John Gormley has an interesting opportunity with the Dublin Mayor legislation to deal with an anomaly that has crept into the public service, that is, the huge public sector pensions. The deal was always that although public service workers traditionally earned less than private sector workers, they were rewarded for that with relative job security and a good pension. Fair enough. But why should the proposed Dublin Mayor have his pension paid for by the taxpayer? After all, he or she will earn at least €100k per annum which is good money in anyone’s book, so why not require him/her to pay for their own pension, like most Irish workers?
The minister should put his foot down on this issue and the other nonsense that says that we won’t get high calibre candidates if we don’t pay at least €200k. If there is one thing that the last two years has taught us about Irish public life, it’s that, unlike other countries, high pay is no guarantee of anything. I’ve been in touch with the Department of the Environment’s press office to clarify the facts of the issue, and they’re normally quite good at getting back promptly on this stuff, so watch this space, because Gormley has a real chance here to stand up for the little guy.