UPDATE:SUPER-RICH IRISH AWASH WITH MONEY!

August 31, 2014 1 comment

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

Sunday Times Irish Rich List

Wealth of Richest 300 Irish up 2.7% (2.1 BillionEuro) in 1 year to 79 Billion

On Average Each Has  263 million    Each Paid 400 Euro less in Income Tax

“Ten years after the BANKING CRISIS , Ireland’s rich are wealthier than ever”.

– A strong performance over the past 12 months has lifted the combined fortune of Ireland’s 300 richest to €79 BILLION , up 2.7% on last year, according to today’s Sunday Times Irish Rich List.

– The entry point has JUMPED by a RECORD €12m to €52m.

– After strong economic growth in the Republic, it now has one of the HIGHEST proportions of euro BILLIONAIRES per head of population.
There are 16 members of the super-rich club — one more than last year — representing one euro billionaire for EVERY 313,000 people.

– That is almost TWICE the proportion of people with similar wealth in more affluent countries such as Kuwait, the US and Sweden.

– While almost a third of Ireland’s richest 300 are either from or based in Dublin, there is evidence of an increasing spread of wealth.

– The capital still accounts for more than 40% of Ireland’s wealth, however, with five billionaires and 88 Irish Rich List millionaires boasting combined fortunes of €31.67bn.

– The majority of multi-millionaires on the list saw the GROWTH in their wealth outpace the 4.9% domestic economic growth.

– This was due to the buoyant global stock markets, the explosion in value of internet technologies, strong PROPERTY-value growth and buoyant domestic spending.

Court Watch Ireland-I spy with my little Eye

Super-Rich Will Have a Super-Happy New Year  2018!!!

The richest top ten  in the Sunday Independent Rich List 2018 increased their fortunes by over €2bn in total over the past year.

The ten wealthiest have a collective estimated worth of just over €50bn compared with €47.9bn in the 2017 Rich List.

The Sunday Independent Rich LIST 2018

The List Ranks Personal Wealth of Individuals not of Companies

 Denis O’Brien remains at  No 4 in 2018 with  personal wealth of 2.75 billion.  He has regained 100 million of the 200 million which he lost in 2016. John Magnier, owner of Coolmore Stud , retains his ranking of 7. He has gained 150 million on his 2017 figure.   

I have confined the comparisons below to well known Irish rich Personalities

The “Super Eight” below have made a tax free gain of 76 million each on average over the last two years!!!

                                                     Super Eight PERSONAL  WEALTH

Rank                                                     2018       (2017)   (2016)          change from 2017

2018 (2017)

4     (4)   DenisO’Brien                       2.75         2.65         2.85                 +100m

7     (7) John Magnier                          2.3bn (2.2bn)(2.2bn)                + 150m

8   (9)   JP McManus Finance          2.1bn (€2bn)(€1.85bn )                +140m

9   (10)Dermot Desmond Finance 2.04 bn(€1.8bn)(€1.56bn)            +240m

11  (11) Martin Naughton Industry 1.65 bn €1.6bn(€1.5bn)               +50m

 13   (12 )    Paul Coulson Industry    1.45bn (€1.5bn)(€840m)                -50m

 17 (13)      Ellis Short Finance          1.1 bn(€1.1bn)(€1.05bn)                 no change

16   (14)Michael O’Leary Transport  1.15bn (€1.1bn)(€1.08bn)           +50m

Totals          2018   13.54 Billion;     2017    13.3Billion ;    2016  12.93

Gain From 2017:0.24 billion =240,000,000      30 million each on average!

Gain From 2016:  0.61 billion=610,000,000      76 million each on average!  

These are Tax Free Gains

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Almost 22,000 Irish People Have Incomes Between 200,000 Euro and 2 million Euro Per Year!!!-Minister for Finance

They All Got The Same Tax Relief as a Person earning 70,000 Euro per annum in the last two budgets

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s 300 richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The Richest 12 gained 6 billion of this.It was was a Tax Free Gain

 TOP 10% of financial asset holders now have  €35 billion above what they had at peak boom levels in 2006. (CSO)

  3,334 Persons in the Private sector earn more than the current salary of top RTE earner Ryan-Tubridy on Euro 495,000?

PQ Reply By Minister For Finance Michael Noonan to Seamus Healy TD

(These earnings have increased substantially since Noonans Reply)

Summary  (In 2013, After Budget 2012)

Between Euro  200,000 per year and over 2million per year   Number of Income Recipients=    21,864

Top 10,000 have average income of 595,000 per year (vast majority in private sector

Top 10,000     Total Income per year= €5.959Billion   Average Income per year   €595,900

Number earning over   0.5 million= 3,334

Number earning over  €1 million=657

Number Earning over  €2 million=120

Comment from Tomboktu on Cedar Lounge Revolution

In 2015 (the last year for which the data is published), 23,698 ‘tax units’ had gross taxable incomes of over €200,000.

Of those tax units, 10,201 were couples and 13,497 were single people (including widows and widowers, which the Revenue Commissioners still list separately — as in, a separate row for widows and a separate row for widowers*).

And of the 10,201 couples, 7,289 were both earning.

The data is available at http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/Define.asp?maintable=RVA01&PLanguage=0

TOMBOKTU, Cedar Lounge Revolution  DEC 31,2017 

SHOCK!! RTE MENTIONED THAT INDIVIDUALS EARN MILLIONS IN PRIVATE SECTOR  FOR FIRST TIME IN YEARS!

RTE  Commercial Director ,Willie O’Reilly, WAS DEFENDING THE SALARIES OF ITS TOP 10 BROADCASTERS

These are numbers 9 to 15 on the Irish Rich List . Figure in Brackets is for April 2016 -1 year earlier. Denis O’Brien is No 4-but his net worth has decreased.                                      JP McManus Finance €2bn(€1.85bn )
Dermot Desmond Finance €1.8bn(€1.56bn)
Martin Naughton Industry €1.6bn(€1.5bn)
Paul Coulson Industry €1.5bn(€840m))
Shane Smith Technology €1.41bn(€700m))
Ellis Short Finance €1.1bn(€1.05bn)
Michael O’Leary Transport €1.1bn(€1.08bn)
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Michael Noonan Sold Shares in Then State-Owned Bank of Ireland For a Song to Wilbur Ross. Ross then walked off with Hundreds of Millions When he Sold The Shares On!! Did he invest it in Russian Oil and Make another Fortune?

 Irish Times :”Mr Ross, a billionaire private equity investor, sold his stake in Bank of Ireland – bought shortly after Ireland entered and EU/IMF bailout programme – in June 2014 for almost half a billion euros, three times what he paid for it.”

Paradise Papers: Former Bank of Ireland investor Wilbur Ross benefits from Putin link

Sasha Chavkin and Martha M. Hamilton, Irish Times, Sunday, November 5, 2017, 17:55

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur L Ross Jr has a stake in a shipping firm that receives millions every year in revenue from a company whose key owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and a Russian tycoon sanctioned by the US Treasury Department as a member of Putin’s inner circle.

Mr Ross, a billionaire private equity investor, sold his stake in Bank of Ireland – bought shortly after Ireland entered and EU/IMF bailout programme – in June 2014 for almost half a billion euros, three times what he paid for it.

He divested most of his business assets before joining US President Donald Trump’s cabinet in February but kept a stake in the shipping firm, Navigator Holdings Ltd, which is incorporated in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. Offshore entities in which Mr Ross and other investors hold a financial stake controlled 31.5 per cent of the company in 2016, according to Navigator’s latest annual report.

Among Navigator’s largest customers, contributing over $68 million in revenue since 2014, is the Moscow-based gas and petrochemicals company Sibur. Two of its key owners are Kirill Shamalov, who is married to Mr Putin’s youngest daughter, and Gennady Timchenko, the sanctioned oligarch whose activities in the energy sector, the US Treasury Department said, were “directly linked to Putin.”

A ship belonging to Navigator Holdings Ltd
A ship belonging to Navigator Holdings Ltd

Another powerful owner is Sibur’s largest shareholder, Leonid Mikhelson, who controls an energy company that was also sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for propping up Mr Putin’s rule.

US-Russia tension

As commerce secretary, Mr Ross has a direct authority over trade and manufacturing policy and is an influential voice in the government on virtually any aspect of the US economic relationship with other countries, including Russia. In recent years, tensions between the United States and Russia have escalated, with the United States imposing sanctions against Russia after its 2014 invasion of Crimea and its interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In the aftermath of the election, investigations by Congress and the US Department of Justice have explored potential business ties between Russia and members of President Trump’s administration. While several of Trump’s campaign and business associates have come under scrutiny, until now no business connections have been reported between senior Trump administration officials and members of Putin’s family or inner circle.

During his confirmation process, Mr Ross was asked repeatedly about his business ties to Russia, mostly related to his former role as vice chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, which has a long history of financing Russian oligarchs. “The United States Senate and the American public deserve to know the full extent of your connections with Russia and your knowledge of any ties between the Trump Administration, Trump Campaign, or Trump Organisation and the Bank of Cyprus,” a group of five Democratic senators wrote to Mr Ross after the hearing but prior to his confirmation. Mr Ross responded briefly to a question submitted for the hearing, saying the Russians who invested in the bank “were not my partners,” but didn’t respond to the senators’ letter.

He was also asked about his shipping holdings and whether they could pose a conflict of interest with his duties at the US Department of Commerce. But he faced no questions about Navigator – where he once was chairman of the board – and its relationship with Sibur.

Sibur is “a company with crony connections,” said Daniel Fried, a Russia expert who served in senior State Department posts in both Republican and Democratic administrations. “Why would any officer of the US government have any relationship with a Putin crony?”

Another of Navigator’s major customers is PDVSA, the Venezuelan state oil company owned by the authoritarian regime of Nicolas Maduro. The Trump administration sanctioned one current and one former executive at PDVSA in July 2017, and sanctioned the company itself the next month.

Commerce and conflict

The commerce secretary’s indirect business connection with Mr Putin’s son-in-law and oligarch allies emerges from an examination of public records and a leak of millions of offshore financial documents from the Bermuda law firm Appleby obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its global network of media partners, including The Irish Times. The project is called the Paradise Papers. They represent the inner workings of Appleby from the 1950s until 2016. The files include documents from Appleby’s corporate services division, which became independent in 2016 under the name Estera.

The leaked files showed a chain of companies and partnerships in the Cayman Islands through which Ross has retained his financial stake in Navigator.

The fact that Mr Ross’s Cayman Islands companies benefit from a firm controlled by Putin proxies raises serious potential conflicts of interest, experts say. As commerce secretary, Mr Ross has the power to influence US trade, sanctions and other policies that could affect Sibur’s owners. Likewise, Sibur’s owners, and through them, Mr Putin himself, could have the ability to increase or decrease Sibur’s business with Navigator even as Mr Ross helps steer US policy.

Richard Painter, who served as chief ethics lawyer during the George W Bush administration, said Mr Ross might have to recuse himself from a range of sanctions decisions. He added that while there was no inherent violation in Mr Ross’s holdings, the Navigator arrangement warrants closer scrutiny.

“Apart from those legal issues, I’d be very concerned that someone in the US government was making money from dealing with the Russians, and I’d want to know the facts,” Mr Painter said.

Layers and layers and layers and layers

Before joining the Trump cabinet, the 79-year-old Mr Ross was a titan in the world of private equity, rounding up investors from around the world to put money into troubled companies in the hope of profitably turning them around. When all went well, he and his firm made money not only on their investments and management fees, but also from a compensation system that allows the general partners, who manage private equity funds, to earn 20 per cent of any profits that exceed a certain level.

Many of the private equity funds involved in these investments were created and administered by Appleby, an offshore law firm headquartered in Bermuda. The leaked files offer a window into how Appleby helped his firm, WL Ross & Co, LLC, reap the benefits of offshore havens such as the Cayman Islands, a British territory that permits extraordinary levels of financial secrecy and allows paper companies run from New York and elsewhere to operate there tax-free. In 2015, the Cayman Islands was ranked fifth by the Financial Secrecy Index in its worldwide ratings.

Creating offshore funds organised as corporations can be a major draw for certain investors, by allowing US tax exempt organisations – including huge pension funds and richly endowed universities – to sidestep an Internal Revenue Service rule the requires them to pay taxes on income obtained using borrowed money. They also help attract non-US investors because their names aren’t disclosed to tax authorities in the United States.

General partners in offshore private equity enjoy generous tax breaks in the United States as well, including the ability to count the biggest share of their earnings from the fund as a long-term capital gains, rather than ordinary income. This allows the wealthiest fund managers to reduce their taxes on these earnings from the top US tax rate of 39.6 per cent to 20 per cent.

When he was nominated as commerce secretary, Mr Ross filed an agreement with the federal Office of Government Ethics that said he intended to divest 80 companies and partnerships, but would keep a stake in nine others that held assets in “real estate financing and mortgage lending” and “transoceanic shipping.” The assets were not specified. Even though he had sold WL Ross & Co to Invesco in 2006, he remained active as chair and CEO until resigning to join the cabinet.

His financial disclosure form, also filed with the US Office of Government Ethics, runs to 57 pages and includes a long list under the heading, “Employment Assets & Income and Retirement Accounts.” This list is broken down into sections listing assets that appear to be held by each of Mr Ross’s companies, detailing as many as seven layers of entities between Ross and the assets he holds.

Buried in a multitude of subsections appear four cryptically named Cayman Islands entities that are among those he said he was keeping: WLR Recovery Associates IV DSS AIV, GP; WLR Recovery Associates IV DSS AIV, LP; WLR Recovery Associates V DSS AIV, GP and WLR Recovery Associates V DSS AIV, LP. All four companies are administered by the Appleby law firm. “Navigator Holdings” is listed among the assets these companies held, but, consistent with the format of the disclosure form, no details about the company or its relationship with Sibur are provided.

The complexity of the offshore structures adds legal and reputational distance and obscures the full extent of Ross’s business relationships even as it allows him to profit from them, according to tax and ethics experts consulted by ICIJ.

Mr Ross’s disclosure values his combined current stake in the offshore entities that hold Navigator shares at between $2.05 million to $10.1 million. But it is not certain what his total holdings are because he did not list a value for one of the four entities he retained. It is not apparent why or whether a value was omitted. His share represents a fraction of the entities’ overall 31.5 percent stake in Navigator, which based on the firm’s stock price on Oct. 30, 2017, is worth roughly $179 million.

The value of Mr Ross’s investment could change substantially by the time the funds that hold Navigator shares wind up – and holds a significant upside. If the funds performs well enough, the general partnerships in which he is invested stands to receive 20 per cent of the entire funds’ profits.

In addition, Mr Ross has reported billions in assets to Forbes that did not appear on his government disclosure forms, which he later told the magazine he has placed in trusts that benefit his family members.

“The disclosure requirements weren’t written with Wilbur Ross in mind,” said Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University who is an expert on government ethics, “and I don’t think adequately provide the public or a government ethics official with an understanding of the wide variety of financial interests that he has.”

Ross hits a home run

Mr Ross started investing in Navigator in 2011, when WL Ross & Co. acquired a 19.4 per cent stake, and the firm was granted two seats on its board, one of which Ross filled himself early the next year. A few months later, with a bankruptcy court judge’s approval, WL Ross acquired a block of shares from the bankrupt financial services firm Lehman Brothers, becoming Navigator’s majority shareholder.

In November 2013, Navigator went public. Shares that WL Ross had bought for about $8 each were put on the market at $19. Afterwards Mr Ross bragged at a conference for shipping investors that the investment had been “a home run.”

Mr Ross stepped down from Navigator’s board the next year after he became vice chairman of the struggling Bank of Cyprus, which was well known for its dealings with Russian oligarchs. His Navigator board seat was taken by Wendy Teramoto, managing director and partner of WL Ross & Co., who herself stepped down in 2017 to become Ross’ chief of staff at the Commerce Department.

Navigator meets Sibur

About the same time it began selling shares to the public, Navigator struck up a relationship with Sibur, exclusively chartering two liquified petroleum gas carriers to transport Sibur’s growing LPG exports to Europe.

Like many Russian energy companies, Sibur was created by the Russian state. Founded in 1995, the firm produces petrochemical products including LPG, which contains propane and butane and is used for heating appliances, cooking equipment and some motor vehicles. Sibur was bought several years later by the state-controlled gas company Gazprom. In 2010, Gazprom sold Sibur to Mr Timchenko and Mr Mikhelson.

Amos Hochstein, the top US energy diplomat during the Obama administration, said Mikhelson and Timchenko’s trajectories were typical of Russian energy moguls who have grown rich under the public corruption and crony capitalism that are hallmarks of Putin’s long rule.

“This is not John D Rockefeller here,” Mr Hochstein said. “They became close to Putin, loyal to Putin, got state assets and got rich.”

The Russian government continues to favor Sibur. In 2013, a government program helped build Sibur’s $700 million terminal in Ust-Luga, the Baltic port where Navigator ships pick up its LPG exports, deeming it “a project of national importance.”

After Russia’s invasion of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, the United States and other western nations imposed economic sanctions on key Putin allies, including Sibur’s second largest shareholder, Mr Timchenko. A few months later, the United States barred banks from providing long-term financing to a gas company belonging to Sibur’s largest shareholder, Mr Mikhelson.

Sibur itself was not targeted, but western banks, including Bank of America and the Royal Bank of Scotland, backed away from loans to the company, according to news reports.

The Russian government again stepped in to help. In May 2014, a consortium led by a state-run bank affiliated with the energy company Gazprom and a state investment fund bought the Ust-Luga terminal from Sibur and pledged to expand export capacity while allowing Sibur to remain the terminal’s sole exporter of LPG.

In September 2014, with sanctions pressure growing, Mr Timchenko sold a 17 percent stake in Sibur to Mr Shamalov, increasing Mr Putin’s son-in-law’s stake to more than 20 per cent of the company. The purchase by the 32-year-old was financed by a $1.3 billion loan from state-owned Gazprombank. Mr Shamalov later sold part of his stake to other investors, reducing his interest to 3.9 per cent by April 2017 but remaining on Sibur’s board of directors. The Putin son-in-law’s profit or loss on the transactions could not be determined.

“When you start doing business with Russian energy companies like Gazprom and Sibur, you’re not just getting into bed with the company,” said Mr Hochstein, the former State Department energy policy co-ordinator. “You’re getting into bed with the Russian state.”

In 2014, Appleby dropped Mr Mikhelson as a client, declining to manage a company for his private jet because of the sanctions against his businesses, according to the leaked records.

Despite the turmoil, the Navigator-Sibur relationship continued to grow. From 2014 to 2015, the shipper’s revenue from Sibur jumped from 5.3 per cent ($16.2 million) to 9.1 per cent ($28.7 million) of total revenue, making the company one of Navigator’s top five clients, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, before sliding down to 7.9 per cent ($23.2 million) of revenue last year. This year, Navigator doubled the fleet dedicated to Sibur exports, acquiring two new vessels and chartering them to the Russian energy company. The ships were named Navigator Luga and Navigator Yauza, after Russian rivers.

In a conference call with investors in 2016, Navigator CEO David Butters said his company benefited as Sibur made inroads to the European energy market over American competitors.

“Russia is pipelining as much natural gas as needed into Europe, and liquids are being shipped into all areas of the continent in increasing amounts, all in competition with longer haul US exports,” Mr Butters said.

A toast

On November 30th, 2016, hours after being nominated as commerce secretary, Mr Ross celebrated at Gramercy Tavern, a tony Manhattan restaurant, at an event hosted by Navigator Holdings. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, he and Butters both arrived early to the chandeliered private room and had a conversation.

“Your interest is aligned to mine,” Butters recalls Ross saying, according to Bloomberg. “The U.S. economy will grow, and Navigator will be a beneficiary.”

Butters told Bloomberg that as other guests arrived and tucked into sherry-sauce sea bass and pear buckle, they took turns congratulating Ross. “It was like-we have a chance now,” Butters told Bloomberg. “We have a chance to make some differences.”

Making billions from bankruptcies

The son of a lawyer-turned-judge and a school teacher, Mr Ross was raised in suburban New Jersey, and graduated from Yale and Harvard Business School. In the late 1970s, he joined the British investment banking firm Rothschild Group, eventually rising to lead the firm’s bankruptcy advisory practice.

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross speaks during an Economic Club of New York event in New York on Wednesday. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross speaks during an Economic Club of New York event in New York on Wednesday. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

He met Donald Trump in 1990, when the future president’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City was experiencing financial trouble, and Mr Ross represented a group of bondholders. Mr Ross engineered a deal that preserved a stake in the company for Mr Trump, reportedly telling disgruntled bondholders that the Trump name was “still very much an asset.” It was a welcome assist for the future president.

In the 1990s, President Bill Clinton appointed Mr Ross to the board of the US-Russia Investment Fund, established by the US government to make investments and promote American business interests in Russia.

In 2000, Mr Ross founded WL Ross & Co., LLC, a New York-based private equity firm that assembles money from investors into funds that invest in struggling companies with the goal of turning them around and selling them for a profit. The new firm quickly thrived. It engineered the purchase of bankrupt American steel producers, then reaped huge profits when the Bush administration imposed a 30 per cent tariff on steel imports in March 2002.

His newly formed International Steel Group went public the following year and was acquired by Luxembourg giant ArcelorMittal in 2005. Mr Ross’ firm went on to invest in other struggling American industries, including textiles in the South and coal in Appalachia. Mr Ross himself gained a reputation as a financier who breathed life into industries others had left for dead.

But his business practices have also drawn criticism for moving American jobs overseas to improve profits. A Reuters’ analysis of US Labor Department statistics found that Mr Ross takeovers resulted in the loss of 2,700 US jobs in car parts, mortgage finance and the textile industry by shifting production abroad, benefiting, among others, Mexico, India, China and Nicaragua.

His private equity firm has also run afoul of securities regulations that require full and candid disclosure in dealing with investors. In August 2016, the SEC announced an enforcement action against WL Ross & Co for overcharging investors for management fees by changing the formula for calculating the fees without telling them. Without admitting or denying wrongdoing, WL Ross agreed to repay $10.4 million to investors and $2.3 million in civil penalties.

