Ireland has some of the highest professional fees in EU; and very highly paid politicians, senior public servants and medical consultants, not to mention bankers, some of whom helped get us into the financial crisis, eg. Richie Boucher (843,000). Some other positions & salaries have caused us to scratch our heads over the years, eg. John Delaney FAI who struggles along now on a mere 360,000 pa after his voluntary 10% cut. He still gets double what people holding similar positions in other much larger and soccer-wise much more successful countries.
We are also all aware of some of the Golden Handshakes which were paid to some of our non-performing senior politicians and civil servants; the forgetful Financial Regulator comes to mind immediately with his lump sum of 630,000 And a pension of 2,750 Per Week. Pensions paid out of the public purse (that’s the Irish Taxpayers) expressed in Weekly figures just seem more digestible (OAPs get 233.30). EG. Bertie 2,575, Biffo Cowen 2,575, J Bruton 2,440, Ray Burke (jailed for tax offences) still picks up 1,850/week.
Involved or committed ? The chicken who provides your egg for breakfast is involved, the pig who provides the rashers is committed. Irish citizens/taxpayers are “committed” to funding the above pensions. In the private sector when we read of well paid CEOs receiving bonuses we should realise that we are “involved” here, not committed since we have a choice in this one. Companies only generate income when we buy their products, hence we’re involved in any company we buy from and indirectly support their activities.
Average wages is a tricky number, can be unduly skewed, usually upwards by abnormally high earnings like those mentioned above. A Median figure is more meaningful, its the figure exactly in the middle, 50% earn more than it, 50% earn less. In 2015 the median for all workers was 550/week, if you only count full time workers it was 615/week. As a gauge, the Minimum wage was 337/week since 2007 until Jan 2016 when it went to 357/week. In fact the minimum wage is expressed as an hourly figure of 9.15, so only those working a full week will earn the 357.
Dublin Bus !! No easy answer, but we need a better more imaginative way to solve disputes (I’m working on that one!). Every European capital city subsidies its public transport, otherwise we’d finish up with a Ryanair style service, buses only on profitable routes running at times when they can fill the bus! The Dublin Bus subsidy per head or per passenger kilometre is one of the lowest in EU. Income from passenger fares amounts to less than 50% of running costs in all capital cities. Does this all mean the drivers should get an increase? That needs a lot more looking at. Their rates currently run from 423 to 865/week.
I’m only trying to set a backdrop when we think about wages etc and how the total pot is divided up in Ireland, and who contributes into that pot. Employees certainly do, but do the multinationals pay their fair share. Sure they’re only delighted to come here and employ our well educated young people whose heavily subsidised education was funded hugely from tax revenues.