Irish politicians have given themselves 22 pay rises in the past ten years.
An average (and boy, do we mean average) TD (member of parliament) pulls down around 200,000 euro when expenses and allowances are considered.
On top of that, he or she can employ members of their families to do whatever, at state expense.
They get paid extra for turning up to work.
They get paid extra for sitting on committees.
Our Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is on a basic salary of 266,492 euro. On top of that, he draws down expenses and is, already on the promises of a publicly funded pension about ten times higher that that his government believes is adequate for ‘ordinary’ pensioners.
Ahern has surrounded himself with advisors, some of whom are paid almost as much as he.
In other words, he pays himself a massive salary, and then, presumably because he can’t do the job, uses our tax money to pay people who can, or at least, people who he believes can.
His ministers are the same.
Right now, he’s bitching about our hospital consultants.
In what is now a fairly normal display of class and sophistication, he whinges that they’re paid more than him.
He expresses himself fed up with the doctors and their protracted negotiations for new contracts. (There was no negotiation whatever involved in the 22 pay rises he and his fellow public representatives gave themselves.)
What is on offer to consultants, is 216,000 euro a year.
Now, I don’t know about you, but personally, I would be wholly in favour of reducing the number of TDs we have by half. Constitutionally, we are required to have one per 30,000 people, which means there are only going to be more of these utterly useless human beings who are a drain on our resources and who are, for the large part, put up for election for reasons not unconnected with nepotism.
If Britain followed our example, there would be 1,600 or so MPs in the Commons.
But, bad and all as they are, they’re not as wantonly wasteful as we are.
So here’s a solution.
Cut the number of TDs by half, or even two thirds.
Abolish the senate.
Get rid of all the special advisors, PR hangers on, gurus, spinners and what not.
And pay the doctors.
Pay them 250,000 a year. Pay them 300,000 a year.
One doctor is worth a dozen TDs.
What am I saying.
One doctor is worth the whole damned lot of them.
I know, by the way. Doctors are keeping me alive and they have done so for 12 years and done so in a way that has given me a reasonable quality of life.
Why should doctors have to beg for decent salaries from people who award themselves how ever much it is they want?
Why should they listen to a bitter, begrudging and dishonest oaf like Ahern, who despite having one of the highest salaries in the land, took money from his ‘friends’ and hid it in a safe while he was going through a marital separation?
Pay the doctors.
Believe me, we can survive without Bertie and his cronies.
We cannot survive with excellent doctors - and nurses - who staff our health service.