Over the years, Mr Ross has climbed to the ranks of America’s wealthiest individuals, with a fortune estimated by Forbes in September 2017 at $2.5 billion, and lived like it. He and his wife own a Palm Beach villa down the road from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, another house in Southampton, NY, and a third home in Manhattan. They also own an art collection with a value that Bloomberg has estimated at $250 million, including a collection of the surrealist painter Rene Magritte valued at $100 million. Mr Ross was also leader – known as the Grand Swipe – of a secret Wall Street fraternity called Kappa Beta Phi and in 2012 presided over an annual ceremony in which initiates performed song-and-dance routines in drag during a feast of lamb and foie gras at a Manhattan hotel.

Mr Ross has dismissed the idea that the very wealthiest have unfair advantages, arguing in 2014 that “the 1 per cent is being picked on for political reasons.” He added: “Education is the way that people get out of the ghetto and into, if not the 1 percent, something close to it.”

Mr Trump said he nominated Mr Ross because he admires his wealth and ferocious drive. “I’d like to put on a guy that failed all his life, but we don’t want that, do we?” Trump said at a post-election victory rally in Ohio. “No, I put on a killer.”

As it expanded, WL Ross & Co. set up an increasing number of entities in offshore tax havens, many in the Cayman Islands. The British territory in the Caribbean levies no corporate or income tax on money earned outside the jurisdiction and requires little disclosure of corporate ownership. This has made the Caymans a popular destination with U.S. private equity managers for setting up their funds.

Appleby has been a key advisor and service provider. The global offshore law firm has administered more than 50 Cayman Island companies for WL Ross & Co., the law firm’s records show. In 2005, for instance, WL Ross & Co. acquired the German rail car and logistics company VTG, which later expanded into Russia and Eastern Europe. Appleby’s files include a group of five Cayman Islands companies whose names include “Euro Wagon” that were used to hold and manage VTG shares.

Appleby wooed WL Ross & Co executives at events it hosted, including at the US Open tennis tournament, and employees congratulated each other as the company’s holdings grew. The law firm reduced due diligence requirements for the Ross-related companies, designating them low risk and qualifying for decreased scrutiny under Cayman laws regulating law firms’ responsibility to investigate clients. “This is absolutely fantastic Sabine,” wrote Appleby attorney Matthew Taber, when compliance officer Sabine Calvetti delivered the news. “100 per cent spot on and really great work.”

In 2014, the Ross group was one of Appleby’s top 20 clients based on the number of companies administered.

Appleby’s files show that the four companies Ross retained are in two parallel chains of ownership, with Ross himself at the top. According to Appleby records, Ross is a shareholder and was a director of two companies established in July 2011 as general partners to control two other WL Ross & Co entities that invested in the shipping industry, which, in turn, control two WL Ross Group funds.

These funds invested in several shipping companies, including Navigator, according to SEC filings and Ross’ ethics disclosures.

In all, Mr Ross’s former firm, WL Ross & Co., is Navigator’s largest shareholder, owning 39.4 percent of Navigator through companies it controls. When he became commerce secretary, Ross kept his personal financial interest in some of the WL Ross entities but resigned from managing them. The ones he kept a stake in, which also include other investors, own a substantial part of the larger stake with 31.5 percent of the shipping company’s stock.

Federal ethics law requires officials to recuse themselves from matters that would have “a direct and predictable” effect on the official’s or a family member’s financial interest or if the official has a close relationship that might cause a reasonable person to doubt the official’s impartiality.

During his confirmation hearings, Mr Ross sought to reassure senators that he would avoid any conflicts of interest between his business holdings and his cabinet post. “I intend to be quite scrupulous about recusal and any topic where there is the slightest scintilla of doubt,” he said.

Bastian Obermayer, Frederik Obermaier, Rigoberto Carvajal and Inti Pacheco also contributed to this story.

Sunday, November 5, 2017, 17:55

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Shocking Budget For The Rich and Attacks on U. S. Working Class Proposed by Trump

Bernie Sanders: Republicans step up their assault on working-class America

Last Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017, 13:44

After failing to pass a “healthcare” Bill that would have thrown up to 32 million Americans off of health insurance, a Bill that was more unpopular than the Wall Street bailout, Donald Trump and the Republican leadership in congress are back. Now, they are pushing one of the most destructive and unfair budget and tax proposals in the modern history of our country – a plan that would do incalculable harm to tens of millions of working families, our kids, the sick, the elderly and the poor. The Republican budget, which will likely be debated on the floor of the US Senate this week, is the Robin Hood principle in reverse. It takes from those in need and gives to those who are already living in incredible opulence. Trump and Republican leaders claim their plan would provide a “big league” tax cut for the middle class. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, by the end of the decade, nearly 80 per cent of the tax benefits of the Republican plan would go to the top one per cent and 40 per cent would go to the top one-tenth of one per cent.

While the Republicans want to give a $1.9 trillion tax break to the top one percent, they are proposing massive cuts in programmes that working-class Americans desperately need.

This budget cuts Medicaid by more than $1 trillion over 10 years – which would throw some 15 million Americans off of the health insurance they currently have. Further, this budget does what the Republicans have not yet attempted to do in their previous healthcare legislation and that is to make a $473 billion cut to Medicare, despite Trump’s campaign promises not to cut these programmes.

Poll after poll after poll tells us that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not want congress to cut Medicare or Medicaid and they do not want to provide tax breaks to the wealthy or large corporations.

A recent Pew Foundation poll found that 85 per cent of Republicans and 94 per cent of Democrats want to either maintain or increase funding for Medicare. And 60 per cent of Americans oppose slashing Medicaid, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.

A recent Wall Street Journal and NBC poll found that only 12 per cent of the American people believe the wealthy should receive a tax cut; while 62 per cent believe the wealthy should pay more in taxes. Why are the Republicans bringing forth such an absurd budget that, in almost every instance, is diametrically opposed to what the American people want? The answer isn’t complicated. Follow the money.

Corrupt

Today, we have a corrupt campaign finance system that enables multibillionaires, along with some of the most powerful chief executives in America, to contribute many hundreds of millions of dollars to elect Republican candidates to represent their views. As a result, the top one per cent has been able to rig the political system to favour them at the expense of virtually everyone else.

Here are just a few examples. The Republican budget would give the richest family in America, the Walton family of Wal-Mart, a tax cut of up to $52 billion by repealing the estate tax – a tax that only applies to multimillionaires and billionaires. But, if you are a lower income senior citizen you and more than 700,000 other families may not be able to keep your home warm in the winter because of a cut of about $4 billion to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This budget says that if you are the second-wealthiest family in America, the Koch brothers, you will see a tax break of up to $33 billion. But if you are a working-class student trying to figure out how you could possibly afford college, your dream of a college education could evaporate along with 8 million other students because of more than $100 billion in cuts to Pell Grants and other student financial assistance programmes.

This budget gives members of the Trump family a tax cut of up to $4 billion, but if you are a low-income pregnant woman you and 1.2 million new mothers, babies, and toddlers may not be able to get the nutrition you need thanks to a $6.5 billion cut to the Women, Infants, and Children programme. What is alarming is that despite this incredible giveaway for the billionaire class, the Koch brothers and their network say that it’s not enough.

When David Koch ran for vice-president under the Libertarian Party in 1980, he advocated not just to cut Medicare and Medicaid, he wanted to abolish these programmes. He didn’t just want to cut taxes for the wealthy he wanted to eliminate all forms of taxation. At a time when the middle class is shrinking and over 40 million Americans are living in poverty, this budget must be defeated and replaced with a plan that reflects the needs of the working families of our country, not just the wealthy, the powerful and large campaign contributors.

Bernie Sanders is a US senator and sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016

Guardian Service

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Budget 2018- Dáil Eireann Tuesday 10th October 2017  Deputy Seamus Healy:

 Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and The Independent Alliance are determined to Protect the incomes and Assets of the Super-Rich from Fair Taxation at All Costs-That is why the Crises in Housing and Health are set to Continue  after this Budget .Government has ignored calls from ICTU, St Vincent De Paul Society, Focus Ireland, and 31 TDs to Formally Declare a National Housing Emergency. Reasonable persuasion has failed. It is time for Action on Streets.

“Today’s budget is shamefully inadequate, given the extreme crisis in housing and health and the need to restore cuts in welfare, disability provision, public service pay and pensions and many other areas. Some might say today’s budget is a missed opportunity, but not so.

It is, rather, a conscious decision, a conscious and deliberate policy, by Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil to protect the massive increase in wealth of the Irish super-rich from fair taxation and to make further tax concessions to them.

Prudent budgeting does not require limiting of spending to the shamefully low figures in today’s budget. The European Union fiscal treaty does not require it either but it does not forbid extra revenue-raising, provided it is recurrent. Significant additional income could have been raised if the Government was prepared to make the super-rich pay their fair share of taxation.

Here are the facts. On GDP per head, Ireland is wealthier than Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Italy. Overall, Ireland is ranked eighth in the world. The richest 12 in Ireland have €50 billion in total assets, having gained €6 billion in the last year alone. The top 300 have €100 billion, having gained €12 billion in the last year alone. The financial assets of the top 10% are €37 billion above the peak boom levels of 2006. The top 10,000 of personal income recipients have incomes totalling €6 billion per year, or average incomes of €600,000 per year each, and they have received the full benefit of income tax and USC reductions in the last two budgets and again today. The top 5% of all income recipients, on average incomes of €180,000, have received income tax and USC reductions in the last two budgets totalling €172 million. Today, they again benefit to the full from income tax and USC changes. Today, again, the fabulously wealthy will escape any additional imposition on their massive and growing wealth. In fact, they get €90 million out of today’s budget.

This is a regressive budget. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in its pre-budget submission correctly stated that Government policy has created an unequal nation. The society stated that the top 1% increased its share of income by 20%, but the share of income of the bottom 50% has fallen by 15%, and one in four one-parent families lives in consistent poverty. Government policy is shameful, cruel and anti-human. It makes the British landlords of old appear like charitable figures by comparison. There is one simple explanation. Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil are determined to protect the Irish super-rich from fair taxation.

First, tax and USC relief on the top 10,000 income recipients should be withdrawn, giving a saving of some €10 million. Instead, a higher marginal tax rate should be imposed on all individual incomes over €150,000 per year. A wealth and assets tax must be imposed on the super-rich while protecting small property owners. Skilled Department of Finance accountants will have no difficulty in sourcing three times the revenue the State is collecting solely by extra taxes on the super-rich. For example, the wealthiest 12 would hardly miss €1 billion out of the €6 billion they have gained in the last year alone and the top 10% of financial asset holders would hardly miss €1 billion from the €35 billion above what they had at peak boom levels in 2006. These measures would transform the Government’s ability to spend on housing and health, but the Government and Fianna Fáil are protecting the super-rich.

Housing and Homelessness

 

Today is world homelessness day. The proposals in this budget in respect of housing are scandalous. The Government’s policy of relying on developers and the market to solve the housing emergency has been a disaster for families, yet this policy is continued in today’s budget, again showing the support by Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance and Fianna Fáil for the rich and powerful in our society. There is no change in housing policy in this budget. Not a single addition house will be built as a result of the budget proposals. The Government is persisting with its disastrous housing policy and, outrageously, it is continuing to evict families from their homes into a horrendous housing crisis through the banks it itself owns, Allied Irish Banks and permanent tsb. The Government policy of reliance on the market has created a housing emergency, rising homelessness, rising non-affordability and rising rents. The conscious decisions by successive Governments to outsource house building to a profit-dominated, land-speculative, developer-led market has created homelessness and deaths on our streets. The market system has failed and is entirely dysfunctional. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are affected and large numbers of children are being damaged.

Over 90,000 families languish on local authority housing waiting lists, a figure that has doubled since 2005.More than 20,000 families are on housing assistance payment schemes. This is a disaster for the families and a bonanza for the landlords. Families are paying rent to the local authority and significant top ups to landlords and at the end of the week, the families do not have two cents to rub together. An illness, a death, a first holy communion or a confirmation can drive them into debt and into the hands of moneylenders. Many more thousands are homeless. Currently more than 8,000 people, including some 3,000 children, are homeless. Many more are homeless who are sleeping on couches or doubling up with relatives. The proposals for housing in the budget are cruelly inadequate. We must have a housing policy change. We need a declaration of a national housing emergency. We must stop the voluntary surrender of homes, the so-called voluntary sale of homes, repossessions and evictions. We need a major, emergency, local authority social and affordable house building programme. This would be a win-win situation for all with additional jobs, less social welfare payments and more income tax. We also need to repeal the law that allows vulture funds and purchasers to evict sitting tenants.

The only explanation for the housing debacle – as I have already said – is the determination of Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance, supported by Fianna Fáil, to put the interests of the Irish super-rich above all else. These parties have opposed the formal declaration of a national housing emergency. Under the constitutional articles in respect of private property, the formal declaration of a housing emergency by the Oireachtas would enable legislation to be passed that would end evictions, freeze rents and provide for the compulsory purchase of land and buildings. The Government has already used emergency legislation to confiscate private property through the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2015, but when the property interests of the super-rich are at stake, the Government refuses to act.

National Demonstration/People Power

Through mass action on the streets, we forced the Government to retreat on water charges. We must do the same on housing. I will be calling a meeting of the 31 Deputies who voted in support of my amendment to the housing Bill last December. That amendment called for the declaration of a housing emergency. I will ask Deputies to call a national demonstration to force a change in housing policy. The Government has ignored the calls made by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Focus Ireland and other advocacy groups to declare a housing emergency and to build sufficient public homes to rapidly reduce homelessness and the local authority waiting lists. I will ask all those bodies to join a national demonstration. Reasonable persuasion has failed. The Government has refused to listen and the time for talking is now over. It is time to take action.

Health Services

What does the Taoiseach’s republic of opportunity look like for people who need to use our health services? It means 675,000 people on hospital waiting lists. Today, there were 514 people on hospital trolleys. In my town of Clonmel, in 2011 there were 750 people on trolleys in South Tipperary General Hospital – the year the last Fine Gael and the Labour Party Government came to power – and in 2017 that figure will be 7,000 people. We have huge waiting lists for various services. Urgent cases in urology services will be called in 48 months. That is four years. People are waiting two years for audiology services, anything up to four years for orthopaedic services and up to two years for cataract operations. Families waiting on assessments for children who have a disability, and who by law are entitled to assessment within three months of referral, are now being told they must wait for two years. Home helps and care assistants are run off their feet providing the 45 minutes of care in people’s homes. It goes on and on.

Today’s budget made no mention of the funding for the Sláintecare programme. We have been told that to provide the same level of service in 2018 as in 2017, including the requirements for demographic changes, would cost €900 million. Today, the health budget was allocated €685 million.

Disability Services

The disability community is bitterly disappointed tonight as its 643,000 members have been sidelined again with a very minor increase of around €15 million. There was no mention whatsoever of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. To add insult to injury, in today’s budget we were told that the Taoiseach’s media quango, which was supposed to cost the State nothing – zilch – is going to cost €5 million. This will be used to spin, to gild the lily and to tell us half-truths. The health service also has a pay apartheid where young nurses are paid less than colleagues who work alongside them while doing the same work.

Mental Health Services

The mental health services remain the Cinderella of the health service. A Vision for Change, published way back in 2006, is still not funded, resourced or staffed. Community-based teams are a shadow of what they should be under the Vision for Change programme. There are not enough nurses, medical staff or paramedical staff. In my county of Tipperary, services have been completely decimated with inpatient services transferred to Kilkenny and to Ennis. The community-based services, which were supposed to be of Rolls Royce standard to compensate for the transferred inpatient services, are a shadow of the previous services. They are under-funded and under-staffed.

Mental Health Reform said tonight that “We are deeply concerned that essential mental health services will not be in place for people in mental distress who need them, and that new developments including expanding access to out-of-hours mental health services will not be possible”. They are deeply disappointed that a promised €35 million has transpired to be only €11.3 million. It was pointed out recently that a €65 million increase would be needed to maintain existing services and to provide for demographic changes.

Social Welfare

While any increase is welcome, the social welfare increases are paltry. An increase of €5 per week will not come into effect until the last week of March 2018. These increases will be wiped out by already announced and future increases in electricity, gas, rents, bin charges, health insurance, car insurance and cigarettes.

The treatment of children in this budget is absolutely despicable and an insult. There is no child benefit increase at all. There is a €2 per week increase for the dependent child allowance. This is in the context of 3,000 children who are homeless and 132,000 children living in consistent poverty. This is 11.5 % of the total child population.

Indeed, Barnardos stated tonight that these increases are unacceptable. We should have done a lot more for the children of the nation who we are supposed to look after, given that one in four one-parent families lives in consistent poverty. The organisation, One Family, stated tonight that it is disappointed with the proposals and that much more must be done to lift one-parent families out of Government-created poverty.

State Pension – Women – Age

There were two other areas in the social welfare budget that the Government should have addressed as a matter of urgency. It has been asked to address these matters urgently by Members on all sides of the House. I refer to the State pension for women who took time out to look after and rear families and now find themselves with zero or reduced pensions. It is time to ensure that the changes introduced by Deputy Burton when she was leader of the Labour Party are reversed and that those women get proper State pension payments. I refer also to the age at which pension entitlements accrue. It has gone to 66 and will go to 68. There is even talk of it going to 70. That should be reversed and the age should revert to 65. If individuals want to work beyond 65, it should be optional. Certainly, however, the pension age should revert to 65.

Education

Turning to education, while the reduction in the pupil-teacher ratio from 27:1 to 26:1 is welcome, we continue to have the second largest class sizes in Europe. Only the UK has larger class sizes. The average pupil-teacher ratio in Europe is 20:1, which shows how far we have to go. School communities and parents will be deeply disappointed that the capitation grant has not been increased. There is huge pressure on parents to make payments to schools, to run cake sales and draws and to otherwise support schools. Capitation payments must be increased.

Banks

The mark of this budget is the fact that AIB and permanent tsb, two banks which we, the people, bailed out, will now be tax free for another 21 years. That is absolutely unacceptable. As someone else said, this is a budget of bits and bobs. There is nothing substantial in it for ordinary families or, indeed, public services. It is a budget for the wealthy at the expense of public services, those who are homeless, those seeking housing and those who are patients in our hospitals.”

Seamus Healy T.D.

Tel 087 2802199

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Almost 22,000 Irish People Have Incomes Between 200,000 Euro and 2 million Euro Per Year!!!-Minister for Finance

They All Got The Same Tax Relief as a Person receiving 70,000 Euro per annum in the last two budgets

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s 300 richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The Richest 12 gained 6 billion of this.It was was a Tax Free Gain

SHOCK!! RTE MENTIONS THAT INDIVIDUALS EARN MILLIONS IN PRIVATE SECTOR  FOR FIRST TIME IN YEARS!

RTE  Commercial Director ,Willie O’Reilly, WAS DEFENDING THE SALARIES OF ITS TOP 10 BROADCASTERS

But why did they not tell us before that 3,334 persons in the private sector earn more than the current salary of top RTe earner Ryan-Tubridy on Euro 495,000?

PQ Reply By Minister For Finance Michael Noonan to Seamus Healy TD

After Budget 2012

Summary 

Between Euro  200,000 per year and over 2million per year   Number of Income Recipients=    21,864

Top 10,000 have average income of 595,000 per year

Top 10,000     Total Income per year= €5.959Billion   Average Income per year   €595,900

Number earning over   0.5 million= 3,334

Number earning over  €1 million=657

Number Earning over  €2 million=120

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RICH TO GET TAX CUTS IN BUDGET 2018 FUNDED BY SPENDING CUTS-VERADKAR

NO MENTION OF TAXING THE FINANCIAL ASSETS OF THE SUPER-RICH-NOW 37 BILLION EURO ABOVE PEAK BOOM LEVEL IN 2006-THE REAL “HIDDEN FISCAL SPACE”-(PH)

Extracts from Irish Independent 29/06/2017

Tax cuts for hard-working families will trump social welfare increases in next year’s budget, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has indicated.. . 

The Taoiseach is “determined” to find money for tax cuts in the next budget but is “not sure” if it will be possible to increase weekly payments for people with disabilities and carers.. . . 

However, in the clearest sign yet of his plans for Budget 2018, Mr Varadkar said the Government would “find some space to increase the take home pay of two million people who work really hard in this country, who get up every day, go to work, pay the taxes that make everything else possible”.. . . 

Mr Varadkar also revealed that the Government was considering cutting current public spending in certain areas to free up cash. The Taoiseach questioned whether existing spending programmes represent the best use of resources.. . . 

“If 1pc or 2pc of that could be re-allocated, we would have another billion. This is the hidden ‘fiscal space’.. . . 

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The worth of the 300 wealthiest people in Ireland has hit €100bn, following a bumper year for property, bonds, stocks and other assets.

The greater part of the wealth of the these ultra-rich is usually in investments or financial assets. This means that there no tax of any kind on over 50 billion of these assets

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The total was boosted by some significant gains in the tech sector.

According to estimates, well-invested portfolios of wealthy individuals were up by 8pc or more last year, with the MSCI World Index, a global measure of stock exchanges, up 8.15pc by the end of 2016. Several asset classes grew more than this, particularly some tech stocks. 

Of the top 300, the top 12 has as much wealth as the other 288!!!

The Top 12 have more than  50 billion in assets !!!!!

Surely they could be required to pay a few billion to the state in tax each year?

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Worth of Ireland’s top 300 wealthiest soars above €100bn

Significant gains for the super-rich in Sunday Independent Rich List

According to estimates, well-invested portfolios of wealthy individuals were up by 8pc or more last year’ Stock photo

Samantha McCaughren Business Editor, Sunday Independent

April 2 2017 2:30 AM

The worth of the 300 wealthiest people in Ireland has hit €100bn, following a bumper year for property, bonds, stocks and other assets.

According to the Sunday Independent Rich List, the estimated wealth of the country’s richest people has increased by over €12bn to €100.03bn on last year’s numbers. The total was boosted by some significant gains in the tech sector.

One of the most noteworthy performances came from Limerick brothers John (26) and Patrick (28) Collison, the founders of payments company Stripe. Last year, their wealth was estimated to be €1.38bn. But both brothers became billionaires in their own right since then, when Stripe’s latest fundraising gave the company a $9bn (€8.4bn) valuation. The Collisons are believed to now hold at least 12pc each, making John the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.

Others to have joined the list of billionaires include Eugene Murtagh of insulation maker Kingspan, which has enjoyed a share price increase of more than 25pc since early 2016. His holdings are now worth around €900m, while he has other assets.

