,016 built last year are just over half what the Housing Agency says is the minimum needed to meet demand.

There’s an inevitable trickledown effect. Without enough homes for sale, would-be buyers keep renting. More people renting in a market with fewer homes pushes up rents. More people renting who in a normal market would have the money to buy pushes it up even further.

Real solution

At the end of the chain are people who can’t afford to rent anywhere, and for whom social housing isn’t available.

The only real solution is to build more. Construction 2020, published in May 2014, was the Government’s first response to this need. To a large degree it was a strategy for strategies, recommending the setting up of taskforces and working groups.

The recently announced Budget 2016 has more solid housing-construction measures. Four thousand houses are to be provided next year under the first phase of an initiative to build 20,000 homes on sites controlled by the National Asset Management Agency by 2020. About 90 per cent will be in the Greater Dublin Area, and three-quarters will be starter homes.

This week’s housing package also included an initiative aimed at kick-starting the construction of 7,000 more affordable homes in Dublin and Cork. Developers will receive rebates on construction levies where a scheme has more than 50 homes and where houses are priced at less than €300,000 in Dublin and €250,000 in Cork.

These initiatives should help to speed up supply, but building houses takes a couple of years on average, so this doesn’t alleviate the immediate pressures on the rental market.

That’s where the “new deal” should help. The two-year rent freeze gives private tenants breathing space to muster a deposit towards their own home if they so wish – or to find a better deal if measures to increase supply and reduce prices work.

One announcement this week could bring a glimmer of hope to tenants reliant on State support. Tax relief will be introduced to encourage landlords to rent their properties to tenants in receipt of social-housing supports such as rent supplement. These landlords will be able to claim 100 per cent tax relief, up from the current 75 per cent. This carrot is more likely to yield results than any of the Government’s rent-regulation sticks.

The Government also hopes to boost the market by making apartment construction more appealing to builders. Its “guidelines” on apartment standards – enforceable by ministerial direction – are to be issued early next year.

“Apartments for hipsters”

Here the Government is following the example of Dublin City Council, which has put forward the notion of smaller apartments for renters only – described by one councillor as apartments for hipsters. With 63 per cent of renters aged under 34, and multinational firms that the Government is so eager to attract saying that they can’t find accommodation for their workers, there may be a case for allowing these smaller units.

Another form of rental provision, which is likely to prove more popular, is the idea of public housing. This would involve having private developers and investors build housing on council land, combining social rental with private rental.

Two schemes put forward in the Budget seem similar in intent. One is the concept of an affordable-rental scheme, for which €10 million from the sale of Bord Gáis has been set aside to fund a pilot project. This will be aimed at people whose incomes are above the threshold for State rental assistance but who cannot afford private rents.

The other, for social-housing tenants, involves a new form of public-private partnership in Dublin. In the new scheme, sites stay in the ownership of the State, and the developer receives payments for 25 years, after which the houses or apartments return to State ownership.

These are positive moves that could stave off a similar rental crisis in future. But they are unlikely to help people who right now can’t afford, or can’t find, a place to rent.

———————————————————————————————————————————————

Alan Kelly (Labour) Backs Down on Rent Control. 

“Government plans to solve Ireland’s rental crisis could see landlords hike rents immediately, will not prevent future rises, and risks marking the return of low-quality bedsits to the market.

Threshold chief executive Bob Jordan said the charity has “alerted” officials to concerns “rent would be inflated during the review period” — a view shared by housing expert Dr Lorcan Sirr, who said landlords will frontload rises because they will not be able to next year.”  Irish Examiner    Nov 7

Kelly had sought that rent increases be pegged to the cost of living. But Minister Noonan(FG) backed by 25 Landlord TDs, and American developers Kennedy Wilson forced him to bend the knee and retreat.

Landlords can only increase the rent every two years now rather than every year as before. Landlords must get three local examples of rents to justify an increase.!!!   This will make almost no difference.In a situation where there is no competition between landlords due to shortage of accomodation,landlords can simply raise the rent by double the yearly increase every two years! AND WORSE STILL, THE LANDLORD CAN HIKE THE RENT BEFORE THE NEW LAW COMES IN.The Dáil Sat All Night to Bail Out the Banks bondholders, but there is no urgency to protect tenants!

And, of course, Alan is preparing to take water charges from your pay or welfare cheque.

Focus Ireland Spokesperson said:“However, we are highly concerned it will fail to stem the constant rising flow of 70 to 80 families becoming homeless in Dublin alone very month. —–The measures are far from a convincing response to the scale of the problems we are facing,” he added.

Housing Crisis is Due to the Restrictions of the EU Fiscal Treaty and by PROHIBITION by the FG/Labour Government of Local Authority Borrowing for House Building Purposes to comply with these restrictions.

This policy leaves Government completely at the mercy of private developers. “US investors Kennedy Wilson advised Mr Noonan’s officials(before Budget) by letter that investment in property here could be “eliminated” if rent controls were introduced” Irish Examiner Nov2 2015

“Therefore local authorities, which are currently debarred from accessing Housing Finance Agency loans, due to concerns about its implications for the national debt, need to be given permission to borrow again for social housing provision” Dr Michelle Norris, UCD

Government found it more Important to give away 750 million in tax relief including 100 million to the Super-rich rather than allow local authorities to borrow 750 million for housing purposes

THE HOUSING POLICIES of THIS GOVERNMENT and THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT HAVE LEFT THOSE IN NEED OF SOCIAL HOUSING IN A STATE OF VIRTUAL TOTAL NEGLECT (I have brought together below articles by DR Rory Hearne, Dr Michelle Norris and Fintan OToole on the housing crisis)

The housing crisis is due to the implementation of a policy under which the ability of the rich to make profits out of housing provision and the opportunity for the rich to pay low taxes on their incomes and assets to the  to the state, are prioritised over the need of all citizens to have security of tenure in an adequate dwelling. The Free Market IDEOLOGY to which Fintan O’Toole refers is being deployed by governments and economists to justify this  prioritisation.

The implementation of these pro-rich policies is enshrined in legislation and EU treaties. Why cannot Local authorities borrow money to fund a social house building programme? As Dr Michelle Norris UCD attests (below)local authorities,  are currently debarred from accessing Housing Finance Agency loans, due to concerns about its implications for the national debt.

Under capitalism, borrowing by the state to provide assets that will endure for 100 years or more makes perfect sense. But FF,FG and Labour supported an EU Fiscal Treaty which places restrictions on state debt irrespective of human need. This leaves  these parties with three options in order to provide housing:

a) IMPOSE SERIOUS TAX INCREASES on INCOME AND ASSETS OF THE SUPER-RICH

b) Leave the Provision of Housing to the Free Market

c) IMPOSE NEW TAXES ON the Majority of the Population

It is not surprising that governments of the rich opt for a combination of b) and c)

KEY QUOTES FROM ARTICLES BELOW

“It is a national emergency and without a significant shift in policy the crisis will only worsen. At the current rate of families becoming homeless there will be more than 6,000 children in emergency accommodation by 2017. This is deeply traumatic for children and their families. It is arguably a breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.The current crisis results from decades of housing policy that followed the private ‘free-market’ approach which treated housing primarily as a commodity and speculative investment asset”-——Dr Rory Hearne, Tasc .

