Wednesday 14 October 209

Topics: Proposed wage cuts and Brendan Drumm’s €70,000 bonus
Participants: Jack O’Connor of SIPTU, John FitzGerald of ESRI; Jill Kirby and Aine Kerr.
We got over 300 text messages, plus emails. Here is a selection

You are correct all professions have taken substantial reduction except the medical profession income me solicitors architects engineers all reduced sub

I’ve worked in market intelligence for a well known us multinational. We made more accurate and intelligent decisions 2 years ago when we started moving jobs out of Ireland .

Are some people only prepared to do their jobs properly if they get a bonus? Forget the bonus and sack them for inefficiency. Gary Hoban

Jack O’Connor was part of social partnership look what that has done to the economy. John, Wexford

we should have let the banks go bust. Started a new bank. We managed without banks back in the 70s when they went on strike. Mike, Galway .

I work in the private sector for under 22k a year. I've taken a hit of 5% so far this year and it really peeves me that I see people on 5-6 figure sums telling me and my fellow low paid public worker colleagues that we have to take a further hit when our Taoiseach and social research institute workers are still enjoying the fruits of what unrestricted wage increases they gave themselves in the boom. Also, as for your tooth fairy comment. You have to give a body part to get money from the tooth fairy. Maybe there's no difference between the tooth fairy and the Department of Finance. Chris Brennan.
Jack is right in saying 5-7% won't make a difference. It needs to be more like 15-30%. Kevin

Why is it the people' who are most hard up' are the people who are more willing to take the biggest burden

Would Vincent be willing to reduce his wages to a level of 4 times the lowest paid person in the company?

The unions are more concerned about the people in work they not worried about the people unemployed.

I now know there is a God. U said what I’ve been screaming at the TV for the last 6 months... U are right john FitzGerald, Eddie Hobbs, Jill Kirby. McCarthy, all wealthy dictators. Rena Rowe

Is vincent a member of jack o Conor union he is being very nice to jack for some reason! First time we ever saw Vincent afraid of someone? Kissing Jack’s arse all night no hard questions Des Stafford

I have been raging against the use of the term taxpayer for ages. We are citizens. The tern taxpayer is used to divide society. Tony Corrigan

It is so refreshing to listen to a discussion where both parties respect each others points of view and LISTEN to each other. Politicians please note. Eileen.

Can i complement you on ao excellent balanced debate tonight greatly aided by the fact that you have kept your big mouth shut and not made stupid one sided contributions......... I take it all back you are now talking shite again. Please please please listen to people who know what they are talking about you are a gob shite.

You seem to think it cheeky for highly paid people to call for wage cuts in lower paid sectors. Do you therefore think that advice should not be taken from the experts or that the experts should not be highly paid? Sean, Dublin .

Why is the public service pay cuts even on the agenda. We have taken a cut with an unfair pension levy which is always going to be there even if we get back to the so called good times. If there is another cut in public pay id probably be better off on social welfare as I’m already on less than €27000 pa even before u take this years cuts into account. Shane in Drumcondra

The normal Joe soap is being asked 2 take a cut in wages again . Where as doctors, dentist, judges etc r making their own choice 2 take a wage cut or not. Where is the fairness in this 4 all the people. The people are close to their limited at this stage, its just insult after insult. The government are now treating the general public as fools. If fairness was seen to b done e'body wud step up. Ted cork

i watch ur programme nightly it shocks me but dont surprise me 2 hear d well healed people trying 2 turn d economy around at d expense of d less Well off shame on you all Liz Wexford

Listen gentle men the government is giving millions of single parent people basically free houses and money to live on every week that dont have to a days work. And the tax payer is pay in for their lovely life style. In the mean time they are struggling to keep their heads above water.

I thought a bonus war given for a job well done! What is our country coming to when it is given to a gent who has given us a 4th world health service and what exactly is Mary Harney's job, she keeps saying she has nothing to do with anything relating to health matters. Is she just there to pounce on our homes as soon as we are dead. I would rather burn my house to the ground than hand it over having slogged all my life to pay for it. MARY. Dundalk .

For gods sake when is all this talk going to stop round up the bankers who got us into and put them in jail and do away with mama and make the property speculators pay back their own loans and we are sick to death of people like the governor of the central bank calling for all sorts of cuts on the incomes of ordinary people Catherine Daly, Cork

In arguing for reduction of salaries to 2003 levels, is anyone taking into a/c increase in mortgage repayments since 2003 for so many Irish middle income workers which is what bulk of those salaries are used for. Given pay cuts already imposed esp in private sector, how is it proposed that people would meet mortgage repayments on those salary levels? Is anyone considering the consequences for those people, including myself, or proposing protection from banks for homeowners in arrears due to drastic salary reductions? GS. Dublin

Jack O'Connor is, as usual, completely out of touch. Many of us private sector workers have already taken a 10% cut, which is far more preferable to losing one's job, which is a 100% cut! Its time the public sector woke up to reality and stopped threatening the country with strikes that will cause national bankruptcy. Its also time for a long needed reform of the welfare system, such as introducing a tiered payment model which rewards people who have worked, and will work; and reducing payments to the hardcore of social parasites who never work Stephen Kearon , Ballinaclash , Co Wicklow

my partner is out of work, i have a fixed rate mortgage of 5.49%, i work in public service, if i am forced to give another 10% of wages it would be the same as working ten years and being paid for nine; enough is enough; John Ahearn in Mullingar

Wage cuts probably are needed, but for everyone from top to bottom. Private sector workers cant pay tax to support public sector or senior politicians on current rates, if they are earning less than before. Many people jumped their standard of living in the past few years and can easily go back a bit without much pain. I never went abroad for as many hols as i have in the last 5 or 6 years and now people think 4 hols a year are an 'entitlement'. Regards, Sheelah Keane

Why did the government not bailout the individual with the loans on the bank, instead of the bank first. If the government had given the bailout to the individual first, he could have paid off his debt. The banks would then have the necessary money for liquidity. Instead the banks got the bailout first, and they still have the mortgage holders indebted to them. Tim, Mullingar