Paul Coulson, chairman of packaging giant Ardagh, also saw a significant boost to his wealth following the flotation of the company on the New York Stock Exchange. His stake is now valued at €1.5bn, significantly higher than the previous estimate.

The Mistry family top the rankings once again, with a total wealth of €15.4bn. Pallonji Mistry (87) is a reclusive Indian tycoon with an Irish passport, and is married to Dublin-born Patsy Perin Dubash.

The wealthiest Irish-born individual is Denis O’Brien, a shareholder in Independent News & Media, publisher of this newspaper. His wealth is estimated to be €4.9bn.

There are 12 new entries, including James Murphy, whose health and beauty products company Lifes2Good sold its hair business to US corporation Church & Dwight for €150m.

According to estimates, well-invested portfolios of wealthy individuals were up by 8pc or more last year, with the MSCI World Index, a global measure of stock exchanges, up 8.15pc by the end of 2016. Several asset classes grew more than this, particularly some tech stocks.

While 2017 got off to a good start, concerns are emerging about the impact US president Donald Trump’s policies will have on the world economy.

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Ireland gains 5,000 millionaires in 2016 as asset values rise-Wealth Report 2017

Looking specifically at Dublin, the report shows that the city is now home to a third of Ireland’s millionaire population, at 28,200, and 1,060 multimillionaires.(below)

But  Bertie’s Boom-time  Adviser and Progressive Democrat Founder, Gerard Howlin,  Advocates INCREASED TAXATION of the OLD and the LOWLY PAID-Irish Examiner (further down)

Number of Irish Millionaires Increases by 5,000 in 2016

Fiona Reddan    Irish Times

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 00:01

Almost 5,000 Irish people became millionaires last year, thanks to a combination of rising asset and property values.

And the rich are going to continue to get even richer – according to the Wealth Report 2017 from estate agent Knight Frank, which says some 24,900 more Irish people will be millionaires by 2026.

According to the annual report, there were 83,100 dollar millionaires – with investable assets of more than $1 million (€950,000), excluding their homes – in Ireland last year, up by 6 per cent on 2015.

The number of multimillionaires with over $10 million jumped by 160 to 2,760, while 50 Irish people entered the hallowed realm of the “ultra-high net worth” (over $30 million). That club now has 890 members.

There were, however, no new Irish billionaires last year, with the figure staying static at five. In the 10 years between 2006-2016, the number of Irish with “ultra-high net worth” grew by 25 per cent.

Looking specifically at Dublin, the report shows that the city is now home to a third of Ireland’s millionaire population, at 28,200, and 1,060 multimillionaires.

Some 370 ultra-high net worth individuals now live in Dublin, up by 6 per cent on last year, and this figure is expected to grow by 30 per cent to 481 by 2026 .

Comparison

As a comparison, Paris has 110,900 millionaires, Berlin has 32,800, Brussels is home to 34,700 millionaires, while Buenos Aires has just 15,400.

Overall, the study shows there was a modest rise in the global population of ultra-wealthy people in 2016, reversing last year’s decline. The data is compiled by market research firm New World Wealth.

However, it is not just the rich that are seeing their situation improve. Figures from the Central Bank show household net worth increased by 3.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, with average Irish household wealth now standing at €141,427, largely on the back of rising house prices.


GERARD HOWLIN: Our tax base is too narrow to support our spending profile

Irish Examiner   Wednesday, March 01, 2017

With income tax we are dangerously out of kilter with the tax norms of countries we want to emulate, writes Gerard Howlin

“YOU can’t have a champagne lifestyle on a 7-Up budget son” was well-meant but astringent advice given years ago by a builder, who was doing a job for me. I had lost the run of myself, and he administered a dose of reality.

I can testify that he did a good job — a job that lasted. Regrettably, the days of being addressed as “son” are past. OAP status is still far away, but it’s eerily nearer now than the first flush of youth.

Interesting then to see that from today Simon Harris, the health minister, is reducing prescription charges for over-70s with a medical card by 50c per item from €2.50 to €2 as promised, and the monthly maximum regardless of the number of items from €25 to €20. That’s more like 7up than champagne for sure. And what sort would you be, if you begrudged it? It’s not like the health system has the money, but that doesn’t seem to matter. It will benefit 390,000 people 50c at a time.

From next week, a €5 per week increase in the old age pension kicks in for all pensioners, regardless of income. It’s interesting to look at the difference in tax paid by the old, compared to under-66-year-olds.

Dr Donal de Buirléir of publicpolicy.ie points out that on €20,000 a single pensioner pays €535 less in tax per year. That excludes PRSI, because they don’t pay any. For a married couple over 66, on a joint income of €36,000, the differential rises to €4,716. Their income is effectively tax free.

It’s not champagne, but it’s a lot of return in terms of State services, from health to public transport, all of which require investment, and which the old depend on more. In fact, it’s exorbitant largesse, from a State that can’t afford it. Regrettably, it’s not exceptional asymmetry in our out-of-kilter tax system.

In other news, it seems those of us who paid our water charges are to be refunded. Bizarrely, no consideration is being given to seeking a refund from us to the State, of the €100 hand-out for a “water conservation grant”. This, with new regulations for pint-sized apartments which will be building blocks for future slums, were signature initiatives from former environment minister, Alan Kelly. He is gone, but the debris remains.

It seems we aspire to public services on a par with European norms, but unlike those other countries, we won’t pay a water charge. Fine Gael made a bags of it in government. Fianna Fáil, in opposition, baulked. The entire response was led by a brilliant, but destructive campaign by the Left. They pulled Sinn Féin into line first. Fianna Fáil wasn’t far behind and now it’s the new normal.

It doesn’t add up though. Being a tax haven for the old is a lovely idea. The notion of ‘free’ water is an enjoyable hallucination, but the fact is that our tax base is unsustainably narrow.

Property tax is another Irish giveaway. It was frozen until 2019. Michael Noonan wanted to clear the political runway for successful electoral take-off before polling day, and took an increase off the table. Local authorities, which provide local services, including for the homeless are left without adequate funds. In addition, councillors usually, though not always, further reduce the tax by applying the up to 15% leeway, they have locally.

Then, astonishingly last Christmas, those most prominent in the campaign against water charges, in coalition with several who left their palm prints on reductions in an already modest property tax locally, turn up as Santa Claus in Dublin’s Apollo House, fulminating about those left homeless on the streets. It was the point at which stupidity passed into hypocrisy. It invested new levels of indifference into the refrain of “hey, hey, we won’t pay”.

But all of that is just the small part of the iceberg visible above the surface. The bigger deal is that in the wonderland that is our tax system the top 50% of tax payers pay 96% of personal tax. And top, so you are clear, is everyone earning over €30,000 a year. The remaining 4% of personal tax is paid by 21% of income earners. Extraordinarily 29% who earn, pay nothing. It’s crazy!

Sure, those who pay nothing earn very little. But those who earn very little, depend most on services which in the future, like the recent past, will be the first and hardest hit in a downturn, because our tax base is too narrow to support our spending profile. As with water charges, and property tax, so with income tax we are fundamentally and dangerously out of kilter with the tax norms of countries whose spending habits and service levels we want to emulate.

Last Friday night at the Irish Tax Institute, its president, Mark Barrett, issued a prophetic warning when he said: “We cannot run a country in which a few companies are too big to fail, or in which too few people bear the burden of taxation.”

He quoted the IMF which advised us that “the tax base is essential to minimise the impact of potential shocks and to withstand the upcoming demographics-driven expenditure pressure on the health of public finances as well as to safeguard the current welfare system”.

The minister for finance was sitting beside him. On his watch the percentage of income earners who pay no tax has risen from 12% to 29%. Our take on corporation tax, which is at 15% of exchequer income, is at or above average European levels, is dangerously out of kilter too. The top 10 companies pay fully 40% of it.

Admittedly, a water charge was attempted but it has been aborted. Property tax has been frozen. And then there are the recesses of our Vat system where, astonishingly, half of goods and services successfully elude any charge. More importantly than any single specific is a creeping return to the culture that led to the crash.

That’s all before serious, but imminent, talk on public sector pay. It’s the largely ignored backdrop to what I predict will be angry talk about subsidies for public transport this week. And that’s not to mention what other affront will emerge from an inefficient health service, hostage to vested interests, but which paradoxically is relatively well-funded. It won’t stop demands for more money, in return for precisely no reform though.

‘Equal’ is the preferred Sinn Féin word. ‘Fairness’ is the one Fianna Fáil likes. Further left, there is an entire scrabble set of them. Overheard from Fine Gael’s internal conservation are ruminations about social justice and inclusiveness. As of today, some who are perfectly capable of paying, will pay 50c less for every prescription item. There is €5 for everyone in the audience from next week. Swathes of the population are excused from obligation. It’s unsustainable and uncompetitive. The algae is blooming on the pond again.

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So You Thought Huge Salaries Existed Mainly in the Public Service !! None of the Top 10,000 Income Recipients on an average income of 595,000 Euro per year work in the Public Service.

But now it is revealed:

 Fat Cat Irish Private Bankers earned a total of €50million in pay and bonuses in one year-Irish Mirror

European figures show 26 Irish bankers earned an average of €1.9million each in 2015.

Fat cat Irish bankers earned a total of €50million in pay and bonuses in one year.

European figures show 26 Irish bankers earned an average of €1.9million each in 2015.

The names and companies have not been released but this group was given €14.7million in pay and benefits before sharing an added €37million in bonuses and shares.

Their sky-high salaries were revealed by the European Banking Authority – a leading London-based regulator.

All financial companies must tell the EBA how many staff are paid more than a million per year.

Figures showed the highest paid earned nearly €20million in salary and shares between them while another two, whose roles were not specified, amassed just over €3million.

A further eight investment bankers made €14.3million between them and another eight working in asset management companies shared €13.1 million.

(Executives of State Owned Banks are not included in the above as their remuneration is capped at 500,000 Euro)

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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.

———————————————————————–

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

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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

Jan 23/2017

SINN Féin is no longer the inheritor of the Revolutionary Republican Traditions of the First Dáil as we near the centenary of its first meeting

I carry below the full text of the Democratic Programme of the First Dail. I also carry the full text of speeches given by Michelle O’Neill and Gerry Adams at the Commemorative Meeting organised by Sinn Féin in the Mansion Hiouse, Dublin last Saturday.

The difference etween the Democratic Programme and the Sinn Féin position is very stark. The Democratic Programme is a revolutionary republican document. The Sinn Féin position is totally capitulatory. It fails to mention the growing loss of sovereignty of the Irish people.It calls on the Free State government to become “persuaders for Irish Unity”. The Free State government has surrendered all vestiges of Irish sovereignty to the Franco-German Alliance under the EU Fiscal Treaty. It has put our economic future in the hands of others through total economic reliance on foreign direct investment. Through NAMA and the banks it owns, it is selling off vast amounts of Irish property to Vultures and Foreign investors. This is resulting in increasing homelessness and continuing evictins from homes, farms and small businesses.

The Democratic Programme ,on the other hand, makes the right to private property subordinate to the public good. The reinstatement of this principle is what is required to halt evictions.

When the Bill on which the Constitutional Referendum to Affirm the Fiscal Treaty was passing through the Dáil, Caoimhín Ó Caoláin pointed out in the Dáil that the Treaty “flies in the face of the 1916 Proclamation” ut there was no mention of the Fiscal Treaty of surrender in the Mansion House last Saturday

Clearly Sinn Féin is not the inheritor of the revolutionary republican tradition that inspired the War of Independence

Sinn Fein Position on Irish Unity To-Day

Jan 21  Mansion House, Dulin-98th Anniversary of First Meeting of First Dail

 

Michelle O’Neill MLA calls for inclusive debate on Irish Unity

21 January, 2017

Sinn Féin MLA Michelle O’Neill has called on all sections of society to begin a full and inclusive debate about Irish unity.

Speaking at a Sinn Féin Uniting Ireland event in the Mansion House in Dublin today, Ms O’Neill said;

“The debate around Irish unity is hugely important, perhaps the most important debate many of us will ever be involved in as we move towards what is in my view, inevitable constitutional change in the years ahead.

“We need to see individuals and groups from all sectors of Irish society put forward their own ideas on this issue.

“Obviously, we will have different views on the future but that’s ok. That’s what debate is about.

“There is a place for everyone in the new Ireland that we are building and we genuinely want unionists to be part of the debate, to be part of shaping our future on this small island that we all share.

“Brexit is bad news for the people of Ireland, North and South. Nevertheless, it also opens up a unique opportunity to look again at a future beyond partition, sectarianism and division, and to a new and agreed united Ireland built in the interests of all the people of this island.

“A new and united Ireland will deliver full democracy to the people of the whole island, including the right of people in the North to remain within the EU.

“Sinn Féin has put forward our ideas and will continue to do so in the time ahead.

“What is vital is that an open, inclusive and fully-informed discussion on the future of Ireland involving everyone begins now.”

Imagining a New Republic – Gerry Adams TD

21 January, 2017

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today opened the Towards a United Ireland conference in the Mansion House in Dublin.

Today marks the 98th anniversary of the First Dáil in 1919.

Today’s speakers include Michelle O’Neill MLA, Susan McKay, Keven Meagher, Brian Feeney, Alex Kane, Mary Lou McDonald TD, Noel Whelan, Cat Boyd and Matt Carthy MEP.

Among the points Gerry Adams will make in his remarks:

  • we need to address the genuine fears and concerns of unionists in a meaningful way.
  • ending partition has now taken on a new imperative following last summer’s Brexit vote.
  • Sinn Féin’s proposition that the North be accorded a designated special status within the EU will not affect the constitutional question. Taking the North out of the EU will. It will destroy the Good Friday Agreement.
  • the North needs a special designated status within the EU. The Irish government needs to adopt this as a strategic objective in its negotiations within the EU 27 as they negotiate with the British Prime Minister.
  • there is at this time no strategic plan coming from the government. That is a cause of real concern.
  • all of this, and the current crisis around the RHI scandal is creating new political conditions. I believe that if we properly frame the positive arguments the potential of a new, reimagined, confident Ireland within the European Union, will prove attractive to some unionists.
  • there is an onus on the Irish Government to prepare a real plan for unity. A first step in this would be the development of an all-party group to bring forward a Green Paper for Unity.

The Full Text of Speech Made by Gerry Adams TD, President of Sinn Féin 

“There are immediate challenges facing those of us who want a united independent Ireland.

These include getting the Irish government to change its policy from one of acquiescing to the union with Britain to one of becoming a persuader for Irish unity; getting the Irish government to begin preparations for Irish unity; and lastly engaging with Ulster unionism on the type of Ireland we want to create.

We need to address the genuine fears and concerns of unionists in a meaningful way. We need to look at what they mean by their sense of Britishness and be willing to explore and to be open to new concepts …

But what is clear is that partition has failed unionists. It has failed nationalists. It has failed the people of this island. And ending partition has now taken on a new imperative following last summer’s Brexit vote.

The citizens of England and Wales voted to leave the EU. The people of Scotland and of the North voted to remain. As the dire economic implications of Brexit take shape there is an opportunity to promote a new agreed Ireland.

Sinn Féin’s proposition that the North be accorded a designated special status within the EU will not affect the constitutional question. Taking the North out of the EU will. It will destroy the Good Friday Agreement.

Clearly the preferred option of many unionists and many nationalists is to remain within the EU.The speech by Theresa May will have reinforced this. The dangers of a hard Brexit are now more obvious than before. The North needs a special designated status within the EU. The Irish government needs to adopt this as a strategic objective in its negotiations within the EU 27 as they negotiate with the British Prime Minister.

I have raised this consistently with the Taoiseach. However, as we saw this week in the Irish governments response to the speech by Theresa May there is at this time no strategic plan coming from the government. That is a cause of real concern.

The British government’s intention to take the North out of the EU, despite the wish of the people there to remain, is a hostile action. Not just because of the implications of a hard border on this island but also because of its negative impact on the Good Friday Agreement.

The British Prime Minister repeated her intention to bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court. Along with her commitment to remove Britain from the European Convention on Human Rights this stand threatens to undermine the fundamental human rights elements of the Good Friday Agreement. The British position also fails to take account of the fact that citizens in the North, under the Agreement, have a right to Irish citizenship and therefore EU citizenship.

All of this, and the current crisis around the RHI scandal is creating new political conditions. I believe that if we properly frame the positive arguments the potential of a new, reimagined, confident Ireland within the European Union, will prove attractive to some unionists.

This too is an opportunity and a challenge that political leaders in this state need to rise to. That would be helped by those parties and organisations and individuals on this island agreeing steps that advance the goal of unity.

Regrettably at this time neither Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael or Labour have a strategy to achieve Irish unity and the PBP/AAA alliance are against it. This has to change. Irish unity makes sense. Political sense. Economic sense. And it is in the best interests of the people of this island. Sinn Féin is prepared to work with all parties with a professed United Ireland objective.

There is an onus on the Irish Government to prepare a real plan for unity. A first step in this would be the development of an all-party group to bring forward a Green Paper for Unity.

In addition, plans should be developed for an all-island National Health Service and for all island public services through a ‘United Ireland Investment and Prosperity Plan’.

Now is the time for all parties who support Irish unity to come together to design the pathway to a new, agreed, inclusive united Ireland – an Ireland that is built on equality and which is citizen-centred and inclusive.”

 


Democratic Programme Of First Dáil

21/01/1919

We declare in the words of the Irish Republican Proclamation the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies to be indefeasible, and in the language of our first President. Pádraíg Mac Phiarais, we declare that the Nation’s sovereignty extends not only to all men and women of the Nation, but to all its material possessions, the Nation’s soil and all its resources, all the wealth and all the wealth-producing processes within the Nation, and with him we reaffirm that all right to private property must be subordinated to the public right and welfare.

We declare that we desire our country to be ruled in accordance with the principles of Liberty, Equality, and Justice for all, which alone can secure permanence of Government in the willing adhesion of the people.

We affirm the duty of every man and woman to give allegiance and service to the Commonwealth, and declare it is the duty of the Nation to assure that every citizen shall have opportunity to spend his or her strength and faculties in the service of the people. In return for willing service, we, in the name of the Republic, declare the right of every citizen to an adequate share of the produce of the Nation’s labour.

It shall be the first duty of the Government of the Republic to make provision for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the children, to secure that no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing, or shelter, but that all shall be provided with the means and facilities requisite for their proper education and training as Citizens of a Free and Gaelic Ireland.

The Irish Republic fully realises the necessity of abolishing the present odious, degrading and foreign Poor Law System, substituting therefor a sympathetic native scheme for the care of the Nation’s aged and infirm, who shall not be regarded as a burden, but rather entitled to the Nation’s gratitude and consideration. Likewise it shall be the duty of the Republic to take such measures as will safeguard the health of the people and ensure the physical as well as the moral well-being of the Nation.

It shall be our duty to promote the development of the Nation’s resources, to increase the productivity of its soil, to exploit its mineral deposits, peat bogs, and fisheries, its waterways and harbours, in the interests and for the benefit of the Irish people.

It shall be the duty of the Republic to adopt all measures necessary for the recreation and invigoration of our Industries, and to ensure their being developed on the most beneficial and progressive co-operative and industrial lines. With the adoption of an extensive Irish Consular Service, trade with foreign Nations shall be revived on terms of mutual advantage and goodwill, and while undertaking the organisation of the Nation’s trade, import and export, it shall be the duty of the Republic to prevent the shipment from Ireland of food and other necessaries until the wants of the Irish people are fully satisfied and the future provided for.

It shall also devolve upon the National Government to seek co-operation of the Governments of other countries in determining a standard of Social and Industrial Legislation with a view to a general and lasting improvement in the conditions under which the working classes live and labour.

Dearbhuighimíd, i mbriathraibh for-fhógra Saorstáit Éireann go bhfuil sé de cheart ag muinntir na hÉireann sealbh na hÉireann do bheith aca agus cinneamhain an náisiúin do bheith fé n-a riar, agus nách féidir an ceart san do bhaint díobh; agus fébh mar dubhairt ár gceud Uachtarán Pádraig Mac Phiarais, dearbhuighimíd gur ceart go mbeadh, ní amháin fir agus mná na hÉireann, acht adhbhar maoine na hÉireann fé riaradh an náisiúin, idir talamh agus gustal na hÉireann, gach sadhas maoine agus gach gléas chun maoin do sholáthairt dá bhfuil san tír; agus athfhógraimíd an rud d’fhógair an Piarsach gur dual go mbéadh tosach ag ceart an phobuil chun leasa an phobuil ar cheart an duine chun seilbhe fé leith.

Dearbhuighmíd gur mian linn an ceart, an tsaoirse agus cothrom do chách a bheith mar bhuntacaí riaghlughadh na tíre, agus ná fuil d’urradhas le buanughadh Riaghaltais ná saorthoiliughadh na ndaoine chuige ach é.

Dearbhuighimíd go bhfuil sé de dhualgas ar gach fear agus gach mnaoi bheith umhal, díleas, freagarthach agus freastalach don Phobalacht; agus go bhfuil sé de dhualgas ar an náisiún feuchaint chuige go mbeidh caoi ag gach duine san tír ar a cheart agus a acfuinn féin do chur i bhfeidhm ar mhaithe le leas an phobuil. Mar chúiteamh ar fhreagra is freastal na ndaoine, dearbhuighimíd i n-ainm an tSaorstáit, gur dual do gach duine a cion féin de thoradh saothair an náisiúin a bheith aige.

Isé an príomhchúram a bheidh ar Riaghaltas an tSaorstáit ná gleusa soláthar chun leas corpordha, leas spioradálta agus leas inntleachta na leanbhaí do chur i n-áirithe dhóibh; feuchaint chuige ná béidh an t-ocras ná an fuacht ag goilleamhaint ar éin leanbh de cheal bídh, eudaigh ná dín tighe; acht go bhfaghaidh siad gach cóir agus gleus is gádh dhóibh chun teagaisc agus taithighe ceart do thabhairt dóibh i gcóir na hoibre a bheidh le deunamh aca mar chomhaltaí den tSaorstát Gaedhealach.

Is follus do Shaorstát Éireann nach foláir an dlighe gránna iasachta a bhainnean le Tighthe na mBocht i nÉirinn agus gach a ngabhann leis de chéimsíos is de náire, do chur ar ceal, agus plean éifeachtach éigin do cheapadh a bheidh oireamhnach don tír chun aire cheart do thabhairt do sheandaoinibh agus do lagaibh an náisiúin, daoine a thuilleann freastal agus buidheachas ón náisiún i n-ionad tarcuisne agus neamhshuime. Na theannta son, beidh sé de chúram ar an Saorstát gach gleus is áis dár ghádh a chur i bhfeidhm chun sláinte an phobuil agus leas corpordha an náisiúin, agus leas anama an náisiúin dá bhárr do chur i n-áirithe dhóibh.