“And still, after all we’ve been through, 75 per cent of the Government’s promised “social housing” is to be built (supposedly) by the private sector.There is an almost obsessive fear of stating the obvious – that a large proportion of people will never be decently housed by “the market”. Those citizens need a State that’s not afraid to clear the ground of narrow ideology and build on the foundations of real human needs. That might involve relearning another forgotten word – republic.” Fintan O’Toole  Irish Times Columnist

“Therefore local authorities, which are currently debarred from accessing Housing Finance Agency loans, due to concerns about its implications for the national debt, need to be given permission to borrow again for social housing provision. This is the only realistic method of raising sufficient finance for and delivering a social housing programme on the scale required to meet current needs. A relatively small amount of public borrowing for this purpose could have enormous social benefits and cut spending on rent supplements.”-Dr Michelle Norris  UCD

Rory Hearne: The STATE MUST INTERVENE IN THE HOUSING MARKET

Last Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2015, 05:15

The Irish housing system is in an unprecedented crisis. This is visible in escalating rents, ‘economic’ evictions, mortgage arrears, repossessions, waiting lists, substandard accommodation and the growing numbers of those unable to buy a home.

It is a national emergency and without a significant shift in policy the crisis will only worsen. At the current rate of families becoming homeless there will be more than 6,000 children in emergency accommodation by 2017. This is deeply traumatic for children and their families. It is arguably a breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The current crisis results from decades of housing policy that followed the private ‘free-market’ approach which treated housing primarily as a commodity and speculative investment asset.

This continues today with the crisis being analysed as one of ‘demand outstripping supply’ and discussion focused on how to incentivise the property industry to build more housing stock.

However, during the boom there was plenty of supply and still prices rose to unaffordable and unsustainable levels contributing to the crash. This is because price is determined not simply by demand and supply but also by profit seeking, costs of investment, and government regulation.

Developers can and do sit for decades on land or leave property derelict until they consider it profitable to commence building. Right now there is 2,233 hectares of undeveloped zoned land in the wider Dublin region which could provide 102,500 new housing units.

The basic problem with a free market approach to housing is that the private market only caters for a ‘demand’ that can provide a profit. If you can’t provide a sufficient profit, as is the case with many low income households, then you don’t count. The current crisis is not just a once-off market failure – it is the modus operandi of the private housing market. Predominantly free market or neoliberal housing systems like ours are characterised by persistent boom and busts, affordability problems, and exclusion.

That is why the state must intervene to protect people from the market. It could do this in two ways which would fundamentally address the crisis. Firstly, there is an immediate need for rent certainty (where rents cannot be increased beyond a certain index such as inflation) and improved tenant protections in the private rented sector. Rent regulation exists in many European countries (who incidentally have plenty of ‘supply’).

There is no constitutional impediment to such a measure, as Article 43.2.1 of Bhunreacht na hEireann states that the right of private ownership “ought to be regulated by the principles of social justice” and the State may, “delimit by law” these rights for “the common good”. The introduction of rent certainty, as with other measures, is clearly a political choice and the Constitution should not be hidden behind as an excuse for inaction.

Secondly, a State Homes and Housing Agency should be formed to deliver a historic social, rental and affordable house building and refurbishment programme of well-planned, sustainable, and mixed communities. This would be a partnership between local authorities, government departments, housing associations, NAMA and the Housing Finance Agency. It would have access to land, finance and institutional expertise. It should have €1.5bn of annual capital funding from the state. The current allocation of €500 million to new social housing building in the Capital Investment Plan is inadequate as it will only provide 1400 new units nationally next year with fewer than 300 of those in Dublin City.

The Agency could build on the 30 hectares of land that Dublin City Council is currently being forced to sell off through a Public Private Partnership because it does not have the finances to build on it itself. It could redirect into social use the €4.5billion NAMA plans to invest with various vulture funds on high end office and apartment developments. A Housing and Homes Agency could draw on finance from the European Investment Bank. It could also compulsory purchase vacant and derelict buildings and take over buy-to-lets in arrears and convert them to low cost rental housing.

As it currently stands the 20,000 units the government has outlined NAMA will provide in order to address supply will not be social units but are to be delivered on a ‘commercial basis’ and are more likely to be sold to international investment funds rather than as ‘starter homes’. Indeed NAMA’s promotion of and involvement with global wealth funds in the Irish property market must be questioned as to how it is benefitting the Irish housing system. It is facilitating the trend where housing is increasingly becoming a global investment asset for the wealthy 1per cent.

Problems in our housing system are affecting economic competitiveness, contributing to rising deprivation, inequality and poverty, and lowering educational and employment prospects of those affected. The 2008 crash should be a stark warning that a rising property market is not necessarily a ‘good thing’. The housing system will only be fixed when policy treats housing in the first instance as a home, a social necessity and a human right, not a speculative investment asset or commodity.

Dr Rory Hearne, Senior Policy Analyst, TASC Think-tank for Action on Social Change

© 2015 irishtimes.com

Fintan O’Toole: Opposition to social housing is matter of ideology not economics

 

Fintan O’Toole  Irish Times : Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 04:00

Fellmongery is the preparation of animal skins for tanning. A pollard is an animal that has had its horns removed. In 1949, official statistics still listed Ireland’s “principal products” as including “fellmongery, laces, pigs’ heads, pollard and snuff”.

Yet in that same year, 1949, my mother’s family moved into the Dublin Corporation house where I would later grow up. A poor, primitive, backward economy could build social housing on a large scale for people who lacked decent homes.

And the rich, developed, globalised Irish economy of 2015 can’t.

In the late 1940s, when my family was housed, Ireland was still recovering from the drastic economic effects of the second World War. The average industrial wage was £5.59 a week for men and £2.97 for women.

In real terms, that’s less than a third of average industrial wages in 1998 before the Celtic Tiger bubble. Fewer than a third of households in 1949 had more than four rooms to live in. More than 60 per cent of households had no piped water supply. Nearly half had no sanitary facilities – only 255,000 houses had a flush toilet.

And yet the State could build social housing.

Health and education

Infant mortality was about a hundred times higher than it is now. Kids still died in large numbers from pneumonia, TB, whooping cough and diphtheria. Male life expectancy at birth was less than 65 years.

People were badly educated – in 1950, a grand total of 4,500 students sat the Leaving Certificate exam and the number in all our universities combined was 7,900. The entire output of Irish broadcasting was seven hours of radio a day. There were just 43,000 phone lines in the State, only a third of them domestic.

And yet the State could build social housing.

The Irish economy, dominated by agriculture and food production, was a paltry thing: total exports in 1949 amounted to just £61 million.

Almost all of this went to the UK as raw product – the characteristic Irish export was a live cow in the hold of a cattle boat. In order of scale, the leading Irish exports in 1949 were cattle, horses, fresh hen eggs, ale/beer/porter, chocolate crumb, dead turkeys and tinned beef. This makes tinned beef our leading manufacturing export.

And yet the State could build social housing.

The estate I grew up in, Crumlin in southwest Dublin, was built by the local authority, Dublin Corporation, with funding from the central government. The process actually started in the 1930s, during the Great Depression: 250 acres of south Crumlin were acquired by compulsory purchase in 1934 and the building of over 3,000 houses began more or less straight away.

The project was far from perfect. The houses were too small – most, like the one I grew up in, had just two bedrooms for big (often extended) Irish Catholic families. (Our household, by no means untypical, had three adults and five children.) Services and facilities were slow to follow.

But the rent was affordable and the houses were a hell of a lot better than what most people had before.

My mother had been living (with seven other people) in what was essentially a one-room cottage in the Liberties; my father grew up in a little hovel off the Dublin quays.

The “market” never had and never would give them a decent place to live – the State did so instead. For all the problems, people in Crumlin had a secure roof over their heads and the chance to build a good community. We had homes.

