Sunday, 23 April 2017

There is no “value for money” in giving away public assets for nothing.


Paul Sweeney: The Minister for Health Simon Harris insists that “his ‘golden share’ in the new €300 million State-funded national maternity hospital means the public interest will be protected and the facility will operate independently.”

But why give away public assets, to anyone, to any company, to to any charity or to any religious order? Why is a so-called “Golden Share” needed when we, the people, should own the asset?

St Vincent's Hospital with €300/500m Free Gift Investment in red

Friday, 21 April 2017

Brexit, Income Tax and the Social Market Economy

Nat O'Connor: Various lobbyists have used the opportunity of Brexit to repeat their frequent calls for Ireland to lower its income tax rates. For example, EY reported in the Irish Independent 'Slash income tax or Brexit will be wasted' 3 April 2017). Minster Noonan has indicated his desire to do so (24 Feb 2017, Irish Times) and Minister Varadkar is presented as a 'low tax' candidate for Taoiseach (25 March 2017, Irish Independent).

There are now two problems with this analysis.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A European Treasury – One answer to the EU’s economic woes

Katja Lehto-Komulainen: In Rome, EU leaders pledged to build a “prosperous and sustainable Europe” where “economies converge”. Fine words - but empty ones without more investment, especially in Member States with weaker economies. That is why the European Trade Union Confederation is urging the setting up of a European Treasury for public investment.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Security of hours for part-time retail workers – it should be about the weekly wage rather than the hourly rate

Sinead Pembroke: For decades now, the retail sector has become synonymous with part-time, low-paid and insecure contracts. However, this has not always been the case; retail was once considered to be good, secure employment, and we should be moving towards making working conditions in this sector more secure again. 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Housing shortage – whatever happened to the workers?

James Wickham: There’s a lot of building to do: Ireland needs a housing building programme, a renewal of infrastructure, investment in public transport especially in Dublin. Meanwhile, office construction is already growing (count all those cranes). It’s hardly surprising that firms are trying to persuade emigrants to come back home. Who’s going to do the building?


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Policing Costs €1.6bn in 2017

Paul Sweeney: With the many controversies around the very poor management of the Guards,  it is worth seeing what the Irish policing service costs . This cost is of course not the same as attempting to see if we are getting value for money. It is up to you, the public to decide if we are getting value for money from the €1.6bn which will be spent on policing in Ireland in 2017. There is a further €39m spent on the Department of Justice and Equality which also oversees the prisons, courts, equality, etc. too.