Beidh sé de dhualgas orainn cabhrughadh le meudughadh gustail an náisiúin, an talamh a dheunamh níos torthamhla agus níos iontsaothruighthe; mianach na hÉireann, a portaigh mhóna, a cuid iascaigh, a bealaigh uisce, agus a cuanta do chur chun críche i ceart chun tairbhe muinntire na hÉireann.

Beidh sé de dhualgas ar an Saorstát gach níd is gádh do dheunamh chun ár ndéantúsa d’aithbheóchaint is do neartughadh agus feuchaint chuige go saothróchfar iad do réir “comhar oibre” ar an gcuma is feárr ‘s is oireamhnaighe ‘s is mó raghaidh i dtairbhe do chách. Cuirfar feadhmannaigh ó Éirinn go tíortha thar lear d’fhonn ceannuidheacht agus tráchtáil do chur chun cinn idir Éire agus na tíortha úd, a raghaidh i leas don tír seo agus dosna tíortha eile. Nuair a thabharfaidh an Saorstát fé thráchtáil an náisiúin, idir díoluidheacht agus ceannuidheacht, do riarad, beidh sé de dhualgas ar an Saorstát gan biadh ná earraí eile go bhfuil gádh leó do leigint thar lear ó Éirinn go mbiedeh a leórdhóthain fachta ag muinntir na hÉireann, agus a sáith i dtaisce aca i gcóir an ama le teacht.

Beidh sé de chúram ar Riaghaltas an Náisiúin, leis, a iarraidh ar Riaghaltaisí tíortha eile cabhrughadh agus comhoibriughadh ar chomh-chéim leó chun dlighthe i dtaobh gnáthshaoghail agus gnáth-oibre an phobuil do cheapadh a chuirfidh feabhas mór ar an gcórughadh saoghail is saothair a bhíonn le fághail ag lucht oibre.

 

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?

Support Mandate Strikers at Tesco

Resist Attack By Employers on Workers’Conditions

If Tesco WINS THIS DISPUTE THE CONDITIONS OF  WORKERS EVERYWHERE WILL BE IN DANGER

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Support Bus Éireann Workers

DEFEAT THE EMPLOYER AND GOVERNMENT OFFENSIVE!

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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

http://wp.me/pKzXa-jl

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

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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 3 comments

June 2018 B&A  Poll

Poll Confirms Sinn Féin Ahead of  Fianna Fáil among General Population

Sinn Féin leads all parties among Poorer Half of Population

Dire Results for Labour Continue—-Lab sinks to 3% Among Poorer Half of Population

https://wp.me/pKzXa-jh

Raw Polls-Actual Preferences Expressed

Total Population

Core Vote%    FF   16  FG 23  Lab 3   SF 19    Others  12     Undecided  28

Poorer Half of Population

C2DE  %          FF  18 FG 17  Lab 3    SF 22    Others 12      Undecided  27

 

Last Month  May, 20, 2018

Total Population

Core Vote    FF 16 FG22 SF 19 Lab 3 Ind/other 11 Undecided 29

Poorer Half of Population  (C2DE)

Core Vote   FF 14  FG 16  SF 24  Lab 4   Ind/Other 10  Undecided 31

Detailed Raw Polling Figures Since January -Banda.ie

Margin of Error    + or -3%

B&A Core Vote–Raw Poll-Unprocessed-Full Population

20/06/18 FF16 FG 23 SF 19  Lab 3 Ind/Others 12 Undecided  28
20/05/18 FF 16 FG22 SF 19 Lab 3 Ind/other 11 Undecided 29
23/04/18 FF 17 FG 24 SF 17 Lab 5 Ind/Other 10 Undecided 27
13/03/18 FF 20 FG 26 SF 15 Lab 5 Ind/other12 Undecided 23
18/02/18 FF 17 FG 27 SF 15 Lab 3 Ind/Other13 Undecided 24
13/01/18 FF 17 FG 27 SF 15 Lab 3 Ind/Others 13 Undecided 24

Jan to June   FF (-1) FG(-4) SF(+4) Lab (NC) Ind/others(-1) Undecided(+4)

Margin of Error + or – 5%

C2DE % Core Vote  Poorer Half of Population

June 2018       FF  18 FG 17  SF 22 Lab 3   Others 12   Undecided  27

May 2018       FF 14  FG 16   SF 24  Lab 4   Ind/Other 10  Undecided 31

April 2018      FF  18 FG 18  SF 20  Lab  6  Ind/ Others 10  Undecided 29

April to June      FF (NC)  FG(-1)   SF (+2)   Lab (-3)  Ind/Others (+2)    Undecided (-2)

 

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Why caution is required in relation to the conclusions of Red C Polls  https://wp.me/pKzXa-jh

From Red C Site
” Interviews were conducted across the country and the results weighted to the profile of all
adults. A further past vote weighting is included that takes the recall for how people voted at the last election, compares this to the actual results and weights the data between the two.
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 8 to 10 are included as being those who will definitely go and vote”

As can be seen above only those very likely to vote are included EVEN IN THE CORE VOTE. THIS PROCESS ALONE BIASSES THE OUTCOME IN FAVOUR OF THE STATUS QUO favouring COMMITTED PARTY SUPPORTERS. RED C does not provide a core vote on its website. On the other hand, B&A provide a core vote on Banda.ie which is ACTUALLY a totally Raw Poll.

Red C, not content with merely eliminating the undecideds from it’s already filtered core vote to get an outcome, but takes that outcome and moves it towards what that party or group got in the last general election TO GET A FINAL OUTCOME.

RED C will of course argue that this methodology has proved a good predictor of election outcomes in the past. In my view, while that may be true in stable political times, it is bound to fail to detect rapid andsharp political changes.

Unlike B&A, RED C has failed to detect the process over 3 months, March to May, in which Sinn Féin has caught up with and surpassed FF among the population as a whole. Unlike B&A, Red C has also failed to detect the fact that in April Sinn Féin became, for the first time ever, the strongest of ALL PARTIES among the poorer half of the population(Social Strata C2DE). Not surprisingly, RED C has also failed to detect that Sinn Féin has stretched it’s lead over all parties among C2DEs in the May Poll

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B&A Poll-Not Alone Has Sinn Féin gone ahead of FF among General Population But Sinn Féin Has  Streched Its Lead Over All Parties Among Poorer Half of the Population

One Month Ago, In April 2018, Sinn Féin became the leading Party among the poorer half of population For The First Time

Today, Sinn Féin has Stretched its Lead over all parties among poorer half of population

Since April,   FF -4, FG -2, SF +4, Lab -2, Ind/Other NC, Undecided +2

C2DE % Core Vote  Margin of Error + or – 5%

May 2018       FF 14  FG 16   SF 24  Lab 4   Ind/Other 10  Undecided 31

April 2018       FF  18    FG 18   SF 20  Lab  6  Ind/ Others 10  Undecided 29

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Sinn Féin Ahead of Fianna Fáil in B&A Poll! Labour Down by 2 % to 4% !!!! Non-Aligned Independents up 2 to 10%!! 20/05/2018

Sunday Independent Sinn Fein is a more popular political party than Fianna Fail, according to a new opinion poll.

The poll shows Sinn Fein up three points to 24pc, while Fianna Fail is down two points to 23pc.

Fine Gael is down three points to 30pc but they are still the country’s most popular political party.The same poll shows Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald’s personal satisfaction rating at 52pc, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at 52pc and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin at 47pc.

The Labour Party is down by two at 4pc, Independent Alliance is up one to 3pc, Solidarity-People Before Profit is up one to 2pc, the Green Party is unchanged at 2pc and the Social Democrats are also unchanged at 1pc.

Non-aligned Independents are up two points to 10pc in the Sunday Times/Behaviour and Attitudes opinion poll.

A separate opinion poll(Red C in SB Post) shows dramatically different results.

Detailed Raw Polling Figures Since January -Banda.ie

Margin of Error    + or -3%

B&A Core Vote–Raw Poll-Unprocessed-Full Population
20/05/18 FF 16 FG22 SF 19 Lab 3 Ind/other 11 Undecided 29
23/04/18 FF 17 FG 24 SF 17 Lab 5 Ind/Other 10 Undecided 27
13/03/18 FF 20 FG 26 SF 15 Lab 5 Ind/other12 Undecided 23
18/02/18 FF 17 FG 27 SF 15 Lab3 Ind/Other13 Undecided 24
13/01/18 FF 17 FG 27 SF 15 Lab 3 Ind/Others 13 Undecided 24

 

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GOVERNMENT DISSATISFACTION RATE SOARS DUE TO CERVICAL SCREENING SCANDAL

Irish Times May 18,2018:  The net dissatisfaction rate – the difference between those who are satisfied and those who are dissatisfied with the Government – among women is now 29 points, up from just 10 points last month.

While it is not unusual for a government to have a net dissatisfaction rating, this is an extremely large and rare move in one month and coincides with the cervical screening revelations.

The latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI shows that the over-all satisfaction rating of the Government has fallen from 44 per cent in the last poll in mid-April – the highest rating for any government since 2011 – to 37 per cent.

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 Sunday Times Behaviour and Attitudes Poll April confirms Irish Times Ipsos/Mrbi finding that for the first time Sinn Fein Leads All parties among the poorer half of the population

22/04/ 2018 B&A   C2DE    Core Vote

FF    18   FG 18  SF 20  LP 6  Ind Others 10     Undecided 29

Final Outcome

After Undecideds Eliminated

FF  25%  FG 25%  SF  28%  Lab 8% Ind/Oth 14%

Full Core Vote- Entire Population

April B&A Core Vote    23/04/2018

FF 17  FG 24   SF  17  Lab 5   Ind/Other 10   Don’t Know 27

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Sinn Féin Now lead FF and FG Among Poorer 50% of Voters, Labour  Remain Marginalised in New Irish Times Poll

Margin of Error  + or – 5%

April 19 Ipsos/Mrbi C2DE Final Outcome

After Undecided Eliminated   Change relative to B&A  1 month Ago

FF 27(+4)     FG 24 (-5)    SF 31(+4)    Lab 4(+1)   Ind/others   14 (-2)

 

Feb 18  B&A  C2DE  Final Outcome

After Undecided Eliminated

FF  23  FG 29   SF 27   Lab  3     IND/Others  16

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Irish Times IPSOS/MRBI Poll   April 19, 2018

Rise of FG Halted    Damian Loscher

After retreating two points in January from a high of 36 per cent in December, Fine Gael has slipped a further three points to land on 31 per cent in this poll.

Pat Leahy

The “core” vote for the parties – that is, before undecideds were excluded – compared with the last Irish Times poll in October(January?), was: Fine Gael 24 per cent (down two); Fianna Fáil 21 per cent (up one); Labour 4 per cent (up one); Sinn Féin 18 per cent (up three); Independents/Others 12 per cent (down three).

Undecided voters were at 21 per cent, unchanged since the last poll.

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B&A Core Vote March 2018

13/03/18     FF 20   FG 26   SF 15   Lab 5    Ind/other 12  Don’t Know  23

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Incredibly, the Sinn Féin score in the B&A February Poll is now TEN TIMES THE LABOUR SCORE among the poorer half of the population

https://wp.me/pKzXa-jh

Sunday Times Behaviour and Attitudes Poll  18/02/2018

B&A Core Vote—Raw Poll  %   Feb 13 to 18

Margin of Error   + or-  3%

FF   17,   FG 27,  SF   15, Lab 3, Others 13  , undecided 24

B&A Core Vote—Raw Poll  %   Jan 4-Jan  13

FF   19,   FG 25,  SF   15, Lab 3, Others 12  , undecided 26

Changes Since January Poll  %

FF  -2, FG +2, SF no change,  Others +1,    Undecided  -2

 

Richer and Poorer Halves of Population 

 

Margin of Error   + or – 5%

Richest Half of Population     (Social Categories ABC1)  %

Feb 18

FF   18       FG  32

Jan 13

FF 18     FG 28

The 14% lead of FG over FF which existed in December, came down to 10% in January but has now increased to 14 % again

 

Poorest Half of Population   (Social Categories C2DE) %        453 persons  in these  categories were  polled

Feb 18

SF 20         Lab   2      (Labour Score among Richer Half of Population  is 4%  !!!!)

 

Jan 13

 SF18,   Lab    3 

Incredibly the Sinn Féin score has now TEN TIMES THE LABOUR SCORE among the poorer half of the population

The full Core Vote Among the Poorer Hal of the Population in B&A Poll:

FF   17  FG 21   SF 20  Lab 2  Ind/Others 12  Undecided 27

Even if only half of INd/Others are voting for left wing individuals or parties, the non-Sinn Féin left vote is 3 times the Labour vote!!!!

 

 

 

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“For Labour This Poll is a further setback. Not only has support for the party almost Halved since the last disastrous election, but satisfaction with leader Brendan Howlin (22%) is down 6 points since July.”-Jody Corcoran, Sunday Independent

Paul Moran Associate Director Kantar Millward Brown in Sunday Independent
“As it stands now,it(Labour) is being squeezed by the electorate to the point of irrelevance, with other parties gladly picking up the slack—-

The only leader to see a drop in support is Brendan Howlin, reflecting the general malaise that is associated with all things Labour. He is in the job for close on 18 months and this is his lowest rating so far. Like his party, he too is failing to gain traction with the electorate. One in four(24%) of his own party’s supporters, albeit of a small base, is dissatisfied with his performance, noticeably higher than other party leaders.”

 

Two New Polls Published Today Feb 18

As Core Votes including undecided have not yet been published in both cases,  the figures should be treated with caution. Both Poll are subject to a margin of error of + or – 3%

https://wp.me/pKzXa-jh

But it is clear that the disastrous series of polls for the Labour Party is continuing  (Millward Brown Labour Party 4% down 3 points, B&A  Labour Party  5% down one point)

The Kantar Millward Brown poll,  Sunday Independent,  18/02/2018

This is the current state of the parties:

Fine Gael (36pc) up six points since July;

  • Fianna Fail (28pc) down one point;
  • Sinn Fein (20pc) unchanged;
  • Labour (4pc) down three points;
  • Greens (2pc) unchanged;
  • Independents/others (11pc) down two points

Sunday Times Behaviour and Attitudes Poll  18/02/2018

FG 36% +4

FF 25% – 1

SF 16% -2

LP 5% -1

IND 9% NC

IA 4% NC

SOL/PBP 3% +1

SD 1% NC

GP 1% -1

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34% of  poorer half of Population (C2DE) voters are voting for SF and the left as opposed to 4% for the Labour Party!

Sample Size   c. 450    Margin of Error   5% 

B&A  Poll  Jan 2018

Vote Among Poorer Half of Population ( C2DE )   January  %

Core   FF 20   FG 21 Lab 3,  SF18, Ind/other 10  Undecided 27

After Undecided are excluded

Outcome among C2DE  voters

FF  27.4

FG   28.8

Lab 4.1

SF    24.7

Ind/Other 13.7

Assuming 2/3 of ind/others a mong poorer half of population are voting left wing —Left Wing Ind/Other    9.1%

This means that c. 34% of C2DE voters are voting for SF and the left as opposed to 4% for the Labour Party!

Sample Size   c. 450    Margin of Error   5%

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Little Change in New Year B&A Poll

http://banda.ie/wp-content/uploads/SundayTimes-Jan-2018-Report.pdf

January  Core Vote

Opinion Poll Analysis   https://wp.me/pKzXa-jh

Labour at 2% in Munster. FG  a full 10% ahead of FF among wealthier half of  Irish population

January B&A    Poll     Core Vote   %

Jan    FF19    FG25    Lab  3   SF 15     Ind/Other 12   Dont know/wont vote   26

Striking Features  Labour Stuck at 3%        Labour at 2% in Munster!!!!    ( Before Labour got traction in Dublin in the 60s Munster was its strong traditional base)

Labour now has 3 TDs in Munster, 2 in Dublin, 2 in Leinster

Among poorer half of population(C2DE) Labour Has 3%—Sinn Féin has 18%  (Lab has 3% in wealthier half also )

Among wealthier sections of population ( ABC1)           FF 18            FG 28

(some believe that Martins support for Repeal the 8th Amendment is an attempt to remedy this huge gap)

——————-

 

—————————————————-

December  Core Vote

Opinion Poll Analysis   https://wp.me/pKzXa-jh

Labour Down to 1% in Munster. FG  a full 14% ahead of FF among wealthier half of  Irish population

December B&A    Poll     Core Vote   %

Dec    FF19    FG25    Lab 4    SF 15     Ind/Other 14   Dont know/wont vote   23

http://banda.ie/wp-content/uploads/Sunday-Times-Dec-2017-Report.pdf

Striking Features  Labour Stuck at 4%        Labour at 1% in Munster!!!!    ( Before Labour got traction in Dublin in the 60s Munster was its strong traditional base)

Labour now has 3 TDs in Munster, 2 in Dublin, 2 in Leinster

https://wp.me/pKzXa-jh

Among poorer half of population(C2DE) Labour Has 4%—Sinn Féin has 21%  (Lab has 4% in wealthier half also!)

Among wealthier sections of population ( ABC1)           FF 17            FG 31

(some believe that Martins support for Repeal the 8th Amendment is an attempt to remedy this huge gap)

———————————————————–

B&A Jan 21    2018

Post- Processing Outcome   Change wrt Dec 2017

FG 32% -2     FF 26% NC   SF 18% +1 LP 6% +1     ind/other    18%   NC 

—————————————————————-

B&A Dec 24

Post- Processing Outcome   Change wrt November

FG    34%              No Change

FF   26%               -5%

Sinn Féin 17%     + 3%

Labour  5%             +2%

Others   18%            No Change

—————————————-

November B&A Poll Shows a Weakening of  Sinn Féin 

AS I said in September-Sinn Féin and the Left are Doing Something Wrong!

Total Disaster for Labour-Labour Back Down to 2% as it polled Exactly a Year Ago

November  B&A

Total                  FF               FG        Lab        SF    All Others    Undecided

Core%                23                25         2           12           12                   27

October  B&A

Total                   FF       FG            Lab           SF            Others      Undecided

Core%                19        23               3              16              13                26

 Oct 5,  Ipsos/Mrbi

Total             FF              FG             Lab            SF        Other/GR    Undecided

Core %          22               23               4                15             15                  21

 

B&A Poll Sept   B&A

Total             FF              FG             Lab               SF        Other/GR    Undecided

Core%         18.25          26.0          3.0                 15.2              13.4              24.3

October-LABOUR DISASTER CONTINUES IN B&A POLL 

B&A Poll              May         Jun          September October
Lab %                 4%          5%              5%              4%
Sinn Fein           19%        19%           18%            18%

“Mussolini” “Pay and Pension Cut” Howlin , Burton (“Scourge of Women and Single Parents”), Alan (“Water Charges”) Kelly   MUST RESIGN NOW

Jack O’Connor  SIPTU is RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS DEBACLE-HE BACKED BURTON!!!

———————————————-

Alan “Water Charges” Kelly Challenges Brendan “Mussolini Anti-Union Laws” Howlin For Labour Party Leadership!!!

The Kettle Calls The Pot Black!!

Alan Kelly gives Brendan Howlin less than 6 months to improve Labour

Mr Howlin hit back at Mr Kelly through his spokesman insisting all members of party should “focus on pulling (the wool over our eyes-PH) in the same direction”. Irish Independent

Fiach Kelly IRISH TIMES Sunday, November 5, 2017, 19:41

Labour TD Alan Kelly has given his leader Brendan Howlin less than six months to improve the party’s fortunes, as he warned that “dramatic change” is needed.

It will be seen as Mr Kelly, who attempted to stand for the party leadership against Mr Howlin after the last election, putting the Wexford TD on notice that he will face a leadership challenge within months.

He was speaking to journalist Sarah McInerney on TV3’s The Sunday Show.

“Brendan Howlin has my support, however, however – let me say this very clearly – we need to see a dramatic change in how our support base is responding to us,” the Tipperary deputy said.

The most recent Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll, taken last month, put Labour on 4 per cent and gave Mr Howlin a 20 per cent approval rating, the lowest of any party leader.

“We also need to see changes across a whole range of other issues,” Mr Kelly said. “We are now two years from the past general election. We have loads of brilliant councillors and candidates out there. We need to see a dramatic change in the coming months for the support base of the Labour Party.”

When asked by Ms McInerney if he would give Mr Howlin six months to improve the party’s standing, he replied: “I would say less than that.”

When asked by the Irish Times if he was giving Mr Howlin less than six months to improve, Mr Kelly said to look again at his interview but declined to comment further. Mr Howlin also declined to comment.

It is understood that, in order to remove a sitting Labour leader, a motion of no confidence has to be passed by a two thirds majority at the party’s central council.

The central council is around 60 people strong and comprises representatives from across the party, such as the parliamentary party, Labour Women and Labour Youth.

A number of sources, who would not be in favour of Mr Kelly leading the party, sought to suggest that he is acting now because a stronger rival will emerge if Ged Nash and Aodhán O’Ríordáin, currently in the Seanad, make it back to the Dáil after the next election. The Labour Party leader must be a TD.

Mr Kelly sought to run for the leadership of Labour when Joan Burton stood down after the last election, which saw Labour return with only seven seats, down from its haul of 37 seats at the 2011 general election, although a number of TDs left the party in the intervening period.

He failed to secure a second signature for his candidacy among the ranks of the parliamentary party, and Mr Howlin was the only candidate.

The party rules at the time said aspiring candidates needed a proposer and seconder in the parliamentary party to go before the party membership in the leadership election.

The rules have since changed, and as well as securing a nomination from within the parliamentary party a candidate can be nominated by five constituency councils, where “those councils represent at least 10 per cent of the total valid membership of the Labour Party”.

A spokesman for the Labour party said: “Since his election as party leader, Brendan Howlin has repeatedly made clear that everyone in the Labour party needs to focus on pulling in the same direction, and that if we do so, we can and will make gains again whenever the next election comes.”

————————————————————–

September-FF and FG Poll 60% in IPSOS/MRBI POLL!

THE LEFT and SINN FEIN ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG!