Why could the State do this in the hungry 1930s and the postwar 1940s but not now?

Not because we can’t but because, as Enda Kenny put it last week, “interference in the market” must be avoided. The desperation to avoid the simple conclusion that government should build houses for people who need them is about ideology, not resources. Fine Gael, in particular, seems incapable of understanding housing as anything other than a market.

Free-market ideology

It is striking that the decline in the building of social housing in Ireland follows directly from the rise of so called “free market” ideology in the Thatcher/Reagan era. In the mid-1970s, social housing made up a third of all new houses. The shift in which that proportion dropped to just 5 per cent was as disastrous economically as it was socially – the property bubble could not have inflated without it.

And still, after all we’ve been through, 75 per cent of the Government’s promised “social housing” is to be built (supposedly) by the private sector.

There is an almost obsessive fear of stating the obvious – that a large proportion of people will never be decently housed by “the market”. Those citizens need a State that’s not afraid to clear the ground of narrow ideology and build on the foundations of real human needs. That might involve relearning another forgotten word – republic.

© 2015 irishtimes.com

From Dr MICHELLE NORRIS UCD    Letter to Irish Times  

Sir, – Fintan O’Toole (“Opposition to social housing is matter of ideology not economics”, Opinion & Analysis, October 20th) in part answers his own question when he asks why the State could afford to fund a major social house-building programme during the “hungry Fifties” when there was no free secondary education and many of the social welfare benefits available today did not exist. Relatively low spending on most other public services facilitated levels of public investment in housing which were the highest in western Europe at this time.

Growing spending on social welfare and health, particularly during the 1970s, is one of the reasons why spending on social housing was cut back. Therefore, unlike its counterparts in the inter-party government of the 1950s, the current Government faces the challenge of concurrently funding a social house building programme and a comprehensive system of benefits and public services.

However, the other part of the answer to the question raised by Fintan O’Toole sheds light on how the current Government can meet this challenge. High levels of social housing delivery were possible in the 1950s because the funding method spread out the costs of provision and kept them affordable for government. At this time social housing was funded by very long-term loans, which were repaid using a mix of central government subsidies, tenants’ rents and the proceeds of domestic rates.

This funding model collapsed when domestic rates were abolished in 1978 and after that the exchequer paid for social house building in lump-sum grants. The latter arrangement was less affordable because the costs of provision were paid up front rather than spread out over a long period, which helps to explain why insufficient numbers of social houses were built even during the Celtic Tiger period.

This lesson has been partially taken on board by policymakers and in recent years loan finance had been provided for social housing provision by non-profit housing associations by the Housing Finance Agency, which borrows on capital markets and from EU institutions for this purpose. The agency currently has some €500 million available for lending to this sector at a fixed interest rate of 3.25 per cent.

However, despite great work by some housing associations, it is not realistic to think that this sector, which delivered 25 per cent of social housing prior to the bust, has the capacity to meet the full scale of current housing needs, at least in the short term.

Therefore local authorities, which are currently debarred from accessing Housing Finance Agency loans, due to concerns about its implications for the national debt, need to be given permission to borrow again for social housing provision. This is the only realistic method of raising sufficient finance for and delivering a social housing programme on the scale required to meet current needs. A relatively small amount of public borrowing for this purpose could have enormous social benefits and cut spending on rent supplements.

Local authorities were traditionally the main providers of social housing in Ireland, and Fintan’s O’Toole’s article eloquently describes the huge contribution which council housing made to improving the lives of his own family in the 1950s.

I agree that they have to play a central role if we are to solve the current housing shortage. However, I disagree with his assertion that achieving this is a matter of ideology; an affordable method of resourcing this work has to be put in place as well. – Yours, etc,

Dr MICHELLE NORRIS,

School of Social Policy,

Social Work and

Social Justice,

University College Dublin,

Belfield, Dublin 4.

Categories: Uncategorized

Campaign for Restoration of Public Service Pensions Through Legal Action

October 7, 2015 Leave a comment

Final Appeal for Donations:  Over 20,000 Current Members of Alliance Of Retired Public Servants Will Never GET 780 Euro in 2018. THEY WILL HAVE DIED!! (CSO MORTALITY RATES)

FINAL APPEAL!  Donate 50euro  Now!  Bank Account Details Below

The Alliance Of Retired Public Servants Was RECENTLY TOLD BY FINE GAEL Representatives that they hoped to have all PS Pensions fully restored by 2021

Alliance of Retired Public Servants Represents Approximately 100,000 Pensioners Now Living

Mortality Statitics set out below demonstrate the disastrous effect of this distant promise and that 20,000 of us will be dead by Jan 1, 2018 when final phase of pension restoration (780 Eu) is due for Payment. Many under 34,144 will never be fully restored.

 

In a recent reply to a parliamentary question from Seamus Healy TD, Minister Paschal O’Donoghue confirmed that pensioned peers of those serving with 2013 salaries over 65,000 will not get equivalent increases as was traditional in the past under the principle of pension parity.  Serving colleagues will have the Haddington Rd/FEMPI 2013 cuts fully restored in two equal phases from April1,2017 .TDs will get over 2,700 in each phase.

He also confirmed that as far as government is concerned there is no commitment to restoring parity with serving peer into the future.


Fairness and Equity letter from member of Garda Siochana Retired Members’ Association

We would like to share a letter received from one of our members.

Dear Sir,

Firstly let me declare my interest in, and support for AGSI and GRA in their on-going attempts to seek a justified (partial) restoration of sacrificed pay.

I believe Trade Unions and Staff Associations, the Public Services Committee of ICTU and the Alliance of Retired Public Servants should increase their efforts to correct the gross inequalities of the Lansdowne Road Agreement and the six Financial Emergency in the Public Interest (FEMPI) Acts introduced since 2009.

The idea that all Public Service workers and pensioners are treated equally or fairly under the LRA and FEMPI is a fallacy.

On January 1st 2016 those on salaries up to €24000 and €31000 received pay restoration, which was fair enough. The next group to receive a FULL RESTORATION of the pay cut imposed on them by the FEMPI Act 2013 on July 1st. 2013, will be those on salaries over €65000. Pay will be restored on April 1st. 2017 and April 1st. 2018 for those over €65000, and on these dates plus April 1st. 2019 for those over €110000. One would have thought that in the interest of fairness and equity the next group to receive pay restoration on January 1st. 2016 or even April 1st. 2017 should have been those on salaries between €31000 and €65000 and then, and only then to the higher paid. Those between €31000 and €65000 will have to wait until September 1st 2017 to receive a paltry €1000 while the much higher paid will have received restoration of pay five months earlier.

This is obscene and unfair and should be reversed immediately. The Public Services Committee of ICTU and all Public Service Trade Unions and Associations should endeavour to have this obscene anomaly reversed.

Why is a pay cut being restored in full to those over  €65000 while the lower paid have to wait patiently for a few partial crumbs?

A simple change at Section 5.2 of the LRA from the FEMPI Act 2013 to the FEMPI (No. 2) Act 2009 would see to that by ensuring that all Public Servants ( including those on salaries over €65000) would receive pay restoration. Then, and only then should the question of a second restoration of pay to the higher paid be addressed. If a ball of twine is ravelled you do not fix it by unravelling the last six inches sticking out – go back to where the knot started and proceed from there!

Gardaí and some other Public Servants actually received three pay cuts through FEMPI (No. 2) Act 2009; a cut to basic pay, a knock on cut to allowances linked to basic pay, and a further cut of 5% to allowances not linked to basic pay.

