On Thursday, Dáil Éireann passed a Labour Party motion that calls on the Government to postpone the sale of AIB shares until the fiscal rules are changed to permit enhanced capital spending, rather than using these proceeds to deliver a meaningless reduction of just over 1% to our debt-GDP ratio.
Michael Noonan has now announced that he is going to ignore the decision of the Dáil, and that is not good enough. Sign our petition that calls on the Government to abide by the decision of the Dáil.
The first defeat suffered by this Government was in relation to the rights of those who work. Back in June of 2016, the Labour Party tabled a motion on this area, and got enough support from across the house to win Dáil approval for our policies.
Since then, the Government has shamefully ignored that motion, which called for the introduction of a living wage of €11.50 per hour throughout the public sector. And they seem to have ditched their own commitment to substantially increase the national minimum wage. To this useless Government, votes in the Dáil don’t matter. And neither do their own promises.
In yesterday's Sunday Business Post, Brendan Howlin wrote about why selling 25% of AIB is of no benefit to us.
The Lord Giveth and the Lord taketh away. And so it is with Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe.
Not too long ago, we were treated to an announcement of the Capital Review, the first truly post-crash opportunity to look at our capital funding requirements. The following week, we were briefed on the contracting fiscal space for 2018 and the need for Ministers to pare back programmes in their Departments. Announcing the capital review Minister Donohoe said resources were very, very, very constrained. Contradictions abound.
Over the weekend, Senator Ged Nash, had an opinion piece in the Irish Mirror on why we need to put a halt to precarious conditions in the workplace.
Imagine going to bed on a Sunday night without knowing how many hours you will work that week, or how much money will hit your bank account on Friday to pay the bills and put food on the table for your family.
That’s the sad reality of life for too many working people in Ireland today on so-called ‘if and when’ contracts.
Imagine always having to be on the other end of the phone, so you don’t miss that vital call from your employer, telling you to come into work at short notice.
Last week Brendan Howlin wrote in the Irish Independent about how Ireland needs to be more ambitious with capital spending.
Over the five years up to 2021, the state will spend about €32bn on capital spending – building schools and hospitals, roads and houses, and all sorts of other projects. These projects create jobs, and they improve our social services at the same time.
Over the last few years, capital spending has been much lower than it should be. But even with lower spending than we need, the last Government was able to fund some ambitious projects. An end to long-term use of prefabs by 2020, the long awaited construction of the National Childrens’ Hospital, and the linking of the luas lines were some of the highlights.
Through reports in today's Independent.ie we learned that Fine Gael are trying to be as tough as possible on the public sector - in many ways it is a dog whistle to the right wing voters they are seeking to court - but that is wrong with regard to public sector pensions. The average public sector pension is approximately €20,000. There is not much gold plating involved in that.