ALL TALK, NO MASS MOBILISATION!

The parties who, with the assistance of Labour, not only cheered on the disastrous fake capitalist boom, implemented austerity, but also , over decades, implemented an economic policy which has now left the country completely powerless and at the mercy of multi-nationals, international financiers, and the leaders of the US and EU political blocks are receiving 60% of the votes!

I can’t find core vote anywhere so that valid comparisons with B&A can be made.
The 3% final outcome for the Labour Party(down from 6.6% in GE2016) is really bad news for them. They may not loose all seats as deemed possible by AK as their vote is pocketted into a small numberof constituencies and their sitting TDs are big well known personalities . But the chance of anyof their councillors making the jump into the Dáil are near zero. THE POLL PREDICTS THAT SF WILL GET OVER 6 TIMES The LABOUR VOTE.!!!! In addition, when all respondents(INCLUDING THOSE CHOOSING FF or FG) were asked were they satisfied with the job being done by party leaders, Gerry Adams got 30% and Brendan Howlin 20%. This is despite a sharper campaign than usual in pro-establishment media against Gerry Adams. The same media are protecting “FEMPI” Howlin from the implications of the poll for his leadership.

Slidarity-PBP and left Independent TDs are , if anythig, more pocketed into a small number of constituencies than Labour and the personality factor in many cases is greater. This has only full effect in an actual general election. Respondents in polls can be very confused about the connection between local TDs and small political parties. I will be very surprised if SBP-solidarity TDs and any of the well known left inependents lose their seats.

BUT ALL THAT BEING SAID, THIS AND THE MOST RECENT SERIES OF POLLS , ARE BAD NEWS FOR THE LEFT AND SINN FEIN. I do not include Labour among the left. A line was crossed when Howlin proposed the FEMPi anti trade union law, a measure with which Mussolini would have strongly agreed.
The parties who, with the assistance of Labour, not only cheered on the disatrous fake capitalist boom, but also , over decades, implemented an economic policy which has now left the country completely powerless and at the mercy of muti-nationals, international financiers, and the leaders of th US and EU political blocks are receiving 60% of the votes! DON’T BLAME THE VOTERS————WE ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG!!! There has been too much electoralism and no mass mobilisation since the end of the Water Charges Campaign.

WHY have Sinn Fein and the left not had a single Mass March in Dublin on the Housing Issue? When we took to the streets with The Dublin Housing Action Committee in the sixties, we hadn’t a single Sinn Féin or left TD. Now we have over 30 but all we get is TALK, TALK, TALK!!!! WAKE UP!

——————————————————————————————

B&A October Poll—Core Vote

B&A October   2017

ToTAL             FF       FG            Lab           SF            Others      Undecided

Core%                19        23             3              16                 13                26


Assuming Core Vote in MRBI is the Raw Poll Outcome

B&A Poll Sept 17,2017  Margin of Error 3.3%

Total             FF              FG             Lab               SF        Other/GR    Undecided

Core%           18.25          26.0          3.0              15.2               13.4              24.3

 

Ipsos/Mrbi Poll Oct 5, 2017  Margin of Error  2.9%

Total             FF              FG             Lab               SF        Other/GR    Undecided

Core %          22               23               4                15             15                  21

Change in 4 Weeks (Difference between Core Votes) (MRBI  less B&A)

%                +3.75            -3                +1            -0.2          +1.6                  -3.3

Comparing Final Outcomes

MRBI  October

FF              FG             Lab               SF        Other/GR

%     29              31               4                  19             17

B&A    September

        FF              FG             Lab               SF        Other/GR

%      29           29                5                     18         19

Difference    (MRBI  less B&A)

FF              FG             Lab               SF         Other/GR

%  0                  +2              -1                 +1             -2

 

 

——————————–

Only Significant Change Is Swing  From FF to FG-All Other Parties Unchanged-Labour Still at 3% in Core Vote

Core Vote

B&A Poll Sept 17, Margin of Error 3.3%,Change Since July

Total             FF              FG             Lab               SF        Other/GR    Undecided

937                171             243            28               142                126               228

Core%            18.25          26.0          3.0              15.2               13.4              24.3

Change %       -3.75           +3.5         +0.3           +0.9                 +0.5            -1.3

 

—————————————–

JULY  B&A

No Significant Change in  Poll Despite Change of Taoiseach-Labour Back Below 3% in Core Vote Which is Less than One Fifth of Sinn Fein Vote and One Quarter of the OTHERS Vote–UNDECIDED THE BIGGEST CATEGORY IS UP 4.2% Since June

B&A Poll  July  16   Margin of Error     3.3%

Total             FF              FG             Lab               SF        Other/GR    Undecided

923                203             208           25               132                119                236

Core%            22.0            22.5             2.7              14.3              12.9              25.6

NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE-But Labour  Creep Just Above 3%

B&A June  6

Parties          FF              FG             Lab             SF               Other/GR     Undecided

Core%          21.9           22.3           3.3               16.2                15.0                   21.4

No Significant Change in  Poll-Labour Drop Below 3% in Core Vote For First Time This Year

B&A Poll   May  14    Margin of Error        c.  3%

B&A Poll May

Total          FF         FG                   Lab                     SF             other/GR               Undecided

921             200      206                  27                   137                  143                    208

Core            21.7     22.4               2.9                    14.9                15.5                    22.6

B&A Poll April

Total           FF         FG           Lab               SF          Other/GR       undecided

971             207         201        33                 157          138              235

Core          21.3        20.7      3.4                 16.2        14.2              24.2

 

May 14, 2017-Based on a 3 month Rolling Average of B&A figures

Since General Election 2016,   FF up 3.6%,   FG  up 1%, Labour down 2.5%, Sinn Féin up 8.2%, Others  down  10.4%

Drop in others is misleading. In an actual election, unlike in an opinion poll, there are many local and minority candidates who are not in serious contention. These are eliminated in early counts. The figure for others should only be compared with that in opinion polls 

Behaviour and Attitudes provides the actual polling figures in its tables including undecideds unlike some other polling companies. The core vote provided by RED C,for example, excludes the most disenchanted and the most devious among those interviewed. Note: Unlike Red C, B&A gives the actual unprocessed figures as a core vote Red C discards all those who say on a scale of 1 to 10 that their likelihood to vote is less than 8. Consequently undecideds in Red C  “core vote” are typically  12%. Undecideds in B&A core vote are typically greater than 20%

 

B&A makes a number of adjustments in addition to eliminating undecideds to reach a final poll figure for each party. I believe that these adjustments may not be appropriate in a rapidly changing and confusing political situation. I have therefore taken the raw polling figures(core) and simply eliminated the undecideds.

A poll of around 1000 people has a margin of error of 3% for 95% certainty. This means that a particular poll may have a bigger margin of error than 3%. It may be an “outlier”

Accordingly I will be doing a 3 month rolling average. Such an approach will fail to detect sharp changes. On the other hand, it will reduce the effect of “outliers” which can mislead. The single unadjusted monthly core vote may capture sharp short-term changes.

The unadjusted figures in the B&A poll published yesterday April 17 are
FF28.1 FG 27.3 Lab 4.5 SF 21.3 Others 18.8
This is calculated by simply eliminating the undecideds and recalculating the percentages.
The adjusted figures provided by B&A are
FF 28 FG 29 Lab 5 Sinn Féin 18 Others 20
The main Loser from the adjustments is Sinn Féin

 

B&A   May 2017

Final  Outcome Three Month Rolling Average   Gen. Election 2016 in Brackets

FF                     FG                        Lab                      SF               Other

27.9 (24.3)       26.1 (25.1)            4.1(6.6)         22.0(13.8)    19.8(30.2)

 

—————————————————————————————————————————

General Election   2016

FF        FG       Lab               SF             Other

24.3    25.1      6.6              13.8          30.2

B&A Poll May

Total          FF         FG                   Lab                     SF             other/GR               Undecided

921             200      206                  27                   137                  143                    208

Core            21.7     22.4               2.9                    14.9                15.5                    22.6

Final        28.1        28.9            3.8                      19.2               20.1

B&A Poll     April 16   2017

http://banda.ie/sunday-times-behaviour-attitudes-opinion-poll-april-2017/

Total           FF         FG           Lab               SF          Other/GR       undecided

971             207         201        33                 157          138              235

Core          21.3        20.7      3.4                 16.2        14.2              24.2

Final           28.1        27.3      4.5                  21.3       18.8

B&A Poll   March 11

Final            27.6        22.2       4.0               25.5           20.6

Core          21.9        17.7       3.2                  20.2         16.4            20.6

934            205          165         30                  189          153              192

 

B&A Poll   February

Core        27         15              4                       17              16                20

Final         34.2     19.0           5.1                   21.5           20.3

 

Replacing Feb Poll with May Poll

 

Final  Outcome Three Month Rolling Average   Gen. Election 2016 in Brackets

FF                     FG                        Lab                      SF               Other

27.9 (24.3)       26.1 (25.1)            4.1(6.6)         22.0(13.8)    19.8(30.2)

——————————————————————-

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

Department of Social Protection Website    Minister Joan Burton TD

“regrettably there is an ongoing necessity to achieve savings due to our commitments with the IMF/EU/ECB Troika.”

“The Government today approved changes to the Fuel Allowance and Household Benefits schemes that will bring annual savings of €65 million.  Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, said: “While we want to protect the basic social welfare payments which have very positive economic and social effects, regrettably there is an ongoing necessity to achieve savings due to our commitments with the IMF/EU/ECB Troika.  The savings arising from this measure were provided for last December in Budget 2011 but were not specified or announced by the Government at that time.”

From September 2011 the Fuel Allowance is to be standardised at €20 per week, the rate currently received by the majority of customers, with no additional allowance for living in a smokeless area.  The cost of the Telephone Allowance will be reduced following negotiations with Eircom which will ensure that customers receive €26.86 of value on their bills, at a cost to the State of €22.22 per month.  The number of free units provided under the Electricity and Gas Allowance will be reduced to the 2007 level: this reduction may be offset to some extent if customers switch to other companies in search of better deals.  These three measures will generate savings of €17 million in 2011 and €65 million annually.

Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, said: “Assistance with the cost of fuel, electricity, gas and telephone bills has always been an important element of social welfare provision and will continue. My Department will spend over €530 million, over half a billion euros, in 2011 on these schemes which benefit over 630,000 people. Help will also continue to be available for vulnerable people with special or additional heating needs through the Heating Supplement and Exceptional Needs Payment Scheme under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme.”

 

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 through Minister for Social protection, Joan Burton, 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

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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.
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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

Discussion-United Ireland Must Be Independent and Sovereign

Discussion-United Ireland Must Be Independent and Sovereign

Before 1921 Ireland Was United Within the Union With Britain. But it wasn’t INDEPENDENT!!!

Could Ireland Become United within the EU after Brexit but not INDEPENDENT or SOVEREIGN?

Note that Europe Will Soon have Its Own Army which Could enforce its wishes even on Members of the Proposed European Federation

I carry Here 2 relevant articles from Sunday Business Post April 1, 2018 Articles

1)Interview With Mary Lou McDonald, President of Sinn Féin

“There have been suggestions that instead of having one parliament in a future United Ireland, the Stormont Assembly would be left in place to run the North – while the Dáil would continue to have jurisdiction over the South.

McDonald says that this is something she will not rule out at a time when the prospect of a United Ireland is coming on the table as a real conversation.”

2) UNITED IRELAND (UNDER EU FISCAL TREATY?)  DRAWING NEARER ???

Kevin Meagher   SB POST   APRIL 1 ,2018

UNIONISTS BEWARE: MAY WILL PUT BRITAIN FIRST

“No, we are entering the endgame where realpolitik will trump abstract symbolism. And the narrow interests of the DUP will be sold out faster than half-price iPods in the Argos sale.”

Kevin Meagher was special adviser to former Labour Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward. He is author of A United Ireland: Why Unification is Inevitable and How it Will Come About

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Interview With Mary Lou McDonald, President of Sinn Féin

“There have been suggestions that instead of having one parliament in a future United Ireland, the Stormont Assembly would be left in place to run the North – while the Dáil would continue to have jurisdiction over the South.

McDonald says that this is something she will not rule out at a time when the prospect of a United Ireland is coming on the table as a real conversation.”

Reaching out to unionists

In her opening address as the new president of Sinn Féin, McDonald pledged to reach out to the unionist community. That was something that Martin McGuinness did by shaking the hand of Queen Elizabeth II. Nelson Mandela acted similarly by greeting the South African rugby team – the ultimate symbol of Afrikaner culture – on the pitch before they beat the All Blacks to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

So would McDonald be prepared to march in an Orange Order parade to show that she was willing to accept a key part of unionist culture?

“I’m not sure they would want me on one of their marches,” she says. But she goes on to say that she does want to meet officially with the Orange Order.

“I think for Sinn Féin to officially meet with the Orange Order – what harm can it do? I think these discussions and these dialogues at a minimum achieve the very positive thing of people showing the respect to each other of sitting down with each other,” she says.

But while McDonald says she feels liberated as a new leader to make “big gestures” to unionists, her use of the IRA’s ‘Tiocfaidh ár lá’ slogan on becoming party leader last February did not help her case. Her repeated warnings – most recently in a speech at Queen’s University Belfast last week – that unionists are going to be outnumbered by nationalists could further alienate them.

McDonald says she has raised the demographic trends many times because it is a “fact”.

“It’s an electoral fact that the unionist vote dipped beneath the 50 per cent margin both at the last Westminster and the last Assembly election. The reason that’s significant is that the Northern state is constructed on the notion of an inbuilt unionist majority – but they never thought it would get that tight,” she says.

McDonald says she does not want to be seen as “lecturing unionism”, but adds that they have to start “thinking for themselves”.

“My option is Irish unity, but we don’t live in that reality. For almost a century, we’ve had a partitioned Ireland. We’ve had to come up with Plans B ,C, D, E and F, even if they weren’t always very good plans. I think it’s necessary for unionism to start thinking that way,” she says.

There have been suggestions that instead of having one parliament in a future United Ireland, the Stormont Assembly would be left in place to run the North – while the Dáil would continue to have jurisdiction over the South.

McDonald says that this is something she will not rule out at a time when the prospect of a United Ireland is coming on the table as a real conversation.

“It’s at a point now where people can intervene and say: ‘Hang on a minute, this is what we think, or let’s consider this.’ I think all of those ideas – I’m not going to discount or rule out anything because that is not the way you have an open or respectful conversation with people,” she says

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UNITED IRELAND (UNDER EU FISCAL TREATY?)  DRAWING NEARER ???

Kevin Meagher   SB POST   APRIL 1 ,2018

UNIONISTS BEWARE: MAY WILL PUT BRITAIN FIRST

“No, we are entering the endgame where realpolitik will trump abstract symbolism. And the narrow interests of the DUP will be sold out faster than half-price iPods in the Argos sale.”

Kevin Meagher was special adviser to former Labour Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward. He is author of A United Ireland: Why Unification is Inevitable and How it Will Come About

Unionists beware: May will put Britain first

Realpolitik will eventually give us a wet border – in the Irish Sea – and if that makes unionists feel less British, they’ll have no option but to put up with it

By Kevin MeagherApr 1, 2018

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One size fits all is generally the way in which sovereign nation states go about their business. But the United Kingdom is not an arrangement of equals. Britain’s unwritten constitution and tradition of muddling through – with a combination of ambiguity and asymmetry – has become a defining aspect of our political culture.

Scotland, for instance, has its own parliament, but Wales only gets an assembly. As for the North, well, it’s anomalous in all sorts of ways.

Just last week, Labour MP Conor McGinn introduced legislation to permit same sex marriage in the North – now the only part of these islands without such a provision.

Similarly, it’s been the DUP pushing to lower the North’s corporation tax rate, dropping Britain’s 18 per cent rate to match the 12.5 per cent found in the South. “Lord make me equal,” to paraphrase St Augustine, “but not yet.”

When it comes to finally reconciling the question of post-Brexit border arrangements on the island of Ireland, a bespoke solution – ‘special status’ – for the North is the obvious move.

It’s a decision that cries out to be made so we can nail down the all-important question of Britain’s future trading relationship with the EU.

For the moment, British ministers cling to the fiction they can split the difference with some technical wizardry that affords two customs arrangements, but doesn’t result in checkpoints and watchtowers and other ‘infrastructure’ to police the demarcation. They have been sold a con, or are trying to palm us off with one.

Not just my view, you understand, but that of the House of Commons Northern Ireland Committee. In a report published last week, MPs made clear there was “no evidence to suggest that there is currently a technical solution that would avoid infrastructure at the border”. All the more damning for ministers given the committee is dominated by unionists and Tories.

Whitehall’s fundamental mistake was assuming the border question was the easy bit. So much so, that British prime minister Theresa May simply glanced over it in her Lancaster House speech in January 2017 setting out her approach to implementing Brexit, saying: “Nobody wants to return to the borders of the past, so we will make it a priority to deliver a practical solution as soon as we can.”

We are still waiting.

The assumption – casually made – was that the Irish would simply “get with the programme”. Even now, there is a focus on the trade and tariff arrangements without any appreciation of the security and symbolism of a hard border and the damage this potentially does to the Good Friday Agreement settlement.

It is part of a wider pattern of ill-preparedness that has dogged the British approach since triggering Article 50. David Davis, the Brexit secretary, is an open and honest man, even if, like most arch-Brexiteers, he remains a self-indulgent romantic nationalist.

His cavalier admission last December that ministers have not commissioned economic impact assessments about Brexit serves as a perfect illustration of the point.

But time is fast running out and the British government needs to get real. Although Theresa May is reliant on Arlene Foster to augment her lack of an overall majority in the House of Commons, the prime minister must recognise she cannot have the unionist tail wagging the British dog.

For unionists, the issues at stake are purely symbolic. As they see it, remaining in the customs union and even the single market makes them less British and more obviously Irish. Too bad.

May must not accommodate their rarefied sensibilities at the expense of the wider national interest. The North accounts for only 3 per cent of the UK’s population and just 1.5 per cent of its GDP. As on so many issues these days, unionists simply don’t have the right numbers to dictate terms.

When the unicorn option of a digital border is finally ruled out, it will dawn on unionists that their Conservative allies have now agreed to implement the European Commission’s ‘backstop’ option of keeping the North in the customs union and single market and effectively redrawing the border in the Irish Sea. (Not so much a hard border as a wet one.)

They will huff and puff in their inevitable style, but the DUP are in no hurry to bring down the Tories and risk putting Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10. If Theresa May is trapped by bad options, so is Arlene Foster.

The risk of no deal on the border and a hard Brexit, with all the uncertainty it would engender, is economically ruinous for Britain. Not just that, but there is no way the prime minister can sell that sort of outcome to her own party, let alone the country.

Not when a recent poll for radio station LBC found that more than two-thirds of Brexit voters thought leaving the EU was more important than keeping the North in the UK.

No, we are entering the endgame where realpolitik will trump abstract symbolism. And the narrow interests of the DUP will be sold out faster than half-price iPods in the Argos sale.

Kevin Meagher was special adviser to former Labour Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward. He is author of A United Ireland: Why Unification is Inevitable and How it Will Come About

 

Categories: Uncategorized

LEO  “THE LICK”-Supported by Fawning Finnian and Hollow Halligan

March 20, 2018 1 comment

Remember that pressing the delete button does not remove data from a computer hard drive! The data can be retrieved!

Following 12 Mobile Phones-

Nine laptops used by ex-Garda chiefs missing, tribunal is told

Irish Independent, Gerard Cunningham May 10 2018

Nine out of 11 laptops issued to former Garda commissioners Nóirín O’Sullivan and Martin Callinan used over a certain period of time have not been returned, the Disclosures Tribunal has heard.

The tribunal is looking at claims by former Garda press officer Superintendent David Taylor he was directed by Mr Callinan to brief the media negatively on whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Mr Callinan denies this.

Supt Pat Ryan, the head of the garda IT section, told the tribunal he had been asked in 2017 to identify all computer hardware used by Ms O’Sullivan from July 1, 2012, to May 31, 2014.

Supt Ryan said five laptop computers had been assigned to Ms O’Sullivan between 2006 and 2010, and these could no longer be recovered. A hard drive from an office desktop computer had been located.

No laptop was assigned to Ms O’Sullivan during her time as commissioner. Two iPads used by her had been located, although one had a fault.

Four out of six laptops used by Mr Callinan could not be located, and one machine had been rebuilt and redeployed.

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Leo Promised “Ethical” Leadership as Taoiseach-Women Have Died Because of Unethical Behaviour of Authorities which Should be Accountable to the Irish State

“I’ll demand of myself and my own Government what, in the past, I insisted of others.”-Varadar

Irish Examiner  05/05/2018

“Mr Varadkar said as much when he made his maiden speech in the Dáil upon being nominated as Taoiseach last June.

He said he wanted a Government that was strong on ethics, adding: “I’ll demand of myself and my ownGovernment what, in the past, I insisted of others.”

“Is it not time for change? For accountability, for leadership, and responsibility?

But you cannot have good ethics without accountability.”

12 Top Garda Mobile Phones Missing!

The Disclosures Tribunal has heard that only three out of 15 mobile phone handsets used by former commissioners Martin Callinan, Nóirín O’Sullivan and former head of the garda press office, Superintendent David Taylor, have been recovered and handed over to the inquiry.

A total of 12 phones, used in the period of interest, have gone missing and cannot be located.

Superintendent Michael Flynn of the Garda telecommunications unit gave evidence this morning that because of the missing handsets, the content of some text messages cannot be recovered.

However, details of phone calls and outlines of texts sent to particular numbers are available.

He said the “billing event” of a text was available but not the content of the text itself.

The inquiry is examining the telecommunications usage of the three individuals during the period when Supt Taylor was head of the press office from July 2012 to May 2014.

One of Ms O’Sullivan’s six phones was found, two of Mr Callinan’s six phones and none of Supt Taylor’s three handsets.

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LEO  “THE LICK”-Supported by Fawning Finnian and Hollow Halligan

VARADKAR  in Cringe-making display of forelock-tugging to TRUMP-Fintan O’Toole ,Irish Times

(Forelock Tugging To Merkel to Continue to-day in Germany -Brexit break-up with UK means Varadkar needs to woo Merkel-Derek Scally, Irish Times-see further down)

https://wp.me/pKzXa-13g

“The Taoiseach speaks for a country that is being forced by Donald Trump and Brexit to think deeply about its place in the world and how it negotiates its most crucial international relationships: those with the United States, Britain and the European Union.