The Lansdowne Road Agreement was commended to the parties by the Labour Relations Commission on May 29th. 2015. The Public Services Committee of ICTU announced its acceptance of the Agreement on September 2015. Why did the Government not publish the FEMPI Bill 2015 until October 7th. 2015? This Bill should have been published before voting commenced by ICTU and non ICTU Unions and Associations.

There is also a gross inequality in the way Public Service Pensioners are treated. Those who retired up to February 29th. 2012 were given a grace period by having their pensions calculated on the previous pay cut rates of pay while those who retired after that date were penalised with a pension cut based on FEMPI Legislation. Those pensions should be immediately restored  (not to mention retrospectively!) now that the financial emergency is over. We hear of the plight of teachers in the Staff Room doing the same job but for different pay. Well, what about pensioners who have done the same job and given loyal service being paid different pensions? Any Government interested in fairness and equity should now accept that this unequal anomaly has pertained for too long and should have it reversed immediately!

Ps. What ever happened to the 2.5% and 3.5% pay increases awarded under the Towards 2016 Pay Agreement that was “parked” when the financial emergency hit us like a tsunami in 2008? Nothing, that is what happened! The time is well nigh to take off the parking brake!

Seven year old unpaid promises and pay cuts should be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Is anyone in Trade Union or Government circles interested in fairness and equity of treatment?

Willie Gleeson.

————————

MORTALITY STATISTICS 

18.556 % of those Aged 65 and over will die within 12 Months-Central Statistics OFFICE(CSO 2012)

60% will have died before Fine Gael Promised Date for full Restoration of ALL PS Pensions

In 14 months from now, Jan 1, 2017 over 20,000 current members of 100,000 now Represented by Alliance Of Retired Public Servants  WILL BE DEAD AND WILL NOT RECEIVE 780 Euro Due on that Date!

By Jan1, 2021, OVER  57,000 WILL BE DEAD

(This is an underestimate as mortality rate increases as current  living cohort of 100,000 gets older ,which is not accounted for below due to lack of data)

Alive now          100,000     -18,556    Nov1, 2016

After 1 year           81444      -15113    Nov1 ,2017

After 2 years          66321         –  12307      Nov1,2018

After 3 Years        54014           -10023        Nov1, 2019

After 4 years           43991           –  8163        Nov1, 2020

After 2months        42630            -1361         Jan 1,2018

After 5 years         35728                               Nov1,2019

Automatic Parity of Pensions With Serving Peer GONE ACCORDING TO GOVERNMENT

“As we move beyond FEMPI and PSPR restoration towards more normal pay and pension setting conditions in the public service, the issue of how to adjust the post-award value of public service pensions through appropriate pay or other linkages will be considered by Government.”—MINISTER,

Parliamentary Question to  the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, For Written Answer, From Seamus Healy TD

“To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if, in view of the fact that the FEMPI Act 2013 pay reductions for serving higher earners, over €65,000 per annum will be restored in two stages, the first half of the reduction will be restored on 1 April 2017, the second half of the reduction will be restored on 1 January 2018, the equivalent pensioner will receive an increase equivalent to that of serving peer on those dates; if by 2 January 2018 all public service pensioners with full service will have had their pensions restored to 50% of the salary of serving peer; if the traditional principle of parity of public service pension increases with pay increases of serving peer will be honoured by the government into the future; his views on whether pension restorations are particularly urgent in view of the much reduced life expectancy of older persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter.”

REPLY.

The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) 2013 Act provided for a “grace period” by which the retired counterparts of public servants in grades affected by the 2013 pay cuts already receive pensions unaffected by those pay cuts. This means that persons retiring since 1 July 2013 from grades affected by the pay cuts on that date were awarded, and are paid, pensions based on the higher “pre-cut” salaries; in like manner, the pensions of equivalent earlier retirees, who retired before 1 July 2013, are unaffected by those 2013 pay cuts.   I should also point out that , neither of the two direct salary reductions in the public service under the FEMPI legislation, occurring in 2010 and 2013, or the reduction effected under the FEMPI 2009 Act through the imposition of the Pension Related Deduction on remuneration of public servants, were passed on to the pensions of same-grade retirees.

Public service pensioners have been impacted by another FEMPI measure, the Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR). The PSPR reduces the pay-out value of pensions with pre-PSPR values above specified thresholds in a progressively structured way which has a proportionately greater effect on higher value pensions.  At all times, public service pensions up to a value of €12,000 have been unaffected by PSPR, while a higher exemption threshold of €32,500 has applied to pensions awarded from 1 March 2012 onwards.

PSPR is being significantly reversed in three stages under FEMPI 2015, with PSPR-affected pensioners getting pension increases via substantial restoration of the PSPR cuts on 1 January 2016, 1 January 2017 and 1 January 2018.  When fully rolled-out from 1 January 2018, the changes will mean that all public service pensions with pre-PSPR values of up to €34,132 will be fully exempt from PSPR, while those pensioners not fully removed from the reach of PSPR will, in the majority of cases, benefit by €1,680 per year. The cost of these changes is estimated at about €90 million on a full-year basis from 2018.

As we move beyond FEMPI and PSPR restoration towards more normal pay and pension setting conditions in the public service, the issue of how to adjust the post-award value of public service pensions through appropriate pay or other linkages will be considered by Government.

FINAL APPEAL!  

Donate 50euro  Now!  Bank Account Details Below

Paddy Healy   086-4183732       Chair Campaign for Restoration of PS Pensions through Legal Action

DONATE 50 EURO NOW FOR TOP LEGAL ADVICE

(we have reached 70% of our target )

URGENCY OF PENSION RESTORATION!

MORTALITY: Over 20,000 Current Members of Alliance Of Retired Public Servants Will Never GET Jan 2018 phase of PENSION RESTORATION 

In 14 months from now, on Jan 1, 2018 over 20,000 current members of Alliance Of Retired Public Servants  WILL BE DEAD and will not get the  780 Euro in Pension Restoration Promised ON THAT DATE!!!

THE FINAL AND LARGEST PHASE OF PENSION RESTORATION, 780Euro, will be paid on Jan 1, 2018 in accordance with FEMPI ACT 2015

Those who are still alive with pension up to 34.144 will have pension fully restored on Jan 1, 2018

There is no date for full restoration of pensions above 34,144

Over 35,000 PS pensioners now living WILL BE DEAD BY JAN 1, 20199

The Alliance of Retired Public Servants represents  some 100,000 public service pensioners.

MORTALITY Based on Central Statistics Office  (CSO) Figures 2012

No of Deaths per 100,000 Population per year

Age                 Male     Female

65-74                          1,934              1,177

75 and over                 8,318            7,127

Source: CSO Vital Statistics

ALL (fe male+male)

65-74                   3,111

75 and over        15,445

65 and over       18,556  per 100,000

18.556 % of the 100,000 will die within 12 Months

In 14 months time over 20,000 current members of Alliance Of Retired Public Servants  WILL BE DEAD!

By Jan 1 2019 a further 18.556% of the surviving PS pensioners or 14,845 will have died (this is an underestimate because the cohort would then be 66 and over rather than 65 and over and therefore have a higher mortality rate)

BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS

From

Your chosen account

To

Legal Fund

IBAN

IE89IPBS99065824661911

BIC

IPBSIE2D

Payee Reference

Your name

Amount

€50

Or  send a cheque made out to Campaign for Restoration of PS Pensions

To    88 Griffith Court

Fairview

Dublin 3

 

 

Scroll Down For Table of Pension Losses and Constitution and Rules of Campaign for Restoration of Pension Cuts Through Legal Action

NO FURTHER RESTORATION OF PENSIONS

of Public Servants in  Budget 2017

Government to Retain 60 billion in Private property of public Service Pensioners in 2017. BUT……….

