10.23.08

Many pensioners are vulnerable, but certainly not all

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:40 pm by Sarah

Link to the IT

JOE BEHAN’S resignation was a shock all right. A Fianna Fáil deputy resigning on a point of principle rather than a corruption charge should be a welcome development. What a pity Behan picked such a bad principle.

If only he’d resigned because the Budget was conceived on the back of an envelope by a trio of politicians who clearly can’t add. Instead, he and his rebellious colleagues have stirred themselves into political outrage so that millionaire pensioners can remain automatically entitled to medical cards. Some principle.

Despite the wailing in the past week, there is no grammatical mandate that the term “pensioner” be preceded by the emotive “vulnerable”. Many pensioners are vulnerable, but a significant minority are not. Does Mary O’Rourke, for instance, look vulnerable to you? About as vulnerable as my mother-in-law, a woman with high heels and a spine of steel who co-ordinates her accessories before I set her upon customer service agents who’ve wronged me.

Or my mother, setting off on a casual 20-mile cycle on a Sunday afternoon clutching a stick to fend off terriers. Try calling these women vulnerable, but only with the car window down while you accelerate past at high speed.

The banking bailout has the potential to bankrupt the entire State, and yet it went through with barely a whimper. Pulling the right to free doctor’s visits from the privately pensioned resulted in the angry hordes descending upon Leinster House. There’s a lesson for the Government – put Ireland Inc into hock if you want, but don’t mess with the individual.

Could we cast our minds back to the budget of 2000 when Charlie McCreevy pulled the automatic medical card for over-70s from his bag of pre-election tricks? Remember the loud cheers from the Fianna Fáil back benches and howls of outrage from every other quarter? The opposition was furious, and not just because McCreevy had secured the next election.

Medical cards are given to those on very low incomes; so low that politicians and doctors constantly plead with the Government to raise the threshold. It’s bad enough that those on low incomes worry about doctors’ fees, but chronic poverty means they are likely to suffer poor health. Their happily retired counterparts in the upper middle classes can afford to see a doctor, and thanks to a lifetime of good nutrition will need to see him less often. McCreevy’s stunt meant a poor but not poor enough 69-year-old couldn’t get the card while a wealthy 70-year-old could.

It was wrong then and it’s wrong today.

To make matters worse, the Government negotiated the “deal” with the Irish Medical Organisation in which doctors won a payment of €640 per non-means-tested over-70 patient, while they only got €160 for a means-tested pensioner. They got more money for the patient statistically likely to be healthy. What a pity no one saw fit to resign over that rape of the public finances.

Back in 2001, James Reilly, then head of the IMO and now Fine Gael’s health spokesman, criticised the move as “handing out free medical cards to people who can afford golf club fees”. As late as 2005, the Labour Party said that “the Government’s electoral ploy in extending medical cards to over-70s regardless of the consequences has been disastrous in cost and equality terms”.

I know oppositions are supposed to oppose, but a little consistency wouldn’t go astray.

The Government should be criticised for putting as little thought into removing the cards as they did into awarding them. In 2000 McCreevy failed to anticipate the full cost of the scheme and this time Harney initially set income levels so low that anyone on a State pension would fail the means-test.

If Fianna Fáil were half as cute as they’d like us to think they are, they should have announced a very high income limit in the Budget. That would have made the scheme simple to understand, impossible to oppose and yet set out exactly the principle at stake: that those who can afford it should pay for themselves. Their mistake was that this year’s Budget has nothing to do with principle and everything to do with panic.

The Opposition tried to argue that well-off pensioners had abandoned their Voluntary Health Insurance membership once they became entitled to the new card. Unfortunately the facts got in the way of this claim. The VHI confirmed that the numbers of over-70s with private insurance had actually increased since the cards were introduced. In 2001, the VHI had 88,989 customers over the age of 70, while today it has 121,776 customers. Considering the past 10 years have seen a massive transfer of wealth from younger to older generations through the property market, it’s hardly surprising they’re queuing up for private insurance.