Instead, we got from the Taoiseach a cringe-making display of forelock-tugging sycophancy. His message was that Ireland should be loved in Trump’s United States because Ireland is really, truly American: US ’R’ Us.”-Fintan O’Toole 

Fintan O’Toole: No, Taoiseach, Irish values are not American values

Fintan O’Toole Irish Times  Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Leo Varadkar does not often give set-piece speeches about Irish public values. Perhaps it is just as well.

Last Wednesday he gave one in Washington DC. It was outstandingly silly even by the standards of the boilerplate banality typical of gala dinners. For this speech comes when Ireland is at a very important juncture in its modern history.

The Taoiseach speaks for a country that is being forced by Donald Trump and Brexit to think deeply about its place in the world and how it negotiates its most crucial international relationships: those with the United States, Britain and the European Union.

Instead, we got from the Taoiseach a cringe-making display of forelock-tugging sycophancy. His message was that Ireland should be loved in Trump’s United States because Ireland is really, truly American: US ’R’ Us.

Before we come to the speech’s silliness we must acknowledge its gutlessness. An Irish leader speaking in the United States cannot avoid the subject of immigration. The test of basic decency is whether this address extends to today’s immigrants, who are under attack from a president who makes cynical and relentless use of the same nativist hatreds that were turned on the Irish in the 19th century.

Varadkar failed this test ignominiously. He hailed the US as “a country that welcomed migrants from all over the world – Jews, Catholics, Irish – and so many more who were drawn to your beacon of hope”. This is doubly evasive and therefore doubly shameful. The use of the past tense evades the present. And those weasel words “so many more” render invisible the Mexicans, the Muslims, the real people who are the current objects of Trump’s abuse.

Leo Varadkar’s parents met through, and continued to cherish, the most un-American institution in the world, the British National Health Service

This spinelessness is the context for the rest of the speech. The core of what the Taoiseach had to say was that Irish values are American values, plain and simple. This matters because it goes beyond toadying. Varadkar’s point is not merely that the United States is great. It is also that Ireland has no values of its own, that it takes nothing from its long pre-Christian and Christian cultures, nothing from Britain, nothing from Europe – but everything from the US.

US president Donald Trump and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during the Speaker’s Lunch at Capitol Hill in Washington DC, during the Taoiseach’s St Patrick’s visit to the US. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

No one would deny that the United States has been a major influence on Ireland, just as Britain has been a major influence. But imagine the Taoiseach had said that Irish values are British values, that everything we aspire to and hold dear is British. If you can do that you can begin to appreciate how self-abasing this speech was.

Here is the Taoiseach’s core point: “American ideas and American values that spread around the world meant that a young boy growing up in Ireland, with an Indian father and an Irish mother, could dream of one day becoming the leader of his country, believing that the time would come when people would be judged on their principles and their ideals, on the content of their character and the quality of the work, and not on their sexuality or the colour of their skin. These are our Irish values today . . . These were American values before they were ours.”

Almost everything in this is nonsense. Leo Varadkar’s parents met through, and continued to cherish, the most un-American institution in the world, the British National Health Service. Varadkar himself benefited from another un-American value: a cheap medical degree. (The annual cost of medical school in the US is between $35,000 and $59,000.) It was not American values that made it possible for a privileged, highly educated son of the Dublin professional classes to become Taoiseach: we’ve created those privileges of class and gender all by ourselves.

Does the Taoiseach really not know that it was the European Court of Human Rights, in the Norris case in 1988, that forced Ireland to decriminalise homosexuality?

As for not judging people on the colour of their skin being an American value before it was an Irish value, it is hard to know which is worse: the ignorance of modern US history and the contemporary realities of racial oppression, or the implication that we Irish were all racist savages until the Americans showed us how to respect black people. And as for American values making it possible for gay Irish people to be treated as equal citizens, does the Taoiseach really not know that it was the European Court of Human Rights, in the Norris case in 1988, that forced Ireland to decriminalise homosexuality? Who does he think drafted the European Convention on Human Rights? Richard Nixon?

All of this could be written off as a mere embarrassment were it not a return to a previous ideological template: Mary Harney’s claim in 2000 that, “spiritually, we are probably a lot closer to Boston than Berlin”.

There is ideological method in this daftness: we are to understand ourselves as rugged individualists in the American mythological mould, not as soppy Europeans whose self-reliance has been sapped by luxuries like public healthcare. Varadkar actually claimed that American “individualism” “inspired Irishmen and women to fight for freedom” – a ludicrous travesty of the collectivist national and social ideals for which they actually fought.

But at a time when we are in effect choosing a European destiny his imprinting of the Stars and Stripes on the Tricolour is even sillier than Harney’s. Just as we take a decisive turn to Europe the Taoiseach tells us that we are nothing if not American.

© 2018 irishtimes.com

 

Forelock Tugging by Leo “The Lick” To Continue in Germany To-Day

Brexit break-up with UK means Varadkar needs to woo Merkel

Derek Scally Irish Times Tuesday, March 20, 2018,

Last Friday, as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tilted at imaginary windmills in Washington, Berlin rocked its way into St Patrick’s Day. In the legendary Berghain club, the peeling gold paint on the ceiling quivered as Ireland’s Candice Gordon delivered a knockout set.

Like Joan Jett fronting Thin Lizzy, she bellowed:”You know my time has come . . . Destiny hold me closer/It’s inevitable/It’s only you.”

Timely thoughts for Varadkar on his inaugural Berlin visit today to begin his wooing of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As Ireland’s decades-old political and policy dependency on London comes to a sudden end in Brussels, Ireland is nursing a mighty Brexit hangover.

We need new partners in Europe and Germany, Dublin has decided, is to be one of them. The key question now is: why should Germany – or Merkel – care?

It’s a good sign that Merkel, scarcely a week into her fourth term, will welcome Varadkar with full military honours for a working lunch.

Derek Scally Irish Times  Tuesday, March 20, 2018,

Last Friday, as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tilted at imaginary windmills in Washington, Berlin rocked its way into St Patrick’s Day. In the legendary Berghain club, the peeling gold paint on the ceiling quivered as Ireland’s Candice Gordon delivered a knockout set.

Like Joan Jett fronting Thin Lizzy, she bellowed:”You know my time has come . . . Destiny hold me closer/It’s inevitable/It’s only you.”

Timely thoughts for Varadkar on his inaugural Berlin visit today to begin his wooing of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As Ireland’s decades-old political and policy dependency on London comes to a sudden end in Brussels, Ireland is nursing a mighty Brexit hangover.

We need new partners in Europe and Germany, Dublin has decided, is to be one of them. The key question now is: why should Germany – or Merkel – care?

It’s a good sign that Merkel, scarcely a week into her fourth term, will welcome Varadkar with full military honours for a working lunch.

Brexit is far less present in German minds or media than in Britain or Ireland

Varadkar is anxious to make his own the close ties to Merkel he inherited from Enda Kenny, both as Taoiseach and as head of Fine Gael head, a sister party to her ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Post-Brexit refrain

As transatlantic trade ties tense up, he can give her his readout on last week’s meetings with US president Donald Trump. At a joint press conference, meanwhile, he will reiterate Dublin’s post-Brexit refrain that Ireland is not leaving the European Union and will remain an active partner.

Amid ongoing London procrastination on the Brexit border question, where a solution remains uncertain despite Monday’s announcements in Brussels, he hopes Merkel will reiterate – in public and in private – her insistence that Dublin’s concerns are Berlin’s concerns.

Brexit is far less present in German minds or media than in Britain or Ireland. But whenever it comes up the real risks to prosperity and peace are teased out fairly in radio reports, newspaper features and, as recently as last week, a packed panel discussion on an icy Berlin evening. Dublin is pushing here at an open door.

Beyond Brexit shadow-boxing with Britain, meanwhile, lies the growing EU future reform debate as pushed by French president Emmanuel Macron.

On this Varadkar is likely to echo a recent warning by eight northern European finance ministers, including Paschal Donohoe, that talk of a euro finance minister is wishful thinking until everyone – read France – meets existing – read budget deficit – rules. Such talk goes down well with Merkel’s conservative backbenchers, wary of reforms that would cost their voters more money.

Speaking of money, Berlin has in Dublin a rare ally: another capital that has expressed readiness to step up and pay more into the EU budget to fill the hole left by London.

But the Irish recovery – a welcome good news story in Germany – changes the game. Tax avoidance is a poisonous political issue in Berlin

Varadkar knows he needs to build up goodwill in Berlin given another looming challenge. Merkel’s new coalition agreement – carrying the fingerprints of her Social Democratic Party (SPD) partners – vows to take on “tax dumping” and namechecks as prime offenders Facebook, Google and Apple – all with European headquarters in Ireland.

Ireland insists it will not bow to external pressure but its tax regime is a growing blot on its copybook here and is even now a joke in a new Berlin musical that premiered last week.

A Berlin government spokesman insists there is no “link in substance” between tax and Brexit, but well-placed watchers here say the political link cannot be wished away. A decade ago, Merkel rebuffed Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to exploit crisis Ireland’s dependency on the EU to force changes to its corporate tax regime.

Berlin accepted Irish arguments that it would undermine the already enfeebled economy. But the Irish recovery – a welcome good news story in Germany – changes the game. Tax avoidance is a poisonous political issue in Berlin. With France, Germany is working on bilateral corporate tax convergence plans which, a finance ministry officials says, “should cross-fertilise the wider EU corporate tax debate”.

The tax issue is now in play – see Wednesday’s European Commission plans for a “digital tax” on EU turnover. Moving with, and shaping, that debate, rather than tilting at fiscal windmills of yesteryear would indicate in Berlin that Ireland means business.

Three things needed

To do the business here, though, you need three things: ideas, money and the German language.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton returned from his St Patrick’s Day visit here with good ideas that must now become priorities in Dublin. In particular, Ireland should leverage its unique selling proposition – as the only native English-speaking nation left in the EU – to boost school and research exchanges.

Extended school exchanges for Irish students here would complement their Stem skills with the German language and open an underexploited world of German universities, engineering giants and multibillion-euro German state research funds. To prove Ireland is serious how about, in return, a “shamrock fund” to finance German researchers who partner with – or research in – Ireland?

Culture is a way of framing new Irish engagement with Germany. But that will mean Dublin extending to Berlin the Irish taxpayers’ multimillion-euro generosity already enjoyed by the Irish Centre in New York and the Irish College in Paris.

A final, crucial sign that times have changed would be to retire the tired tradition of Irish taoisigh visiting Germany like it was a burning house in Berlin: grabbing what they can in a quick in-and-out.

A Taoiseach determined to wed his country to Germany, without spending any time here, looks like a father pushing a doomed, arranged marriage.

© 2018 irishtimes.com

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

War of Independence and Civil War in Tipperary and West Waterford

February 18, 2018 Leave a comment

Important Reading on War of Independence and the Civil War and Lessons for To-day:  Book Ernie O Malley-The Singing Flame; Book C Desmond Greaves: Liam Mellowes and The Irish Revolution;  Book D.R. O’C Lysaght: The Munster Creamery Soviets  ; Book C Desmond Greaves: History of ITGWU; D.R.O’C Lysaght: Story of the Limerick Soviet;Paper Conor Kostick : The Irish Working Class and the War of Independence. Book Arthur Mitchel : Labour in Irish Politics 1890-1930-The Irish Labour Movement in an Age of Revolution. Case Histories  Brian Kenny: When Ireland Went Red;Also  Philip Ferguson   : https://theirishrevolution.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/the-working-class-and-the-national-struggle-1916-1921/

See also onthis Blog   Lessons of the Civil War for Today   https://wp.me/pKzXa-OT

Over the Next 5 years, Irish People  Will be Commemorating The War of Independence and the Civil War.

I will be attempting to set out here the developments in County Tipperary and West Waterford in that period.

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The first shots of the War of Independence were,of course, fired in Co Tipperary at Soloheadbeg.

But in addition to military engagements, these developments included:  election to the first All-Ireland Dáil, seizure of creameries by workers (“creamery soviets”), general strike against conscription , strikes in support of hunger strikers, seizure of land of big land owners, strikes of farm  labourers for better pay and conditions,  strikes of transport workers against movement of British troops and munitions etc.

I start to-day near the end of the Civil War in May 1923.

95 Years Ago To-day, on Feb 18, 1923 Tipperary Anti-Treaty Leader Dinny Lacey Was Shot and Killed By Free State Forces

In December 1921, his unit split over the Anglo-Irish Treaty. Lacey opposed the Treaty and most of his men followed suit. Lacey took over command of the Third Tipperary Brigade as Seamus Robinson was appointed to command the anti-Treaty IRA’s Second Southern Division. In the ensuing civil war (June 1922-May 1923), he organised guerrilla activity in the Tipperary area against Irish Free State (pro-Treaty) forces.

He was killed in an action against Free State troops at Ballydavid, near Bansha in the Glen of Aherlow on 18 February 1923. He was 33 years old.Over 1,000 Free State troops, under the command of General John T. Prout, with the intention of breaking up his guerrilla unit, converged on the Glen where he and four other men from his column were billeted. Lacey and one of his men were killed and others captured.

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Anti-Free State Ballad :The Galtee Mountain Boy-Video Below

‘The Galtee Mountain Boy’
(By Patsy Halloran)

Performed by John Breen
Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

I joined the flying column in nineteen and sixteen
In Cork with Sean Moylan, in Tipperary with Dan Breen
Arrested by free staters and sentenced for to die
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee mountain boy

We went across the valleys and over the hilltops green
Where we met with Dinny Lacey, Sean Hogan and Dan Breen
Sean Moylan and his gallant men that kept the flag flying high
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee mountain boy

(The ballad is set in Clonmel Jail as the Galtee Mountain Boy awaits execution by the Free State. Having attempted to relieve the Four Courts the South Tipp and West Waterford Rebels retreated southwards from the Dublin mountains where they had linked up with the anti-treaty forces led by Oscar Traynor. They had received word of the surrender of the Four Courts garrison. From the Dublin Mountains they travelled over the Wicklow Mountains back towards Clonmel .-Paddy Healy)

We tracked the Dublin mountains we were rebels on the run
Though hunted night and morning we were outlaws but free men
We tracked the Wicklow mountains as the sun was shining high
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee mountain boy

I bid farewell to old Clonmel that I never more will see
And to the Galtee mountains that oft times sheltered me
The men who fought for their liberty and who died without a sigh
May their cause be ne’er forgotten said the Galtee mountain boy

Categories: Uncategorized

Monitoring Defense Expenditure As Ireland Participates in Permanent European Structured  (Military) Co-Operation Organisation (PESCO) and Operation Sophia in Mediterranean 

February 1, 2018 1 comment

IRISH NEUTRALITY BEING FULLY PHASED OUT!!

See Taoiseach’s Reply To Seamus Healy TD on Purchase of New 200 Million Euro Military Ship Below

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Rescue ship carrying hundreds of migrants not allowed dock in Italy

Irish Times-A private rescue ship, owned by SOS Mediterranee, carrying 629 migrants remained on a northward course in the Mediterranean Sea after more than a day of not receiving permission to dock in either Italy or Malta. https://wp.me/pKzXa-11z

“To the east, Libya’s coastguard intercepted 152 migrants, including women and children, from two boats stopped in the Mediterranean off the coast of the western Zuwara district on Saturday. The migrants were taken to a naval base in Tripoli(LIBYA).

Human rights groups oppose returning rescued migrants to Libya, where many are held in inhumane conditions, poorly fed and often forced to do slave labour.

The United Nations says at least 785 migrants have died crossing the sea so far this year.”–Associated Press (AP) –Irish Times  Monday, June 11, 2018

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Budget 2018 (October 2017) To Budget 2019 (October 2018)

https://wp.me/pKzXa-11z

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Budget 2018

Fresh funding for new naval flagship vessel and military aircraft

Conor Gallagher

Irish Times: Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 19:07

The replacement of the Naval Service’s flagship vessel and several of the Air Corps’ aircraft are provided for in the defence allocation for Budget 2018.

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe said there will be a “significant” increase of €25 million in defence spending next year, bringing the total Department of Defence funding to €946 million.

Over 25 per cent (€239 million) of defence expenditure will go on Army pensions, an increase of €10 million. There are currently 12,300 military pensioners and this number is increasing, Mr Kehoe said.

The Defence Forces will receive an extra €98 million in long-term investment. This will be used to replace the Air Corps’ five Cessna aircraft that date back to 1972 and two Casa Maritime Patrol aircraft which entered service in 1994.

The Cessnas will be replaced by three larger aircraft equipped for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance tasks.

The increase will also be used to begin the planning process for the replacement of the Naval Service’s flagship vessel LÉ Eithne with a new multi-role ship. A fourth naval ship, the LÉ George Bernard Shaw is due to be delivered in 2018 at a cost of €67 million.

The Army’s fleet of 80 Mowag armoured personal carriers is due to undergo a “mid-life upgrade”.

There is also funding for upgrading military computer and communication equipment and body armour for troops.

Mr Kehoe said the increase in expenditure will allow the Defence Forces to reach its establishment strength of 9,500. The Defence Forces’ current strength of 8,900 means it is struggling to carry out basic duties.

About 750 troops have been recruited so far this year but 200 of them left before completing their training. Meanwhile, about 700 experienced troops retired.

“I remain fully committed to achieving the establishment figure of 9,500 for the Defence Forces,” Mr Kehoe said.

He said the budget will also allow the Defence Forces to continue meeting its overseas commitments with the United Nations.

The 2018 capital funding allocation includes funding for the upgrading of several Army facilities including an ammunition storage facility in the Curragh Camp and the refurbishment of accommodation in Cathal Brugha Barracks.

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Reply to Seamus Healy TD in Dáil
Taoiseach Confirms Decision to Purchase Huge Ship With Helicopter Deck for Use Overseas—Irish Neutrality??? (See below)
Defend IrishNeutrality     https://wp.me/pKzXa-Ut

To: “Seamus Healy” <Seamus.Healy@Oireachtas.ie>
Subject: eReplies to your Parliamentary Questions for 30/01/2018
For Written Answer on : 30/01/2018
Question Number(s): 127 Question Reference(s): 4263/18
Department: Defence
______________________________________________
QUESTION
To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to parliamentary question number 286 of 26 October 2017, the estimated cost of the additional multi role vessel that is proposed for purchase for the Naval Service; if a decision to put the provision of the MRV out to tender has been taken in view of a news report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) Report From Irish Examiner Navy considers €200m multi-role ship – sent to Dept on 24/01/2018 @ 13:05

REPLY
The White Paper provides for the replacement of the current Naval Service flagship LÉ Eithne with a multi role vessel (MRV) which will be enabled for helicopter operations and will also have a freight carrying capacity. It is the Government’s intent that this new vessel will provide a flexible and adaptive capability for a wide range of maritime tasks, both at home and overseas.

Planning has commenced on this project and it is intended to hold a public tender competition in due course to cover the supply of the MRV. This, of course, is subject to the availability of funding within the overall Defence capital funding envelope. The cost of the MRV will only be known once the tender competition is concluded.

The acquisition of a modern vessel will ensure that the operational capabilities of the Naval Service, as the State’s principal seagoing agency, are maintained to the greatest extent and taking account of the overall policy approach in the White Paper on Defence

 


Government To Purchase Huge Ship From Which Helicopters Can Be Launched

Navy considers Buying €200m multi-role ship

From Irish Examiner- The naval base including the naval college is in Haulbowline , Co Cork

We could join Macrons proposed invasion of Libya with this ship. We could even put Irish soldiers ashore in landing craft. The Air Force could also participate from the helicopter deck!!!Will the 200 million or part thereof be in the October budget??

 

Irish Examiner, Thursday,  October 12,  2017   By Sean O’Riordan 

Navy considers €200m multi-role ship

“Not only could the vessel be used overseas……………The MRV could easily accommodate a whole infantry company and all its equipment, who could be launched onshore by landing craft. The ship would also have the capability to launch helicopters from its flight deck”

 

The Naval Service could have a new multi-role vessel (MRV) built and operational wthin the next three years.

A delegation is set to visit New Zealand shortly to look at a warship which could become a blueprint for the new ship — and could cost up to €200m to construct.

A small group consisting of Department of Defence officials and experts from the Defence Forces have been invited by the New Zealand government to inspect HMNZS Canterbury, which was designed by the New Zealand navy.

An MRV could measure up to 150m in length, dwarfing the navy’s largest vessel which is 90m long.

It is intended that it will replace the ageing LÉ Niamh as the navy’s flagship.

The MRV could easily accommodate a whole infantry company and all its equipment, who could be launched onshore by landing craft. The ship would also have the capability to launch helicopters from its flight deck.

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny referred to the need to purchase a multi-functional ship, which could also include a mini onboard hospital, when he commissioned LÉ William Butler Yeats last year.

Following the Budget, Paul Kehoe, minister with responsibility for the Defence Forces, said additional capital funding secured by the Department of Defence would allow it to commence the “process of procuring” an MRV.

The New Zealand ship has been deployed successfully on humanitarian missions, especially to providing help following natural disasters which hit neighbouring countries in recent years.

Once the inspection of the Canterbury is completed, representatives of the Naval Service, Army and Air Corps will sit down and come up with a design which is mutually acceptable for tripartite operations on the vessel.

Defence Forces sources said the ship will need to be adapted for flexible operations, which will include rapid deployment in crisis areas, be they military or humanitarian operations.

Not only could the vessel be used overseas, but it could be deployed for disaster relief here, as well as drug shipment interceptions and more routine duties such as fishery protection.

A source said a Canterbury-type ship was “very much along the lines of what we want”. The Naval Service is already at its most modern since its foundation in 1946.

The fourth new ship for the fleet, LÉ George Bernard Shaw, costing €67m, is currently being constructed at a shipyard in Appledore, Devon, and will be delivered to the Naval Service next summer.

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Government To Spend 250 million on 4 new Ships for Naval Service

Minister Replies QUESTION NO : 286  From Deputy Clare Daly

DEPUTY CLARE DALY.  FOR WRITTEN ANSWER ON WEDNESDAY, 25TH OCTOBER, 2017.