      Budget Gains for Highest Earners in Tax/Usc Relief              

Top 5 % 0f Income Recipients   Average income 186,00 Eu p.a.   Number of Units    110,000

Tot Gain(Euro)

Employees(2/3)    73,333 X353              25,886,549

Self-employed (1/3)   36,667 x753                27,610,251

              ALL                                             53,496,800 

           No TAX ON HUGE GAINS IN Financial Assets

Net Financial Assets of Households  Now 60 Billion above Peak Boom Level

Top 10% of Households own 54% of all household assets

The richest 10% now have over 30 billion more in financial assets than they had in 2006

They have not paid a penny in Tax on these Huge Gains!!!!

Budget Speech-Seamus Healy TD

Deputy Seamus Healy:  “In his Budget Statement, the Minister, Deputy Donohoe, told us the budget will create a fairer society. This is dishonest claptrap. The budget maintains and widens the rich-poor gap in our society. Under the tax and the universal social charge changes alone, the wealthiest 5% of people in our society, those on average incomes of €186,000 a year, will get a €15 per week increase and, of course, they will get it from 1 January. They are not subject to any wealth tax and neither are they subject to any assets tax, even though net financial assets have increased and are now higher than peak boom levels. They have increased threefold from €69 billion in 2008 to €192 billion in 2015—-

In his presentation to the Committee on Budgetary Oversight, the Minister for Finance confirmed that the financial emergency is over though the opposite was recently re-certified by the Minister for the Public Expenditure and Reform in this house. The confiscation of public service pensions under the FEMPI legislation is, therefore, unconstitutional. The right to private property of pensioners in their pensions must be fully restored immediately. This is not provided for in the budget. In addition, the pension reductions imposed on occupational pensioners in State bodies and in the private sector must be restored.” 

Extract from Letter To Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donoghue, Government demanding Full Pension Restoration from Paddy Healy    May 20, 2016

“In particular, FEMPI 2013 provided for reductions and restorations of pay in excess of  65,000 Euro per annum. It also provided for reductions in pensions over 32,500 per annum. BUT IN THE CASE OF THE PENSION REDUCTIONS, FEMPI  2013 DID NOT  PROVIDE FOR RESTORATIONS  FEMPI 2015 does not propose to amend FEMPI 2013 in this respect. This treatment of Public Service pensioners, including myself, is therefore neither proportional or non-discriminatory.

The effect of this in coming years is set out below:

IS THE “CONTRIBUTION” OF PENSIONERS TO RESOLVING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS “PROPORTIONAL”?

 2012  Serving  Public Servant   

Taoiseach          Tanaiste           Minister        M of State                TD

200,000             184,405            169,275             130,042           92,942

Post FEMPI 2013 CUT

€185,350          €171,309.           157,540                121,639         87,528

Restorations  FEMPI 2015

14,650                   13,096               11 ,735                  8,403              5,414

1,000                      1,000                  1,000                   1,000            1,000

Total Restoration after 2015

 15,650                   14,096                 12,735                 9,403           6,414          

Salary Post FEMPI 2015

201,000                185,405               170,275                     131,042         93,942

% of 2012 Salary

100.5%                100.54%                100.59%                100.76%        101.07%

In contrast to the income restoration to a Minister of 12,735 Euro, maximum restoration a pensioner can get under the FEMPI Bill 2015 is a total of 1680 Euro .   

None of the above officers of state,  have private property in the exchequer except the pensioner. A Pensioner on Less than 12,000 Euro per annum, who may be the spouse  of a deceased pensioner, whose pay and/or pension was reduced under the FEMPI ACTS, thus automatically  reducing the pension of the surviving spouse, will get no restoration of pension under FEMPI 2015!”

—————————————————————–

“Financial Emergency is Over”—-Senior Counsels

Council of the Bar of Ireland: “the economy is no longer in a state of financial emergency”.

Barristers eye higher prosecution fees from State

Mark Paul

Irish Times Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 01:00

Barristers prosecuting criminal cases on behalf of the State have demanded a fees increase from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), saying the State’s financial emergency is over.

The Council of the Bar in Ireland has held several meetings recently with senior DPP staff and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to make its case.

The move follows a claim for higher fees by solicitors and barristers dealing with free legal aid cases, who said that they had accepted near-30 per cent pay cuts “without protest”.

In its submission, the Bar said its members, who also practice privately, have taken deep cuts in their prosecuting fees since 2008 under crisis-era public sector pay rules, known as Fempi.

“A further 10 per cent cut to professional fees, over and above Fempi, was also uniquely applied to barristers in October 2011,” the council said, adding “the economy is no longer in a state of financial emergency”.

STOP PRESS!!!

New Government MUST Certify That

Financial Emergency Continues in Dáil

before June 30-Ask your TD to vote against

it-A vote will be called-I have contacted

opposition deputies.

Will ALLIANCE OF RETIRED PUBLIC

SERVANTS PUBLICLY CALL ON DEPUTIES

TO VOTE AGAINST CERTIFICATION THAT A

FINANCIAL EMERGENCY CONTINUES TO

EXIST???

If Certification is Defeated in Dáil, FEMPI FALLS AND OUR PENSIONS MUST BE Fully RESTORED Immediately!

Will ICTU Call for an end to FEMPI and call

for Rejection of Certificate of Continuing

Financial Emergency in Dail?????         Contact Gen Sec ICTU, Patricia King

and Members of Executive Council of ICTU

(Names of Members Below)

ASTI to Challenge FEMPI in Court!

RETIRED SECONDARY TEACHERS

ASSOCIATION(RSTA) CALLS FOR

IMMEDIATE WIND UP OF FEMPI

ICTU EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Irish Congress of Trade Unions
31/32 Parnell Square
Dublin 1
Ireland
Tel: +353 1 8897777
Fax: +353 1 8872012
Email: congress@ictu.ie

Executive Council 2015 to 2017

President

Brian Campfield (NIPSA)

Vice-President

Kevin Callinan (IMPACT)

Vice-President

Sheila Nunan (INTO)

Treasurer

Joe O’Flynn (SIPTU)

Members (31 in total)

 

Next General Meeting

From Paddy Healy   086-4183732       SITE:   http://wp.me/pKzXa-vB  Campaign for Restoration of PS Pensions Through Legal Action

The signatories to the account are:   Patrick Healy, Former President, TUI; Thomas Fennel, Former National Honorary Secretary , TUI; Michael O Donnell, Former Executive Member, TUI.

Next general meeting of The Campaign for Restoration of Public Service Pensions Will Take Place on Friday May 13 at 11 am in Teachers Club

Agenda

1 Financial Report

2 Report on Consultations with legal advisors

3  Notice on TUI RMA Website

4 A.O. B.

Paddy Healy Chair

Donate!

The Campaign is asking all public servants to contribute to a fund to enable it to secure written advice from expert senior counsel on the constitutionality of the government’s withholding of private property in  pensions in current circumstances and on the legality of such withholding under the European Convention on Human Rights.

While any donation to the legal fund will be welcome, the campaign is recommending a donation of 50Euro.