Meanwhile, angry callers to radio shows argue that those people who saved for a private pension are now being “penalised” for their efforts. That’s not penalising anyone. That’s the welfare state working exactly as it should.

If you’re in the VHI, you aren’t being penalised: you’re reaping the rewards of your hard work and careful planning.

The only people being penalised are the ones who, through bad luck or poor management, are dependent on a public system of waiting lists and crowded out-patients departments. Does anyone resign when a patient dies on a waiting list? Of course not.

Dead men don’t vote.

20 Comments

  1. Celtic donkey said,

    October 23, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Sarah, dead right. Fair play to the pensioners for asserting their rights, I have to applaud them for that in an apathetic culture. But they have to recognise that they are not the only ones being hurt by this Budget and that some of them are perfectly well able to pay their own way.

  2. Darren J. Prior said,

    October 23, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    I bought the IT yesterday to read your inaugural column as I couldn’t find it online.

    As per usual I agreed with it.

  3. Leo O'S said,

    October 23, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Sarah,

    My mother actually emailed me from Ireland to rave about this article. Knowing my mother, putting email and her in the same sentence is pretty bloody strange!

    Well said. Best article I have read on this so far, and congrats on the new column.

  4. Dan Sullivan said,

    October 23, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Sarah, I had a look at what the situation would be had McCreevy simply looked to continue extending the threshold by the same amount from 2001 on instead of going for abolishing the threshold completely.

    http://dansullivan.blogspot.com/2008/10/what-if-mccreevy-had-continued-to.html

    We’d have had a higher limit now than is the case with the new threshold and saved ourselves the expense of the deal with the IMO.

  5. harry the hare said,

    October 23, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Many good points here to be sure and you are spot on with many of the observations you have made, however I would strongly disagree with the idea that it was or and is a bad idea to give a medical card to people over 70.

    As much as it kills me to say it, I would not begrudge even rich [well off] people of a free medical card if they are over 70. In my view anyone who gets to the ripe old age of 70 deserves anything they get and they are most welcome to it. [BTW I am half way there now and I could care less if I have to pay more tax to fund such a noble and worthwhile scheme.] The idea for me is that someone over 70 has lived long enough to deserve this if only as a gesture of the value and appreciation we as a society have for them.

    As for the idea that this is a costly scheme? Utter nonsense! It is all relative and for example, the country’s €914 million Irish Aid budget is something that could be halved or done away with altogether [in these harsh times] There is a huge saving and ultimately a waste if money anyway – though if you disagree,as some no doubt will, fair enough then, just cut it by half and use that money to pay for the well being of the Irish Citizens who are now old and perhaps in need.

    The there is the bill for having the whole Asylum system and all the processes involved now. It is a self perpetuating and self growing mini cash vortex in which huge amounts of money are spent needlessly. Think I am joking?

    Consider this:
    39% of people recieving rent supplement are foreigners

    THE State is spending around 150m a year hosting a “United Nations” of nationalities in rented properties, according to new figures.

    People from 161 different countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, are in receipt of the free rental allowance.

    They account for 39pc of the 63,000 people on the means-tested scheme, which costs a total of 390m annually and is generally open only to those who are unemployed.

    Although 61pc of people on the scheme are Irish, the numbers of immigrants on rent allowance has been increasing steadily.

    There are more than 3,000 from Nigeria, 3,000 from the UK, 1,950 from Poland and 1,130 from Romania. Small countries like the Bahamas, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Grenada and Honduras have just one citizen each on the scheme.

    Those also claiming rent supplement include 15 people from Cuba, 22 from Burma, 27 from Chechnya, 29 from Uzbekistan, 49 from Eritrea, 130 from Zimbabwe and 132 from Estonia.

