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Dec, 2010

The cynical will probably look at the proposed reductions for the high earners in Government and the public sector and shrug shoulders at the meaninglessness of it all. And it’s hard not to be cynical after reading a report in The Sunday Independent about the tax-free freebies enjoyed by the mandarins who run the country.

“Cosseted civil servants at the Department of Finance spent almost €8,500 of our money on ‘stress management’ courses as the country sank beneath the weight of its flawed financial management,” write Shane Ross and Nick Webb.

“In June, the Government paid €2,785.60 to Torc Consulting for ‘stress management’ in Tullamore. A month earlier, the department handed over €2,668 for ‘stress awareness’, with another €3,043 paid to Torc in May 2008 for ‘stress management’ and ‘lunch’. The total amount paid for ‘stress management’ was more than someone earning €35,000 would pay in tax for a whole year’s work.”

The rest of the article contains a damning list of the way public money has been spent.

Unfortunately, the outraged tone of the piece is not followed to its natural conclusion: if perks such as these and free transport are part of the job, wages and the outcome of Tuesday’s Budget are largely irrelevant to this small coterie of cosseted officials in their ivory towers, then paying for such ‘necessities’ is clearly for the little people!

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