Ref No: 45237/17 Proof: 276

To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason existing Naval Service ships were not refurbished for a fraction of the purchase cost of new ships including multi role vessels the utility of which to the Naval Service is unclear in view of the almost €0.5 billion expenditure on new ships for the Naval Service over recent years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Paul Kehoe, T.D.):

My priority as Minister with Responsibility for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Defence Forces to carry out their roles as assigned by Government as set out in the White Paper on Defence. Equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service are being considered in the context of the lifetime of the White Paper on Defence as part of the capability development and equipment planning process.

In this context the principal aim over the period of the White Paper will be to replace and upgrade, as required, existing capabilities in order to retain a flexible response for a wide range of operational requirements at home and overseas. The Defence Capital envelope for the period 2018-2021 is €416m and this will enable investment in major equipment platforms, including the refurbishment and replacement of Naval Service Vessels.

The White Paper underpins the ongoing replacement of the Naval Service fleet. A significant investment over recent years has been on the procurement of new Off-Shore Patrol Vessels for the Naval Service. The third ship in the programme, LÉ William Butler Yeats, was commissioned in to service in October 2016. A contract for an additional sister ship was placed with Babcock International, a British company, in June 2016 bringing investment in the new ships programme to over €250 million since 2010. The fourth ship, to be named LÉ George Bernard Shaw is scheduled for delivery in mid-2018.

The acquisition of these modern new vessels, combined with an ongoing maintenance regime for all vessels within the fleet, and the continuous process of refurbishment, refit and repair, will ensure that the operational capabilities of the Naval Service, as the States principal seagoing agency, are maintained to the greatest extent.

The service life of a Naval Service ship is determined by the level of operational activity. It is normal practice in a ship’s life cycle to carry out a mid-life refurbishment programme so as to extend the useful life of the ship to thirty or more years. In that regard, the Defence Organisation has commenced planning for a mid-life refurbishment programme for the LÉ Roisin (built in 1999) and the LÉ Niamh (built in 2001). This structured mid-life refurbishment programme will future proof the vessels, allow for preventative maintenance and address obsolescence of equipment through capitalising on advancements in technology, thus ensuring reliability of the vessels for the next 15 years.

Three ships in the current flotilla are over 30 years old (LÉ Eithne and LÉ Ciara were built in 1984 and LÉ Orla was built in 1985). The White Paper provides for the replacement of the current Naval Service flagship LÉ Eithne with a multi role vessel (MRV) which will be enabled for helicopter operations and will also have a freight carrying capacity. It is the intention to hold a public tender competition in due course to cover the supply of the MRV subject to the availability of funding within the overall Defence capital funding envelope. The cost of the MRV will only be known once the tender competition is concluded. Future Naval Service capabilities are being planned as part of the White Paper project planning process which will determine the Defence Organisation’s maritime capability requirements.

Categories: Uncategorized

IRISH ELITE AND GOVERNMENT IMPLEMENT CRUEL LACK OF HEALTH CARE

January 13, 2018 Leave a comment

Over 500,000 waiting for hospital out-patient appointment (alone)

13 weeks prior to 29/12/2017:    495,318; 495,104; 495,557; 495,398 ;494,898 494,530; 495,956 ;496,357; 496,513; 497,721; 498,660 ;499,185; 498,362; 500,800.

https://wp.me/pKzXa-10V

LONGER THAN 1 YEAR AND 3 MONTHS WAITING For IN-Patient Treatment

HSE:Analysis of waiting lists by the NTPF, as of February 2017, identified that 38,991 patients will be waiting for in-patient or day case treatment greater than 15 months at the end of October 2017.

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WAITING LISTS

Martin Wall, Irish Times,: Friday, January 12, 2018, 18:23

There are now more than 500,000 people waiting for an out-patient appointment to see a hospital consultant, new figures show.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) on Friday published figures showing that overall the number of patients on hospital waiting lists is continuing to rise.

There were 81,468 people on waiting lists for hospital in-patient or day case procedures at the end of December, up from 80,595 at the end of November.

The number of patients waiting for an out-patient appointment in December was 500,800, up from 497,721 in November.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said the out-patient waiting list remained “a big challenge that needs to be addressed”. He said the budget for the NTPF and to deal with waiting lists had dramatically increased .

He said he expected “ to see good progress in driving down waiting lists as we come into the spring”.

However, Fianna Fáil’s health spokesman Billy Kelleher said it was “absolutely appalling” that more than half a million people were now waiting for an outpatient appointment.

He argued that Mr Harris had “clearly taken his eye off the ball as he attempts, and fails, to grapple with emergency department trolley crisis”

“A total of 138,584 of these patients spent all of 2017 waiting unsuccessfully for an outpatient consultation. And half of these have actually being waiting since the middle of 2016,” he said.

“We should remember too that Leo Varadkar promised that no-one would be waiting more than 18 months by the middle of 2015. Delivery on that commitment seems further away than ever.”

Mr Harris said it was worth highlighting that the number of patients waiting more than 12 months was lower in December than at any point last year and there were marked decreases in those waiting for treatment for a number of specialities including cataracts; ear, nose and throat; urology and scopes.

“At present over 57 per cent of patients on the in-patient list wait less than six months, and over 84 per cent wait less than 12 months for their procedure. This is despite the additional demands on our hospitals,” he said.

“The out-patient waiting list remains a big challenge that needs to be addressed. It is worth noting that last year almost half a million (479,000) outpatients did not attend their appointment. This is something that must be tackled.”

Mr Kelleher said it was “ bitterly disappointing” that after four months of modest improvements, the numbers waiting on the inpatient day case list have edged upwards again.”

“Sadly the chaos we have seen in our emergency departments so far in 2018 means that we are likely to see a further increase in January,” he said. “It is critical that the Minister for Health publishes the bed capacity review as soon as possible and bring forward a costed plan for its swift implementation.”

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RTE:Almost 679,000 patients waiting for hospital care, new figures show

Updated / Friday, 6 Oct 2017 22:55

Over 101,460 were waiting for inpatient or day case treatment, down slightly on the August figure

Over 678,800 patients are now waiting for hospital care, according to the latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund.

The figures released this evening are up to the end of September.

While the overall figures represent an increase of about 19,000 on the previous month, some lists have seen reductions.

Of the 678,800 total, over 101,460 were waiting for inpatient or day case treatment, down slightly on the August figure.

19,100 were waiting for a gastrointestinal endoscopy check.

Over 495,300 were waiting to be seen by a consultant at an outpatient clinic, down slightly on the August figures.

A further 62,800 people were scheduled for follow-up care soon having had initial treatment already.

In August, the National Treatment Purchase Fund changed the way the waiting list figures are presented.

The figures now detail patients who have a date set to be seen, patients waiting for a date, and suspended patients – those who are temporarily unfit or unable to attend due to clinical or personal reasons.

The total number in the suspended list is 10,317.

Included in the suspended list are patients whose treatment is being outsourced to another hospital, possibly a private hospital.

The NTPF also publishes a list of what are called ‘planned procedures’ – a list of patients who have had an initial episode of care and who are waiting for further treatment.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said he welcomes that there has been a reduction in the total number of patients waiting for both procedures and outpatient appointments.

In a statement, Mr Harris said: “This is evidence that the measures being taken to reduce waiting lists are beginning to work. We are seeing a downward trend and we expect that to continue. This is the second month in a row that we have seen a reduction in the number of patients waiting for Inpatient or Day Case procedures.

Mr Harris said that “good progress” was being made, before noting the long waiting list times faced by patients, saying: “I acknowledge that waiting times are too long and I am keenly aware of the burden that long waiting times for treatment places on patient and their families.

“That is why we now need to do more and that is why funding for the NTPT is to rise in 2018, so that more procedures can be carried out and more people can be treated.”

He added that the reduction of waiting times for patients and improving access to health services is one of his key priorities.

Mother waiting over two years for procedure

Serena Guilfoyle from Portlaoise is 34 years old and is the mother of four young children.

She was recently treated for breast cancer and has ongoing problems with her stomach and had part of her bowel removed.

Ms Guilfoyle is awaiting news on a possible diagnosis of coeliac disease.

 

She is on the waiting list at the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore for a stomach biopsy – with an appointment date over two years away.

She told RTÉ News she is terrified of the wait.

The Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore said it cannot comment on individual patient care.

The hospital said it is actively working with the HSE to ensure no patient is waiting more than 18 months and to meet targets set for those waiting less than 15 months.

It said it is committed to ensuring that those with the greatest clinical need are prioritised for treatment.

The Private Hospitals Association has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to convene a crisis summit over hospital waiting lists.

The Association said radical solutions are now required to drive down waiting lists and to keep them down for good.

Its Chief Executive, Simon Nugent, said it was like a chronic ‘Groundhog Day’ for hundreds of thousands of patients and their families who every month are being told that their wait must go on.

 

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Current hospital crisis will seem like picnic if more beds not provided in future – HSE

Martin Wall, Irish times,Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 11:07

The current level of hospital overcrowding will “look like a picnic” compared to what will happen in the future unless capacity is increased, the head of the HSE has said.

Tony O’Brien said the population was growing and ageing and people would need more access to healthcare. He said this meant the healthcare system would have to be “differently shaped and differently sized”.

He said he was pleased that there was now a political consensus about the issue.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Mr O’Brien said if additional bed capacity was not provided, the healthcare system would face “an existential crisis” in the years ahead.

“We cannot go through the next five years without addressing this issue, because what we’re seeing today will look like a picnic if we don’t,” he said.

“If we continue with the healthcare system in the shape that it is, with only the number of beds that it has, with the population changing and increasing, the level of demand for emergency care will continue to grow with a static bed stock.”

Mr O’Brien made his comments after new figures compiled by nurses revealed there were 551 patients on trolleys in emergency departments or on wards awaiting admission to a hospital bed.

Mr O’Brien said he acknowledged that the experience for many patients in hospitals at present was not good.

He said the trolley figures for Wednesday were much too high but they were also clearly evident of the tremendous work being carried out by staff and the fact that some of the planning put in place over the last year had been effective in part.

Mr O’Brien said the Irish public health system was structured for a different time, as was its level of capacity.

He said bed occupancy in many of the country’s major hospital was running at well over 100 per cent.

“Last week in the UK, because it exceeded 85 per cent (bed occupancy levels) we saw the prime minister apologising for the cancellation of all elective treatment. If we followed that we would not be doing elective treatment at all.”

He said he was pleased that with the forthcoming report of the Government’s bed capacity review and the Slaintecare reforms “we are on the brink of changes which will mean in the future we will not see what we are seeing now”.

Not competitive

The Irish Times reported on Saturday that the review will call for the provision of an additional 2,000 – 2,500 acute hospital beds if planned healthcare reforms were implemented and up to 9,000 additional beds if the changes were not put in place.

Mr O’Brien warned, however, that increasing capacity in hospitals did not involve “going down to Bargaintown and buying a few beds”.

He said providing infrastructure in hospitals was a complex, long and expensive business.

He said additional staff would also have to be found and he acknowledged that Ireland was not internationally competitive in recruiting healthcare personnel.

New figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said there were 43 patients at LetterkennyGeneral Hospital and 42 patients at Galway University Hospital waiting for a bed after being deemed by doctors to require admission .

The INMO figures suggest that the number of people on trolleys is down from the 575 recorded on Tuesday and the record levels of 677 reached last week.

The INMO figures show that in Dublin the largest number of people waiting for a bed was at Tallaght Hospital while 29 people were on trolleys or on wards awaiting admission to a bed.

Capacity

Meanwhile the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) urged the Government to acknowledge that the health service was experiencing a system-wide problem of lack of capacity and not just an emergency department or trolley crisis.

“ What we are seeing in our emergency departments is only the manifestation of the wider problems – and we are now seeing the same problems in other parts of our services as they struggle to cope with capacity and patient demand.”

“It is not sustainable to have solutions that:

*cancel elective procedures. In many of these cases the patient will simply present back in the emergency department and in all cases will add to the already unmanageable waiting lists.

*transfer patients from hospitals to private facilities. Continuing a policy of investing much needed resources into the private system with no corresponding investment in our public system will simply maintain the status quo – it is the same number of patients requiring treatment but we are putting taxpayers’ monies into a private profit based system.”

The IMO said all the problems being experienced centred around capacity:

“capacity with regards to the number of beds in both acute hospitals and the community setting; capacity with respect to the number of medical staff. We need to attract more consultants and capacity in general practice – we must deliver a wider range of services at GP surgeries .

“The unfortunate truth that Government seems to be avoiding, is that all this requires a seismic shift in the way we deliver and fund our health services and that costs money. It would be truly revolutionary to hear the Government saying not only have they decided on the priorities but they are actually going to fund them. As a society we cannot continue to simply give out about our health services, we need to agree on the solutions and agree that these will have to be paid for.”

Meanwhile the trade union Siptu called on health service watchdog HIQA to investigate the overcrowding being experienced in hospital emergency departments.

HIQA said it did not have the power to regulate acute general hospital services and had no enforcement powers.

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Population projections spell trouble for struggling hospitals

Peter Murtagh, Irish Times, Saturday, January 6, 2018,

Capacity problems currently facing hospitals, and evidently defying effective measures to resolve them, can only get far worse, if recent population and life expectancy projections come to pass.

Based on data from the 2016 Census, an Economic and Social Research Institute report, Projections of Demand for Healthcare in Ireland, 2015-2030, published last October postulated a population growth of up to 23 per cent, or 640,000-1.1 million extra people.

All of those people will, by definition, place additional demands on maternity and childcare services, with a proportion of them needing ongoing care. But it is the ageing nature of the population that will place a disproportionately greater burden on services.

The number of people aged 65 and over is expected to grow from its present one in eight to one in six. The number of people aged over 85 will almost double.

Older people’s dependency on support services and greater proneness to illness will probably translate into greater demands for elective operations, such as hip and knee replacements, and on care prompted by other ailments related to age such as oncology care, dementia and respiratory care, circulatory problems related to heart disease and strokes and, ultimately, home help and residential nursing home care.

The ESRI projected that demand for home help and for residential and intermediate care places in nursing homes and other settings would increase by up to 54 per cent.

Demand for public hospital services is projected to increase by up to 37 per cent for inpatient bed days and up to 30 per cent for inpatient cases; and demand for GP visits is projected to increase by up to 27 per cent.

The report’s authors suggested additional demand projected for the years to 2030 will give rise to demand for additional expenditure, capital investment and expanded staffing and will have major implications for capacity planning, workforce planning and training.

In public hospitals, they suggested demand for inpatient bed days would increase by 32-37 per cent by 2030, from 3.27 million in 2015. Demand for inpatient cases is projected to increase by between 24-30 per cent by 2030, from 510,000 in 2015.

Demand for day-patient cases is projected to increase by 23-29 per cent by 2030, from 1.01 million in 2015.

Private trends

Regarding private hospitals, which are often colocated with public hospitals and share staff, demand for inpatient bed days is projected to increase by 28-32 per cent by 2030 from 610,000 in 2015.

Demand for private hospital inpatient cases is projected to increase by 20-25 per cent by 2030, from 130,000 in 2015; and demand for private hospital day-patient cases is projected to increase by 24-28 per cent by 2030 from 460,000 in 2015.

The report projected that demand for GP visits would increase by 20-27 per cent by 2030, from 17.55 million in 2015; and demand for practice nurse visits is projected to increase by 26-32 per cent by 2030, from 5.94 million in 2015.

Demand for long-term and intermediate care places in nursing homes and other settings is projected to increase by 40-54 per cent by 2030, from 29,000 in 2015.

Demand for home help hours is projected to increase by 38-54 per cent by 2030 from 14.3 million in 2015.

Up to 9,000 additional hospital beds needed, review finds

Martin Wall, Sarah Bardon
Last Updated: Saturday, January 6, 2018, 03:00

Between 7,000 and 9,000 additional hospital beds will be required over the next decade or so if the existing model of healthcare continues, the Government’s long-awaited review of capacity requirements has found.

The review has concluded, however, that the number of additional beds needed could be reduced to 2,000-2,500 in the years up to 2030 if Sláintecare reform proposals, such as investing heavily in healthcare services in the community, are implemented.

In addition, the review recommends that a number of hospitals should be established to deal exclusively with elective or non-urgent cases. It argues this would assist in reducing waiting lists and emergency department overcrowding in acute hospitals.

Health service sources said this could involve a reconfiguration of existing services in some parts of the country including potentially closing some emergency departments.

Existing reform plans along these lines in Portlaoise have prompted strong criticism from local politicians and campaign groups in the midlands.

The bed capacity review also calls for dramatic increases in long-term residential places. This would assist in reducing the number of delayed discharge patients in hospitals; those whose acute phase of treatment has concluded, but cannot be sent home or transferred to other healthcare facilities.

The Minister for Health Simon Harris has repeatedly pointed to the forthcoming bed capacity review as the way to deal with the overcrowding and trolley crisis in public hospitals.

Trolley count

Nurses on Friday maintained that more than 2,400 patients had to spend time on trolleys in hospitals in the first few days of 2018 while waiting on a bed.

The number of people deemed to require admission to hospital by a doctor and waiting for a bed fell to 483 on Friday, from record levels of 677 experienced early this week. However doctors and health service administrators forecast that the numbers could rise again in the next week or so as the peak of the flu season hits.

The HSE said on Friday it expected non-urgent elective procedures would not take place in hospitals next week but maintained this would be considered on a hospital-by-hospital basis.

However, the HSE stressed hospital groups and individual hospitals were ensuring that cancer and other urgent elective procedures were continuing to be carried out.

“Other non-urgent elective work will be reviewed on a site by site on a clinically prioritised basis during the course of the next week. We expect that non-urgent elective procedures will not proceed but stress that this will be considered on a site by site prioritised basis.”

Community facilities

The bed capacity review is expected to be published within the next three weeks and will feed into the Government’s overall 10-year capital plan.

The provision of additional hospital beds along the lines of the recommendations in the forthcoming capacity review would cost hundreds of millions of euro.

The Department of Health told the Oireachtas committee on the future of healthcare last year that the construction and capital cost of providing an additional hospital bed was about €325,000.

On this basis it would cost in excess of €800 million to provide the 2,500 additional beds proposed by the capacity review as part of a reformed health service.

Mr Harris told The Irish Times in an interview prior to Christmas that thousands of additional beds in acute hospitals and community facilities would be required in the future and that the forthcoming review would set out specific numbers.

He said on Thursday that significant additional funding would have to be provided by Government to meet the cost of opening additional hospital beds.

Almost 680,000 on public hospital waiting lists, latest figures show

Mark Hilliard

Irish Times Friday, October 6, 2017, 20:55

Almost 680,000 people remain on public hospital waiting lists for various procedures, according to the latest published figures.

By the end of September, outpatients, the largest group of those awaiting treatment, has approached half a million, now at 495,318, figures from the National Treatment Purchase fund show. That compares to 497,300 at the end of August.

There were just over 83,000 existing or active inpatients awaiting treatment while a further 18,423 who had been given first appointment dates are also now among those listed.

Just over 10,000 patients had procedures suspended which can happen for a variety of reasons, whether through voluntary postponement of a previous appointment or because an individual is not well enough to undergo a procedure.

A further 62,874 people are awaiting follow-up appointments having completed initial treatment.

Simon Nugent, chief executive of the Private Hospitals Association, noted a welcome slight reduction of 909 inpatients awaiting treatment.

“Endoscopy waiting lists are up by 682 which is similar to the number of patients to be treated by [the Health] Minister’s endoscopy NTPF initiative announced in the last couple of weeks,” he said in a statement. “It looks like this will just address this one month’s increase. This is worrying.”

Specialist appointments

He also noted that while the out-patient total had dropped by 2,000, the number of those waiting for a specialist appointment for longer than 18 months has gone up by almost 1,500.

“We still need dramatic new thinking to stop tinkering with the numbers at the margin and to see real reductions,” he said. “That’s why the Minister for Health Simon Harris needs to convene an emergency summit bringing all players together to see what approaches could be most effective.”

In its own analysis, the Health Service Executive (HSE) said the number of patients waiting more than five months has fallen by 1,333 from 10,791 in August to 9,458 in September.

The total number of patients on the in-patient and day case list has reduced by 900 in the same month.

 

Fintan O’Toole: The A&E crisis is perfectly acceptable

Fintan O’Toole Saturday, January 13, 2018,

Exactly seven years ago this weekend, The Irish Times reported: “Waiting times for patients attending emergency departments in many hospitals earlier this month were unacceptable, Minister of Health Mary Harney told the Dáil. She said she had discussed plans with the HSE for ensuring that this situation did not recur.”

This week, the Minister for Health Simon Harris used that same word, declaring the current crisis in hospital emergency departments “unacceptable”.

It is a word that returns again and again in almost every discussion of the inadequacies of Ireland’s public hospital system. “Unacceptable” or its variants was used five times, for example, in the 2002 Acute Hospital Bed Capacity report.

In the foreword, the then minister for health, Micheál Martin, wrote of “cancellation of elective admissions, long delays in accident and emergency departments, waiting lists for elective procedures and unacceptably high bed occupancy levels in the major hospitals”.

It is time we admitted that “unacceptable” is a big lie. By definition, if a situation is unacceptable, it does not become an annual event, a kind of grotesque winter festival of suffering that is now as much a part of the calendar as Christmas and New Year.

National emergency

Each year, it is greeted with the same language: unacceptable, intolerable, “bloody awful” (Leo Varadkar, 2015) or even, as Harney declared it in 2006, a “national emergency”. (“People who need to be admitted will have beds, not trolleys, and the basics for human dignity. This will be put in place in the coming months. Anything less than this is not acceptable to the public, not acceptable to me and not acceptable to the HSE.”)

It took an outsider to tell the truth. Tracy Cooper, who came in from Britain to establish the Health Information & Quality Authority, spoke in May 2012, after a patient had died on a trolley, of the “persistent, and generally accepted, tolerance of patients lying on trolleys in corridors for long periods of time”.

‘Generally accepted’ is the honest description of the misery inflicted every winter on vulnerable, sick people. ‘Unacceptable’ is a self-serving pretence

“Generally accepted” is the honest description of the misery inflicted every winter on vulnerable, sick people, most of them elderly. “Unacceptable” is a self-serving pretence.

It sounds good. It suggests that there is a collective public and political shock at the realisation that something “bloody awful” is being done to real people. And it suggests that this will end simply because it must, that all stops are being pulled out, that loins are being girded, that this is the very last time. None of this has ever been true.

Because “unacceptable” is a lie, everything that follows it has to be regarded with extreme scepticism. What follows, invariably, is the firm purpose of amendment – the capacity review, the task force, the promise that this time it’s different.