    It is a joke al right but the Irish people are the ones being laughed at! Why not just do what Australia did and then the saving on resources would be huge. The we could have more money for education too! Speaking of which, consider the other aspect of the whole multicultural [= economics over people] agenda that has been so rampant here for the past 15 plus years.

    Consider the following:

    No Irish pupils enroll at Dublin School

    ‘Changing times as school finds no Irish-born pupils enrolling’

    Changes in the population were brought into focus yesterday when a Dublin school revealed there isn’t a single Irish-born pupil among those enrolled in its infant classes for next year.

    The school is in the north inner city, where already nearly half the pupils are minority ethnic and language students, and that percentage is rising.

    Figures from eight local schools in the Dublin 7 area show that there are 1,839 pupils enrolled this year — of whom nearly half, or 855, are minority ethnic and language students.

    In one of the schools, 63pc of pupils are from an ethnic minority. Another school with only 292 pupils has 26 minority languages students, while a third with 378 pupils has 25 languages spoken, according to a report launched yesterday.

    The report does not identify the school where no Irish have applied for places in September, but says that may change as demand for places increases.

    Dublin 7 is identified as an area of educational disadvantage by the report, which took account of literacy, early school leaving, access to education, academic under-achievement and underdevelopment of interpersonal and social skills.

    It adds that the north inner city has a significantly higher than average number of ethnic minority residents, standing at 34pc of the population — or three times the national average, according to the 2006 Census.

    Ok lets not be too crude or blunt about stating the bleeeedin obvious, but why not look after our own old people first and only then consider what might be possible for others in our society? Is it so unreasonable to not want Irish tax payers fund other peoples [Foreign nationals] migration/immigration choices! Just check out the payments made to the legal workers here from eastern European countries in respect of child allowances! It is just bonkers and would pay for the over 70s medical hard easily.

    Heck if people like Denis O Brien did not play silly games about being a non resident and paid the right amount of tax by declaring that he was in fact a resident- just think of the money he would be giving back to the country. The same country which made him super rich to begin with!

    Point is that there is plenty of money that can be got or can be cut without having to go after the over 70s and there modest little medical card.

  6. Andrew Lawlor said,

    October 24, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Nice one, ‘Harry.’ As usual the guys who want to have a go at all of those pesky foreigners who are ruining it for the rest of us are very reluctant to be identified. I’m sure Harry Hare, the extremely gifted, Devon based furniture maker, will endorse your views and might even provide a link to the web site of your fellow travelers over at the ICP.

    With regard to rent allowance you state the following (Without quoting any source for your information, I must add.)

    ‘There are more than 3,000 from Nigeria, 3,000 from the UK, 1,950 from Poland and 1,130 from Romania.’ (Michael Brennan, Irish Idependent Aug 5 2008)

    Of the 9,080 claimants in your top four nationalities 6,080 (66%) are EU citizens.

    It is highly amusing to see that the only Irish person to blame for the sorry mess of the economy is Denis O’Brien. Maybe when you are checking out sources for your quoted figures above you could find out how many people are employed by O’Brien in this country and how much corporation and income tax is retutrned to the exchequer by the endeavours of just this one ‘tax exile’ in a year.

    I think if we are to start casting blame around for the state of the nations finances there are a lot of other places to look before we start throwing stones at the foreigners or putting them out to sea to starve on a big ship. (Isn’t that what those pesky Aussie foreigners did?) What about €20 million for a few blocks of granite and a lawn in Eyre Square, or the old €50 million voting machines chestnut, or the Limerick sewerage scheme which came in 800% over budget and threatens to bankrupt the city council…….etc.

  7. john said,

    October 24, 2008 at 12:44 am

    “In 2001, the VHI had 88,989 customers over the age of 70, while today it has 121,776 customers”
    The number of over 65s is estimated to have increased by c 40,000 during this period.

  8. harry the hare said,

    October 24, 2008 at 2:50 am

    Well Andrew as usual we see people with your narrow minded way of thinking attack the poster and not the post!

