If you’re not in the mood to “hear” me rant, best move along to another part of the blogo-web now because ranting is certainly something I’m going to do. The incompetent morons we are unfortunate enough to call a government have decided that the solution to their incompetence is to steal money from nurses, teachers, Gardai (Irish Policemen) and other government workers on the pretence of paying for the pension we already pay for! No one can deny that the government finances are a mess, or that the books needed balancing, but this is a dishonest and down-right unfair way of doing it. As is typical for our government, they haven’t got the balls to do things the honest way, so it’s done through stealth taxes. We have a taxation system for a reason, to bring in money for the government in a fair and equitable way. It’s full of safe-guards to ensure that those on the lowest incomes pay the least. With the 1-2% income levy on everyone in the countries gross income and now this 7-9% levy on public servants gross income the government are by-passing all the safeguards in a mad dash to make up for their incompetence.

How did we get into this mess? For the past few years, when every economist with a brian was telling the government that the housing boom needed to be defused or it would all end in tears, the government were happily helping their mates the builders make even more money through various incentives. The regulators the government put in place to watch over the banks were busy sitting idly by, and no one was telling them to act. And all the time the government were scoffing at anyone who mentioned the possibility of future problems and implying they were being unpatriotic. We’ve just come out of the biggest boom in Irish history and now the country is flat broke? The only way that’s possible is through gross-mismanagement, and who was doing that management? The government. Why exactly do people think the same idiots who got us into this mess have suddenly developed the brain and the spine to get us out? We need an election and we need it NOW.

Clearly, the right thing to do was to cut expenditure and increase the upper tax bands. The taxation system is designed to fairly and equitably raise money for the government. This BS of picking on just one section of society and making them pay for it all under false pretences is both unfair and cowardly. Are the teachers, nurses, firemen, policemen, bin men, etc. who are being targeted here really to blame for this mess? Honestly? Are these the people who benefited during the boom? Who made millions? I think not. Yet we’re the ones expected to carry the can on our own. No one else in the country has to pay a cent more, but honest hard working public servants have to give up between 7 and 9 percent more of their income. Fantastic. And what’s the excuse? The fact that we have a proper pension. You know, like the one everyone used to get. The kind EVERYONE in the country should be able to expect in a democratic society. A proper pension shouldn’t be a luxury, it should be the norm. Because we have a reasonable pension on which to retire, should we be lucky enough to reach retirement age, we now have to pay a huge percentage out of our gross income ON TOP OF the actual money we pay for our pension already. It’s not as if we get out pensions for free, we pay for them just like everyone else. If our pension fund is under pressure, raise our pension contributions to bring the fund back in line! There is no way it is so far out of line it needs 7-9% of our gross income to make it viable, and besides, this money is going straight into the government coffers, it’s not going to our pension fund! It’s dishonest to pretend we’re just being asked to pay for our pensions. This is a pay cut, plain and simple, but the government think we’re too thick to notice. Do they really believe their own spin?

Am I angry, hell yes! I’m being forced to pay a total of 8% of my gross income straight into the government coffers, while other people earning the same money as me in a different job are only being asked to pay 1%. It’s not fair to apply ANY tax to gross income, and it’s eminently unfair to lay the entire burden of these needed extra cuts on public servants, while pretending it’s to pay for the pension we already pay for. What ever way you slice this, it’s bad government.