“Fairness” is bandied about in every debate about our current predicament. The problem with that is that we don’t have an actual means of measuring what is fair. Perhaps it’s time we did.
How would we go about such a thing? Hmm. Supposing we could construct a point system, allocating each citizen points based on their current situation, and use that to determine who is at the very bottom, and then shield the bottom 15-20% from the worst of the cuts, passing the additional burden onto the top 80%.
What would you get points for?
Having a job. The security of that job. Having a defined benefit pension. Having a pension above a certain value. Not having children. Not having a disability. Not having a mortgage. Owing less than 20% on your mortgage. Having the option to retire before 67. Having an income above the average industrial wage.
We could then allocate minus points based on the number of children one has, and additional points for having special needs children, or indeed have special needs onself.
Would be an interesting exercise, no?
Of course, we would end up with the usual Irish rules-are-great-until-they-apply-to-me scenario, where people just over the 20% would demand “flexibility” be shown, and TDs would lobby to adjust it upwards, until 97% of the country would be deemed vulnerable.