An Account has been set up at Permanent TSB    12-13 Lower O’Connell St, Dublin 1

Campaign for Restoration of Public Service Pension Cuts

BIC: IPBS IE2D

IBAN: IE89IPBS99065824661911

The signatories to the account are:   Patrick Healy, Former President, TUI; Thomas Fennel, Former National Honorary Secretary , TUI; Michael O Donnell, Former Executive Member, TUI.

The address of the campaign is:

Campaign for Restoration of Pension Cuts Through Legal Action

c/o  88 Griffith Court

Dublin 3

Mobile   086-4183732     Email Address     paddyhealy@eircom.net

———————————————————————-

Though Pensions Still Reduced:

Elderly caught in debt trap by home loans from boom

Irish Independent PUBLISHED16/01/2016 | 02:30

Thousands of elderly people are facing a massive debt time bomb on their homes after taking out equity release products. 

The high costs of the specialised mortgages are forcing the sale of homes and wiping out inheritances.No repayments are made on equity release products taken out by older people, which means huge debts have now built up. The money is due when the owner dies, or the house is sold.

But many families are now finding that the amount owed leaves them with nothing when the homes are sold, wiping out inheritances.

At least 3,000 people owe a total of €300m on equity release loans, according to Central Bank figures.

Equity in the homes was released when house prices were high. The average amount now owed works out at €100,000. In many cases, this is double the amount originally borrowed.

Equity release for older people is a way of retaining use of a house while also getting a lump sum, using the value of the house.

The catch with the versions aimed at older people is that they must be repaid at a later stage, usually at death. No repayments are made during the term of the equity release mortgage. But, crucially, this means compounded interest is added to the capital throughout the term of the loan.

Property prices are a third lower than at their highest level in early 2007. The expectation when the deals were done in 2000 to 2010 was that property prices would keep rising.

However, if the home is now worth less than was borrowed on it, the lender takes the hit.

Figures obtained by Fianna Fáil finance spokesman, Michael McGrath, from the Central Bank show that there are 3,100 customers with ‘life-loan’, or equity release-type loans.

Staggered

He was told by the bank that €300m is owed on these products. Many of these people may be unaware of the liabilities they were accumulating.

“Customers who took out a so-called ‘life loan’ need to be vigilant as to the liability they are accumulating, and to take steps to address the issue if necessary,” he said.

He said he was “staggered” at the costs when he looked at the details after being contacted by a number of people.

Founder of Askaboutmoney.com, Brendan Burgess, defended the products, but said: “Banks would be put off reintroducing them due to negative publicity.”

Bank of Ireland, one of the largest issuers of equity release mortgages to older people, said: “Life loans enabled people to raise finance without having to trade down or move home, with no repayments until the property was sold. Bank of Ireland sold life loan products between 2001 and 2010 in accordance with regulatory requirements.”

‘Even if we sell the house, there will be nothing left’

Orla Nolan is warning fellow consumers about the costs of equity release products.

The Dublin woman outlined how her 90-year-old mother is facing a €300,000 debt after taking out an equity-release loan for €165,000 from Bank of Ireland in 2005.

The bank charges an interest rate of 6.5pc a year.

Ms Nolan said the Life Loan had seen the amount owed on her mother’s home double to €300,000 in just over 10 years.

She has appealed to Bank of Ireland to do a deal with her, but says the bank will not respond.

Ms Nolan said: “Due to a difficult situation, mum took out a Life Loan in 2005 with the Bank of Ireland for €165,000. Today we are now trying to sell her house but to date have had no success.

“Today the loan is €300,000-plus,” she said.

Her mother is not in the house any more, and is now living with her family and requires continuous care.

“Even if we sell the house at this stage there will be quite possibly nothing left,” she said

She wants Bank of Ireland to do a deal with her.

“I have made numerous attempts and requests to the Bank of Ireland to freeze the interest which is at a compound of 6.5pc and is punitive,” she added. “The bank will not negotiate, they have more than got their money back at this stage.”

Repaying the loan before her mother dies will trigger a €18,000 “break-out” charge, as the loan is fixed at 6.5pc for 15 years.

Asked about Ms Nolan’s situation, Bank of Ireland said it would not comment on customer cases.

Irish Independent

ENTITLEMENT TO NON-MEANS TESTED FULL IRISH MEDICAL CARD UNDER EU DIRECTIVE

Of course all retired citizens should have a full medical card. Until this change can be achieved, those who are entitled to one under an EU directive in spite of successive Irish governments , should avail of it.

Entitlement of Retired Public Servants to NON-MEANS TESTED IRISH MEDICAL CARD UNDER EU DIRECTIVE

Did you ever work in the UK or in an EU state other than Ireland?

Were you appointed to the Irish Public Service prior to 1995?

Contact me for Assistance-Paddy Healy 086-4183732

Urgent Action Required as Britain may leave  EU!

Apply for your British (or other EU) Pension NOW !!!!

Complete the Enquiry Form for UK Here:

https://www2.dwp.gov.uk/tps-directgov/en/contact-tps/ipc.asp

 Entitlement To Irish Medical Card Without Means Test of persons in receipt of social security pension from another EU State

  • Persons in receipt of social security income from any other EU state will qualify in Ireland for a full medical card without means test, provided they are not in receipt of any income in this country which is subject to PRSI and do not have an Irish social security pension or portion thereof.
  • The appropriate Irish application form to HSE to complete in order to receive the medical card under this heading is MC1
  • It is necessary to complete the questions relating to income on the form, as the source of income not its magnitude is a deciding factor on who will qualify for the medical card without a means test.
  • For all countries, other than the UK, it is necessary to produce the necessary E-Form available from the social security office of the country paying the pension
  • For the UK, a recent payslip from British pensions is acceptable

Note that any level of pension no matter how small is sufficient to qualify.

It may be worthwhile for those not currently in receipt of such a pension to apply for it solely to access the medical card

FUEL ALLOWANCE FROM UK

Those who are in receipt of a British (UK) social security pension are entitled to a fuel allowance from the British authorities-100 euro for the pensioner and 100 Euro for the spouse.

Applications to the British authority that pays your pension must be received by March 31 in the year concerned

To claim your foreign pension from the UK you may write to

Department for Work and Pensions

The Pension Service 11

Mail Handling Site A

Wolverhampton

WV 1LW

United Kingdom

 

Having been granted the pension, seek a written statement from the Department of Work and Pensions as to the amount and payment frequency of the pension.

 

Then you are in a position to apply for the medical card to the

HSE

Client Registration UNIT

PO Box 11745

Dublin 11

 

IS THE “CONTRIBUTION” OF PENSIONERS TO RESOLVING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS “PROPORTIONAL”?

 2012  Serving  Public Servant   

Taoiseach          Tanaiste           Minister        M of State                TD

200,000             184,405            169,275             130,042           92,942

Post FEMPI 2013 CUT

€185,350          €171,309.           157,540                121,639         87,528

Restorations  FEMPI 2015

14,650                   13,096               11 ,735                  8,403              5,414

1,000                      1,000                  1,000                   1,000            1,000

Total Restoration 2015

   15,650                   14,096                 12,735                      9,403           6,414          

Salary Post FEMPI 2015

201,000                185,405               170,275                     131,042         93,942

% of 2012 Salary

100.5%                100.54%                100.59%                100.76%        101.07%

The maximum restoration a pensioner can get under the Bill is 1680 Euro per year.   None of the above have private property in the exchequer except the pensioner. Pensioner on Less than 12,000 Euro per annum to get no increase!