Harris this week declared that 2018 would be the “year of reform”. Like, presumably, the year of reform that has been announced by every one of his predecessors since the late 1990s.

Acceptable cruelty

The UK home secretary Reginald Maudling got into trouble in 1971 when he spoke of “an acceptable level of violence” in Northern Ireland. But we have to confront the fact that there is an acceptable level of cruelty in the Irish healthcare system. Not acceptable to the patients or their families or the medical staff who are doing their considerable best to alleviate the suffering – but collectively tolerable nonetheless.

It is the price that must be paid if we are to maintain a refusal to create a rational national health service that allocates resources efficiently, effectively and above all fairly.

The underlying problem is not money. Ireland spends about €20 billion a year on healthcare, €8 billion of it on hospitals. This is relatively high, especially if we take into account that we have a young (and thus healthy) population. Per capita, it is about the same as Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands or Germany – all countries that seem to be able to avoid the scale of inbuilt cruelties that Ireland routinely inflicts on patients.

We spend enough on a current annual basis to have a decent healthcare system. (There is an obvious need, of course, for major capital investments.) So why don’t we have one?

There are many reasons, but the core problem is not the money itself. It is the way we raise it and spend it. The headline figures for health expenditure mask something that is quite distinctive about Ireland: the weird mix of public and private spending.

Our fragmented, illogical and inefficient health system is full of perverse incentives for hospitals and consultants to chase private money at the expense of public patients

Only 70 per cent of Irish health spending comes from Government revenues – a figure that has declined drastically since 2000 when it was nearly 80 per cent. The rest comes from private insurance and from out-of-pocket payments to GPs and pharmacists. This creates a fragmented, illogical and inefficient system, full of perverse incentives for hospitals and consultants to chase the private money at the expense of public patients. The private 30 per cent distorts the purposes of the public 70 per cent.

Why do we have this system? The answer is quite bizarre and it goes right back to the 1950s. This was the postwar era in which most European countries were creating national health services. But the Catholic Church and much of the medical establishment was ideologically opposed to the creation of a single, unified NHS in Ireland.

Irish compromise

An Irish compromise was reached – 85 per cent of people would be entitled to free care in public hospitals but the top 15 per cent of earners would buy private insurance, thus guaranteeing the consultants they could still have extra, “private” income and guaranteeing Catholic “voluntary” hospitals that they would not become State entities.

Weirdly, however, this “private” care would be provided in public hospitals. The two-tier system was born. And it got weirder over time: entitlement to public hospital care became universal in the 1990s but at the same time the number of people buying private health insurance rose from the initial 15 per cent to almost 50 per cent.

Nobody thinks this system makes any sense. It has many people paying twice for the same service and many other people being displaced because they can’t afford private insurance. It allocates resources chaotically and in ways that are hard to track, never mind justify.

On the one hand, highly efficient parts of the system, such as local general practice, are starved of resources, pushing patients into the emergency-department nightmare. On the other, highly skilled professionals are incentivised to treat people on the basis of money, not of need.

The absurdities multiply to the point where public hospitals are now putting pressure on patients who have private insurance to declare that they are “private patients” and thus cash cows.

But do we really want to change this system? Do we really want a coherent national health service that spends money where there is greatest need? Do we really want a system that starts by ruling out the “unacceptable” – a regular, predictable and “bloody awful” ritual of suffering – and works back from there?

Doing this would limit the incentives for professionals to chase private patients while drawing public salaries. It would also limit the ability of those private patients to skip ahead of the long queues for elective procedures. It would take away the sense of healthcare as a private commodity and make it a public good.

The annual A&E crisis reveals one brutal truth behind all the rhetorical reassurances: you can’t buy your way off a chair or a trolley and into a public bed. The public emergency departments are the arenas in which all are equal – and equally miserable. This truth waits for us all. The question is whether we want to change it before we have to experience it.

Categories: Uncategorized

Austerity in Education Provision

January 8, 2018 Leave a comment

Where is TUI On Pay Equality NOW???

INTO GET LABOUR COURT TO REFER NEW ENTRANT PAY TO EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE

Below is Article from Sunday Times-Ireland> Teachers take pay war to European court  https://wp.me/pKzXa-10P

 

> A claim by two primary school teachers that they were discriminated

> against by the state when they were recruited on lower salaries during

> the financial crash has been referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

>

> The referral by the Labour Court coincides with talks between the

> public service unions and the government about eradicating lower entry pay points.

> Paschal Donohoe, the finance minister, has estimated this would cost

> €200m if applied to the whole public service. Donohoe has said there

> can be no concessions on pay equalisation until after 2020, when the

> current public service pay agreement expires. Unions are demanding

> that some payments be included in this October’s budget.

>

>

>

> Donohoe has said there can be no concessions on pay equalisation until

> after 2020ROLLINGNEWS.IE

>

> Donohoe has already pencilled in €370m for increases in the public

> service pay bill next year, but this excludes the cost of recruiting

> teachers, nurses and gardai and any concession on pay equalisation.

>

> Should the ECJ support the teachers’ claim, the finance minister may

> be forced to increase the provision for public sector pay, reducing

> what he has set aside for tax cuts and spending increases in the third

> and final budget under the confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fail.

>

> The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) took the case on

> behalf of Claire Keegan and Thomas Horgan, two teachers recruited on

> lower salaries in 2011. The INTO told the Equality Tribunal that both

> faced career losses of

> €100,000 due to what it claimed was “unlawful age discrimination”.

>

> The tribunal rejected the claim on the basis that the government was

> facing a financial crisis at the time, and the 10% cut in entrants’

> pay, applied to all new public servants, “was objectively justified by a legitimate aim”.

> The INTO appealed the decision to the Labour Court, which has now

> referred some questions to the ECJ.

>

> According to a report in Industrial Relations News, the key question

> is whether the state “could have achieved equivalent savings by

> reducing the pay of all teachers by a significantly lesser amount than

> the reduction applied only to newly recruited teachers”.

>

> The Labour Court also told the ECJ that 75% of those affected were under 25.

> Teachers’ unions claim it has become difficult to hire teachers on

> current starting rates of pay, in part due to high rental costs.

>

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Numbers applying for teacher-training courses have “collapsed” by more than 60 per cent over the past five years, new figures show.-Irish Times

No overall problem with teacher supply, insists Department of Education

Austerity in Education   https://wp.me/pKzXa-10P

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Dáil Exchanges between  Seamus Healy TD and Minister Richard Bruton  on Pay and Pension Equality for New Entrant  Teachers and Problems in Teacher Recruitment

“I am again calling on the Minister to put in place real measures, including pay parity and a panel  to deal with this crisis that is not just immediate but is staring us in the face”- Seamus Healy TD

Austerity in Education   https://wp.me/pKzXa-10P

Teachers’ Remuneration   Dáil Report  Feb 1

5. Deputy Seamus Healy Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to end the unequal remuneration of new entrants in the teaching profession as a key step in addressing shortages of teaching staff; his further plans to end the teaching shortage; if all such measures have been agreed with the teaching unions concerned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4981/18]

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy All education stakeholders now acknowledge there is an unprecedented crisis in recruitment and retention of teachers. In fact, today at lunchtime, 15,000 members of the Teachers Union of Ireland in schools and colleges throughout the country will protest outside their workplaces demanding a change in Government policy. My question asks the Minister to face up to this crisis and to put effective measures in place to solve the crisis, including the introduction of pay parity for young teachers who commenced employment on or after 1 January 2011.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Reduced pay scales for new entrants to the public service were introduced in 2010. I am pleased that, under the Lansdowne Road Agreement, together with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform I negotiated a programme of pay restoration with the teacher unions. Through this process, a 15% to 22% pay increase was negotiated for new teachers. The agreements to date have restored an estimated 75% of the difference in pay for newer teachers and deliver full equality at later points in the scale. As a result of these changes, the current starting salary of a new teacher is €35,958 and, from 1 October 2020, will be €37,692. This is a very competitive graduate salary, as the CSO reports today have confirmed.

I have successfully hired over 5,000 extra teachers in the last two years. We are hiring more teachers than at any other point in the State’s history.

Any further negotiation on new entrant pay is a cross-sectoral issue, not just an issue for the education sector. The public service stability agreement 2018-20 contains a commitment to consider the issue of newly qualified teacher pay within 12 months of the agreement’s commencement and that process has started. Also, the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 provides that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform will lay a report before the Oireachtas on the cost of, and a plan for dealing with, pay equalisation for new entrants within three months of the passing of the Act.

On the issue of teacher supply, the Deputy may wish to note that I have already announced a number of measures to increase the pool of teachers available to schools, in particular to fill short-term vacancies.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy The number of applicants for the postgraduate courses which enable graduates to qualify to become second level teachers has fallen from 2,842 in 2011 to 1,068 last year. That means the number of applicants is now substantially less than half of what it was five years ago – in fact, there has been a collapse of 62% over that period. It is clear that a career as a teacher no longer has the attraction it had even five years ago. Clearly, the combination of salary scale, conditions of service and career prospects are deficient. This is exacerbated by the travesty of paying new entrants at a lower salary scale and providing a pension scheme which is significantly inferior to that enjoyed by their longer-serving colleagues.

Will the Minister, as a first step, equalise the pay scales of new entrants with their colleagues? The Catholic Primary Schools Management Association, which represents 2,800 schools, found that 90% of principals are having difficulties finding qualified or substitute teachers.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): Information on Eugene Murphy Zoom on Eugene Murphy Thank you, Deputy.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy A panel is urgently needed to deal with this matter. The situation at third level is also significantly difficult and there has been a 32% increase in student numbers, a 10% reduction in staff and, not surprisingly, lecturing staff have an increased workload over and above their European colleagues.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): Information on Eugene Murphy Zoom on Eugene Murphy The time is up. The Deputy will have another minute.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy This is damaging and restricting the contribution of institutes to the country.

Deputy Richard Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I assure the Deputy the number of students graduating as teachers is stable. There has been no fall in the number of graduates and what has happened is that we have dramatically increased the level of recruitment.

In terms of graduate supply from the master’s programme referred to by the Deputy, he is right that the number of applicants for that programme has fallen. However, the number graduating from the programme has not. By contrast, the undergraduate programme is massively oversubscribed. There are more than 5,000 seeking to join the undergraduate programme, for which there are only 500 places, and I announced last week that I plan to double the number of places on that undergraduate programme. Of course, that has the advantage in financial terms that a master’s fee does not have to be paid for people going that route. I have also announced that I plan to have quotas for particular subject areas where, as Deputies have pointed out, there is tightness and we need to have ambition, for example, the STEM programme and the foreign languages programme. I am establishing a teachers supply steering group which will work with all of the stakeholders to deliver these programmes. I made immediate changes in terms of the career break and the period that people could work on a career break. I have advised schools that they should not give a career break unless they can, as the circular requires, be assured it is in the best interests of children in the school and that they can fill the position vacated.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy The Minister’s reply reminds me of that old adage: everybody is wrong except my Johnny. The ETBs, the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools, the joint managerial bodies, the trade unions and everybody else have acknowledged there is a significant crisis in recruitment and retention of teachers and it is getting worse. The suggestion that restricting career breaks would help is not correct and would, in fact, worsen the situation and mean we have teachers emigrating.

We must continue to have the most able people teaching our children. The continuation of current Government policy will do lasting damage to the education system. Bad and all as the situation is now, official documents and official statistics show that, at second level alone, there will be an additional 85,000 students by 2025, which will require an additional 4,000 teachers.

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): Information on Eugene Murphy Zoom on Eugene Murphy Thank you, Deputy.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy I am again calling on the Minister to put in place real measures, including pay parity and a panel—–

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): Information on Eugene Murphy Zoom on Eugene Murphy Deputy, please.

Deputy Seamus Healy: Information on Seamus Healy Zoom on Seamus Healy —–to deal with this crisis that is not just immediate but is staring us in the face.

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Ray Silke Criticises Minister Bruton

Salary scale unfair to young teachers

Irish Times: Saturday, February 3, 2018, 00:02

Sir, – Minister for Education Richard Bruton continues his ongoing assertion that the starting rate of pay for a new teacher is a “very competitive salary” (“Salary for new teachers ‘very competitive’, -says Bruton”, February 1st). From the perspective of fairness, integrity and transparency, he needs to clarify his point in saying that “the starting salary for a full-time teacher” is very competitive.

In my experience, very few young teachers get full-time positions for a number of years after qualification and many are teaching in excess of six and seven years and still do not have full hours.

Second, can the Minister please stop mentioning October 2020 as a time when a new teacher’s salary will be “very competitive”?

His reference point is two years and nine months from now, and that projected increase will not pay the rent for newly qualified teachers in the intervening 33 months in such cities as Dublin, Cork, Galway or Limerick. Newly qualified teachers know that buying a house in one of our major cities, or even aspiring to own one, is totally beyond their reach, unless of course the bank of mammy and daddy is well packed.

Finally, could the Minister also disclose the fact that the top of a newly qualified teacher’s salary is €67,025. However, please also mention, in the interest of clarity that it will take them – God willing and with good health – 35 years in their chosen profession to get to the top of their salary scale?

One wonders how many of their classmates from university in different roles who qualify with a degree, and a two-year masters (six years in college normally) at say 25 years of age, will work until they are 60 years of age to get to the top of their salary scale?

The Minster should consider shortening the existing 35-year salary scale rather than trying to encourage retired teachers to come back into the profession. – Yours, etc,

RAY SILKE,

Moycullen, Co Galway.

————————————————————————————————————————

Priority  Question from Seamus Healy TD  For Oral Answer at 10.30 AM, Thursday,Feb 1

Priority Question: To Minister For Education, Richard Bruton TD

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will immediately end the unequal remuneration of new entrants to the teaching profession  as a key step in addressing shortages of teaching staff and equality of treatment for teachers and

If he will outline what further measures he is taking to  end the teaching shortage and

If all such measures have been agreed with the teaching unions concerned ,

And if he will make a statement on the matter?

Seamus Healy TD   087-2802199

“All education stakeholders now acknowledge that there is an unprecedented crisis in the recruitment and retention of teachers,” said TUI president Joanne Irwin.

“However, it is regrettable in the extreme, and foolish, that the Government is still refusing to acknowledge or commit to the only guaranteed cure.”

Statement by Teaching Unions and Managerial Bodies Below

But Black Propaganda is the government Response!!!!

A spokeswoman for Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, said more than 5,000 extra teachers have been hired since he was appointed.

The Department of Education and Science noted that the salary of a newly qualified teacher straight out of college in January 2018 will be €35,958.

“This is a very competitive graduate salary,” said the spokeswoman. 

‘Collapse’ in numbers applying for teacher-training courses

Carl O’Brien, Irish Times  Monday, January 8, 2018, 01:00

Numbers applying for teacher-training courses have “collapsed” by more than 60 per cent over the past five years, new figures show.

The dramatic fall-off comes as concern mounts over the educational impact on students of teacher shortages in schools across key subjects.

Surveys and reports compiled by school management organisations and teacher unions – seen by The Irish Times – state that Leaving Cert students in some schools are being left with unqualified tutors for subjects such as maths and Irish for months on end.

At primary level, they note that special needs teachers are being redeployed as class teachers, resulting in reduced access to special education among pupils with additional needs.

In some cases, classes which do not have a full-time teacher are being taught by individuals with no qualifications, who may teach for a maximum of five days, under employment rules.

Substitute teachers

The Catholic Primary Schools Management Association – which represents about 2,800 primary schools – has found that 90 per cent of principals are having difficulties finding qualified or substitute teachers.

At second level, some voluntary secondary schools are now offering accommodation to applicants for key positions.

Shortages of teachers are most acute in subjects such as Irish, maths, European languages and science.

A report compiled by the Education and Training Board Ireland found that just one of four Irish teachers at one of its secondary schools was qualified to teach Irish.

The Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools, which represents 96 community and comprehensive schools, has also found in a survey that many of its schools are engaging unqualified personnel to teach key subjects.

It has found that there were no applicants for key positions, despite advertising and readvertising vacancies.

The Joint Managerial Body, which represents 374 voluntary secondary schools, says there has been “political drift” for too long over what it now a “crisis” facing many secondary schools.

One principal said: “Why is Irish a compulsory subject when it is almost impossible to find a substitute teacher for this subject?”

Schools also report curtailing sports, games and other extra-curricular activities due to shortages.

In response, a spokeswoman for Minister for Education Richard Bruton said more than 5,000 extra teachers have been hired since he was appointed.

“All of these positions have been filled or will be filled very shortly,” said the spokeswoman.

She acknowledged that some schools have reported shortages in recruiting teachers in specific subjects at post primary level.

The spokeswoman added that the Minister was considering a range of measures to resolve pinch points in certain subjects and that announcements on this were due shortly.

Worrying trend

Latest figures on applications for teaching-training courses at second level, in particular, however, show cause for concern.

The majority of applications are processed through the post-graduate applications centre.

The number of applications for these courses has fallen from 2,824 in 2011 to 1,068 last year, a 62 per cent drop.

Teacher unions say the trend is linked to a combination of factors such as difficulties for young teachers accessing full-time permanent posts and lower pay for new entrants.

The high cost of completing a new two-year professional master of education course – which has replaced the old one-year higher diploma – is also seen as a major issue.

The number of graduates has also fallen, down from 1,1116 to 818 over the same period, a drop of almost 30 per cent.

The department, however, noted that the salary of a newly qualified teacher straight out of college in January 2018 will be €35,958.

“This is a very competitive graduate salary,” said the spokeswoman.

© 2018 irishtimes.com


No overall problem with teacher supply, insists Department of Education

Carl O’Brien Irish Times: Monday, January 8, 2018, 19:50

The Department of Education has insisted there is no overall problem with teacher supply but has acknowledged there are “pinch points” across key subjects.

While school managers and teacher unions say there has been a “collapse” in the numbers applying to be teachers, the department says the numbers graduating at primary and post-primary have remained relatively steady.

“Over 5,000 permanent, full-time teachers have been hired since Minister Bruton was appointed, almost 2,400 in primary schools and just over 2,850 in post primary schools,” a department spokeswoman said.

“All of these positions have been filled. There is no overall problem with teacher supply. The official figures support this.”

She said Minister for Education Richard Bruton was committed to addressing pinch points in subjects such as Stem – science, technology, engineering and maths – and foreign languages through measures such as financial incentives.

However, the Teachers Union of Ireland said the “crisis” of teacher recruitment and retention will continue to worsen until the process of pay equalisation for those appointed since 2011 is accelerated.

“All education stakeholders now acknowledge that there is an unprecedented crisis in the recruitment and retention of teachers,” said TUI president Joanne Irwin.

“However, it is regrettable in the extreme, and foolish, that the Government is still refusing to acknowledge or commit to the only guaranteed cure.”

She said even if graduates were to be “lured” to a training course in a certain subject area, there was no guarantee they will end up teaching for any length of time, particularly when they will be “discriminated against from the get-go in terms of pay”.

Expense

Fianna Fáil’s education spokesman Thomas Byrne said a key factor in falling numbers of applications was the expense of a two-year master’s course, which replaced the old one-year higher diploma.

These can cost between €10,000 and €5,000 a year.

“The cost of training keeps increasing and more and more of a burden is put on prospective teachers. We need to examine how we can alleviate the cost, especially in the Stem subjects,” he said.

“The situation simply isn’t sustainable if we want to attract quality recruits to the profession. There is also an issue with the prohibitive skills requirements for perspective teachers and I believe this is something that needs to be addressed.”

Mr Byrne said Fianna Fáil has been pushing for measures to encourage people to apply for teacher training courses, including the restoration of postgraduate grants.

The Department of Education also played down the issue of unqualified and unregistered teachers being used in schools. It said they were employed as substitutes in just 3 per cent of cases.

These figures relate to primary level only. The department does not have up to date information on the number of “out-of-field” teachers at second level who are teaching subjects which they are not qualified for.

School managers say this is turning into a “crisis” and that it is difficult to source qualified teachers in Irish, European languages, maths or science subjects.

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Tipperary Meeting-Housing and Homelessness

November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

 Workers and Unemployed Action

Public Meeting and March

HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

https://wp.me/pKzXa-ZT

Show Your Support For People in Housing Difficulty By Attending!!

Speakers Will Include:

Kieran Stafford, National President, St Vincent De Paul Society

Seamus Healy,   TD

Brendan Ogle,  UNITE Trade Union Official and Right2Change Activist

Main Guard, Clonmel

Saturday, 27th January

2pm – 4pm

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Homeless and Housing Emergency Public Meeting At Clonmel

Public Meeting on Housing and Homelessness Will Take Place in the Park Hotel, Clonmel on Wednesday 6th December at 8pm.

The Meeting will be addressed by nationally known speakers who have an in-depth knowledge of the Housing and Homeless emergency.

Dr Rory Hearne, is an author, researcher at Maynooth University and Social Justice Activist 

Mike Allen is the Director of Advocacy with the housing charity Focus Ireland.

The Meeting will be chaired by Deputy Seamus Healy.

This Christmas morning over 3,000 children will wake up in hotel bedrooms and bed and Breakfast accommodation.

Successive governments including Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Labour Party stopped local authorities building social houses. They handed social housing over to private developers and the private market.

As a result, we have a National Housing and Homelessness Emergency including:

8,500 homeless

  • 3,000 Children homeless
  • 120,000 on Local Authority Housing Waiting lists
  • 1,000 more couch surfing or doubling up with relatives.
  • 1,000 more still trapped in private rented accommodation unable to get a mortgage or get on a Local Authority House Waiting list.

Tipperary County Council hasn’t built a Social house in the last 4 years and none will be built in 2017 either.

3,500 families are on Tipperary County Council houses waiting lists and we have 379 people homeless.

How did we get here? How can this Housing Emergency be solved? What can you do?

These are some of the questions that will be asked and answered at an important Public Meeting on Housing and Homelessness taking place in the Park Hotel, Clonmel on Wednesday 6th December at 8pm.

The Meeting will be addressed by nationally known speakers who have an in-depth knowledge of the Housing and Homeless emergency.

Dr Rory Hearne, is an author, researcher at Maynooth University and Social Justice Activist while Mike Allen is the Director of Advocacy with the housing charity Focus Ireland.

The Meeting will be chaired by Deputy Seamus Healy.

Seamus Healy T.D. 28/11/2017

Tel 087 2802199

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