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TUI LETTER TO All DAIL DEPUTIES CALLING FOR CHANGES To FEMPI 2015 Bill to remove penalty clauses on serving union members and to fully restore pension cuts to pensioned members

“The Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR), which was imposed on the pensions of retired public sector workers, will be removed by the end of 2017 for approximately 65,000 of the 90,000 whose pensions were cut. However, there is no commitment to have the remaining PSPR removed. The majority of our colleagues, retired or soon to retire, who have given invaluable service to society are adversely affected by this.

All of these offending FEMPI 2015 provisions should be deleted or amended as appropriate”  –TUI Letter

TO:       Members of Dáil Éireann  3rd November 2015 

The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill (FEMPI) 2015

Dear Deputy,

The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill (FEMPI) 2015 contains a number of highly objectionable and punitive provisions which should be deleted or amended. Section 4 is draconian and seeks to force unions into the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA). If passed into law it will extend the potential to freeze increments for teachers and lecturers from beyond 2016 to 2018.
This could lead to a loss of thousands of euro for teachers and lecturers throughout their careers. This threat is disproportionate and wrong and must be stopped.
Likewise, the threat in Section 10 to the restoration to the teachers’ salary scale of payment for Substitution and Supervision (S&S) must be removed. Thousands of teachers have been carrying out this work since 2013 on the understanding that payment was deferred to 2017 and 2018. Any reneging on these Haddington Road Agreement (HRA) provisions (which involve reciprocal and significant productivity by teachers) will cause very serious industrial unrest.

The question needs to be asked:  If teachers do not carry out this S&S work, who will, given that this is work most effectively done by teachers? If this work is to be done it will have to be paid for one way or the other.

The Public Service Pension Reduction (PSPR), which was imposed on the pensions of retired public sector workers, will be removed by the end of 2017 for approximately 65,000 of the 90,000 whose pensions were cut. However, there is no commitment to have the remaining PSPR removed. The majority of our colleagues, retired or soon to retire, who have given invaluable service to society are adversely affected by this.

All of these offending FEMPI 2015 provisions should be deleted or amended as appropriate.
The overwhelming vote of members (92% on a 60% turnout) of the TUI not to accept the LRA is due in large measure to the fact that the LRA is utterly oblivious of

  1. Casualisation. A very significant proportion of teachers and lecturers have part-time hours/low pay, insecure employment or both. The LRA pay increases in January will benefit few of these. About half of second level TUI members under the age of 35 years are in the unacceptable situation of being in part-time and/or temporary employment.  The LRA does not address this problem.
  2. Lecturing hours far in excess of international norms:  Staffing levels in Institutes of Technology are wholly inadequate, with the result that Lecturers have lecturing hours far in excess of international norms. Institute of Technology (IoT) lecturers lecture for 18 or 20 hours a week. The international norm is about 8 to 10 hours. Since the recession began, funding for the IoT sector has been cut by 32% and lecturer numbers have fallen by 10% while student numbers have increased by over 20%. This is unacceptable, unfair and unsustainable. Not only does the LRA not address this problem but it contributes to the extension of the problem beyond 2016 to 2018. The inevitable result of this failure to staff institutes adequately is that the quality of service to students suffers as does the reputation of the Institutes.
  3. Bureaucratisation of teaching and lecturing. Research and experience show that teaching in Ireland has become increasingly pressurised for a variety of reasons. Increased and often unnecessary bureaucratic work is a large part of the problem. Currently teachers in England are leaving the profession in huge numbers during the early career stage because of workload problems. We do not want to replicate that destabilising phenomenon in this country. However, the LRA does not address this problem.
  4. Lack of appropriate career structures for educationalists in Further Education.
  5. LRA Paragraphs 3.2 and 4.Specifically in respect of the LRA, there is considerable concern because of the lack of written clarification on paragraphs 3.2 and 4. While a verbal reassurance in this regard was provided by the Labour Relations Commission in Lansdowne House during the negotiations, this assurance is required in writing.

Rather than threatening educationalists with draconian measures, which would punish them for the rest of their careers, it would be more appropriate for the government to talk to the TUI about how best to address and resolve the issues outlined above in a manner that protects and enhances the integrity and quality of the Irish education system.

Yours sincerely,

_______________________________                    _______________________________

Gerry Quinn                                                                             John MacGabhann

President                                                                                   General Secretary

CAMPAIGN FOR RESTORATION OF PUBLIC SERVICE PENSION CUTS-APPEAL FOR DONATIONS TO LEGAL FUND

A Campaign for the Restoration of PS Pension Cuts has been founded recently. Preliminary legal advice indicates that there may be a case against the cuts both under the Irish Constitution and under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Pension is deferred pay. It is the private property of the pensioner. This has been decided by the courts and has been recognised by ministers in statements in theDáil. The right to private property is protected under the constitution of this state-Bunreacht na hÉireann- subject to the public good. The Exchequer contains the pension fund of public service pensioners.

The Campaign is also investigating whether the witholding of property in pensions by the state is a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights to which the state is a signatory.

The levy on Private Sector Pension FUNDs will end on Dec 31 as confirmed in Budget 2016. The so-called “levy”on public service PENSIONS continues.

PS pensioners are entitled to have their pensions fully restored.

This must be done at an early date in recognition of the restricted life expectancy of pensioners.

Government claims of economic recovery, reiterated by the Taoiseach and the Ministers For Finance and Public Service Reform on the Dáil record, have strengthened the basis for any such case.

In Budget 2016, the government gave approximately 100 million Euro in USC relief to the top 5% of income recipients who have average incomes of 180,000Euro each per annum. These wealthy individuals have no constitutional right to receive this additional income from the exchequer.

Under Budget 2016, the government is withholding 95 million Euro in 2016  of the property of PS pensioners while providing 30 million Euro for partial restoration of pensions. Under the Constitution the 95 million Euro withheld is the private property of pensioners

The total pension deductions taken from retired public servants in the years 2011 to 2014 was €438 million but €1.1 billion was transferred by this government into the pension fund of  Allied Irish Banks.

Minister Howlin has now circulated FEMPI Bill 2015 which seeks to implement the grossly inadequate “restoration” measure.

The Campaign is asking all public servants to contribute to a fund to enable it to secure written advice from expert senior counsel on the constitutionality of the government’s withholding of private property in  pensions in current circumstances and on the legality of such withholding under the European Convention on Human Rights.

While any donation to the legal fund will be welcome, the campaign is recommending a donation of 50Euro.

An Account has been set up at Permanent TSB    12-13 Lower O’Connell St, Dublin 1

Campaign for Restoration of Public Service Pension Cuts

BIC: IPBS IE2D

IBAN: IE89IPBS99065824661911

The signatories to the account are:   Patrick Healy, Former President, TUI; Thomas Fennel, Former National Honorary Secretary , TUI; Michael O Donnell, Former Executive Member, TUI.

The address of the campaign is:

Campaign for Restoration of Pension Cuts Through Legal Action

c/o  88 Griffith Court

Dublin 3

Mobile   086-4183732     Email Address     paddyhealy@eircom.net

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13/10/2015   Pension is deferred pay. It is the private property of the pensioner. This has been decided by the courts and has been recognised by ministers in the Dáil. Your right to your private property is protected under the constitution of this state-Bunreacht na hÉireann- subject to the public good. The Exchequer contains our pension.

The Campaign is also investigating whether the witholding of property in pensions by the state is a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights to which the state is a signatory.

The levy on Private Sector Pension FUNDs will end on Dec 31 as announced in Budget 2016 Yesterday. The “levy” on public service PENSIONS continues

We are entitled to have our full pension restored. This must be done at an early date in recognition of the restricted life expectancy of pensioners.

PARITY  WITH SERVING PEER IS GONE

UP until 2008, if a serving public servant got a 5% rise in pay, the equivalent pensioner also got a rise of 5% in Pension.

This arrangement has been discontinued by government.

There is no protection for pensions in payment from effective reduction of buying power through inflation

-Paddy Healy, Chair, Campaign for Restoration of Pensions Through Legal Action

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Seamus Healy TD in Dáil Speech on Budget     13/10/2015

This is the fifth budget in a row for the rich and powerful in our society. The USC package gives the top 5% of earners, 110,000 individuals earning over €180,000, an additional €922, costing the Exchequer almost €100 million or nearly twice what they were given last year.

On public service pensions, the Minister is retaining €95 million of the €125 million pension money lodged in the Exchequer but owned by public servants. Many of these people are on very modest pensions while we are giving huge money(in tax relief) to the richest and most powerful in our society, who have absolutely no constitutional entitlement to it.”

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Proportion of Total Pension Cut to be Restored over 3 Years

The table applies to all public service pensioners with the relevant pre-cut pensions

Pensions of teachers and lecturers are taken as examples only.

Restorations- Jan 1 2016   400EURO, Jan 1 2017  500Euro, Jan 1 2018  780Euro.

Less than one quarter of the % pension restorations below will be provided in 2016

The exchequer will be retaining 95 million euro of pensioners property and providing 30 million Euro for purposes of restoration in 2016

    All pre-cut pensions at 34,132 euro or under will have been fully restored by Jan 1, 2018

                      There is no timeline in the Howlin proposals for full

                      restoration of pre-cut pensions above this level

                        

Pre-cut Pension Levels

Pension of 35,000 Total Cut (FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)      8%of 12,000+12% of 11,00=960+1,320=2,260

Total Restoration over 3 years(FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)        1680            % of Cut restored   74%

Special Duties Full Service1

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

Pension of 37,500  Total Cut (FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)        8% of 12,000+12% of 13,500=   2550

Total Restoration over 3 years(FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)         1680    % of Cut restored       66%

Assistant Principal Full Service2

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Pension of 40,000   Total Cut (FEMPI 1+FEMPI 2)  8% of 12,000 +12% of 16,000= 960+1920= 2880

Total Restoration over 3 years (FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)  1680       %of Cut Restored          58%

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Pension  of 42,500   Total Cut (FEMPI 1+FEMPI 2)  8% of 12,000 +12% of 18,500=960+2220=  3180

Total Restoration over 3 years (FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)   1680       %of Cut Restored          53%

Deputy Principal  Medium Size School Full Service3

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Pension of  45,000     Total Cut (FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)  8% of 12,000 +12% of 21,000=960+2,520=3,480

Total Restoration over 3 years (FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)   1680      %of Cut restored         48%

IoT Lecturer Full Service4

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Pension of 47,500          Total Cut (FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)  8% of 12,000 +12% of 23,500=3750

Total Restoration over 3 years (FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)    1680    %of Cut Restored       45%

IoT  Lecturer 2 Full Service5      Principal Medium Size School Full Service6

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Pension of 50,000     Total Cut (FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)  8% of 12,000+12% of 26,000=960+3,120=4,080

Total Restoration over 3 years (FEMPI 1, FEMPI 2)    1680        %of Cut restored        41%

IoT Senior Lecturer(Teaching) Full Service7

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NOTES

  1. 1/09/08     Second Level Teacher  Special Duties (TUI  Diary 2008/2009)

Max Scale                         63,360

SD Allowance                    3,967

Pass Deg Allowance          1,939

Pass Hdip Allowance             622

Total  Salary                         =69,888

Pension Full Service             =34,944

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  1. 1/09/08     Second Level Teacher   Assistant Principal (TUI  Diary 2008/2009)

Max Scale                                63,360

AP Allowance                            8,968

Pass Deg Allowance                  1,939

Pass H Dip Allowance                 622

Total  salary                       =          74,859

Pension Full Service                          =           37,430

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  1. 1/09/08   Deputy Principal Medium Size School (Level viii)

Max Scale                                        63,360

D P Allowance                                  15,399

Hons Deg Allowance                           5,177

Hons H dip Allowance                         1,299

Total Salary                                           85,235

Pension Full Service                            42,618

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  1. 1/09/08     Lecturer  (TUI  Diary 2008/2009)

Max Scale                                            =      90,345

Pension Full Service                          =           45,173

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  1. 1/09/08     Lecturer 2  (TUI  Diary 2008/2009)

Max Scale                                             =    94,766

Pension Full Service                              = 47,383

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  1. 1/09/08            Principal  Medium Size School (Level viii)

Max Scale                                              63,360

Principal Allowance                               24,961

Hons Deg Allowance                                5,177

Hons H Dip Allowance                            1,299

Total Salary                                               94,797

Pension Full Service                           47,399

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  1. 1/09/08      Senior Lecturer(teaching)  (TUI DIARY 2008/2009)

Max Scale                                                  =  98,357

Pension Full Service                                  =49,179

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Primary and secondary teachers who held the pensionable Supervision and Substitution Allowance of 1769 Euro prior to retirement with full service will have salaries and pensions greater than shown above. The related percentage of cut restored will therefore be less in their case.

Teachers  with honours degrees or higher degrees, vice-principals and principals of bigger schools, will be above the pre-cut salary and pension levels above  and all Senior Lecturers 2 and Senior Lecturers 3(IoT Heads of Schools and Departments) will be above the pre-cut salaries and pensions of teaching Senior Lecturers.

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Constitution and Rules of Campaign for Restoration of Public Service Pension Cuts

c/o  88 Griffith Court

Fairview , Dublin 3       Tel    086-4183732

  1. Name

The name of the organisation shall be the Campaign for Restoration of Public Service Pension Cuts

  1. Membership

Membership shall be confined to those who on joining the organisation are members of TUI RMA and/or of Teachers Union of Ireland, ASTI and/or RSTAI,  INTO and/or RTAI and IFUT

Any member of these organisations may become a member of the campaign by applying to the campaign for membership

  1. Objects

The object of the organisation shall be the pursuit by legal means of the restoration of cuts made to public service pensions in payment by governments under emergency legislation including the raising of funds for this purpose

Donations may be sought from all public service pensioners.

  1. FUND

An account has been set up to receive and disburse funds at Permanent TSB Bank , O’Connell ST Dublin

Any disbursal of funds must be authorised by a meeting of the campaign which all members are entitled to attend. Members must be given reasonable notice of such meeting and be informed that it is the intention to seek authority to disburse funds at the meeting.

Three  trustees have been elected in whose names the account has been opened

The trustees are: Patrick Healy Former President TUI, Thomas Fennel Former National Hon. SEC TUI, Michael O’Donnell Former Executive Member TUI

  1. Meetings of the Campaign

A regular meeting of the campaign shall take place on the last Friday of each month except the months of June, July and August.

A special meeting may be called at any time of year provided all members are informed one week in advance and an agenda for the meeting is supplied to them

  1. Contributions of 50 Euro to the Legal Fund will be sought from individuals
  2. If money contributed is not disbursed for legal services and/or costs, it will be refunded to the contributors less charges incurred.
  3. The elected officers are:

Chair                                Paddy Healy

Secretary                      Joan Forsdyke

Treasurer                     Derek Simon

  1. Executive Committee members are: Eamonn Kerrigan, Michael O’Donnell, Tom Fennel and the officers of the Campaign who are named above.

 

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