    One of the reason I choose not to go public with my actual identity is because I don’t think it should matter and I prefer to just argue the merits of an argument and not get distracted with personality issues . If I wrote something which you disagree with then fine but ALSO to judge by your reaction- which is not at all unusual why would anyone want to have someone like you totally misrepresent and distort beyond belief what I wrote.

    Now lets deal with some of the silly and incorrect assertions.

    Firstly I am not now, and never have been a member or supporter of the ICP, though I am well aware of their website and do value much of what they write and some of their views. They make sense to me and it is a pity that they are so badly represented/misrepresented.

    Though I dont know enough about them to form a strong overview. I keep an open mind on many of the issues they concern themselves with.

    As for this: “the guys who want to have a go at all of those pesky foreigners who are ruining it for the rest of us”

    I NEVER HAD A GO AT ANYBODY least of all “pesky” [your word not mine] foreigners. Rather I suggested that it would be better to make cuts to areas which serve the interests of Irish citizens first- and if need be at the expense of foreign nationals who are being subsidised in one way or another and the cumulative effect is a waste of alot of money. Plus it is a bad idea for the Irish state to be paying for the migration and immigration choices of foreign nationals who choose to come here of their own accord and in their own interests. I disagree with the whole idea of having people and society being viewed and treated like a serious of economic imperatives.

    As for DOB well your right in suggesting that he is by no means the only tax exile and fat cat chancer [and I mean that in a jovial way] However he is one very well known example of what is worst about Ireland and some of its people [so called leaders] Your own comments well illustrate the childish awe struck was in which you see him and the world at large.

    Allow me to point out that people are not employed by O’Brien in this country rather they are emplyed by companies in which he doubtless has a stake in or is a CEO of and the statement by you about “how much corporation and income tax is retutrned to the exchequer by the endeavours of just this one ‘tax exile’ in a year.” is again a good example of the error of your way of thinking! For it is the efforts of a great many other people that DOB would rely on which insure his success or failure. He is richly rewarded to an obscene level for the efforts he pouts into his business interests and all I say is that it reveals alot about the man when he plays the silly game about being a resident of ……. Just to keep taxes which otherwise would normally come his way.

    While as for Austrailia? Well they done nothing of the sort as you suggest, but instead they implemented a humane -but tough and fair system to process people arriving on their shores from all over the world and half way around the worlds with a view to deterring bogus asylum seekers from trying to get into OZ under false pre tenses.

    If anyone was fleeing persecution then they would have had a very many places to go to before OZ and way closer to their original homeland. The proof that most of the people where indeed just using the system to get in to OZ is confirmed by the fact that the numbers dropped so much that the Austrailians closed down the island facility after so few people were now arriving. That would doubtless have been a big saving on a costly allocation of cash and resources.

    “there are a lot of other places to look before we start throwing stones at the foreigners or putting them out to sea to starve on a big ship. (Isn’t that what those pesky Aussie foreigners did?)”

    Again you are the one with ideas in your head about doing this that or the other to foreigners. I wish all foreigners well, but just happen to prefer if most of them either applied for a visa or were refused entry. .

  9. jane nuts said,

    October 24, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    There is no grammatical mandate that the term wisdom be preceded by the voluble blogger GUBU -
    I also live in that most despised address in Ireland- D4 ; My husband and have 08 cars and no- I do not expect to be the beneficiary of my grandparents home – Frankly I doubt if we could afford it.
    I found your comments on your previous blog to be highly offensive and deeply hurtful.
    How can you truly persist with that most unchristian ethic .
    Not only do you choose to make derisive comments about my dear grandparents – which I feel is utterly cruel of you – but that you have to be so derisive towards me is sad !!
    I do hope that you can soon see how much you have caused to me and many others .
    The welfare state has failed many many people as is evident from the strong turn oot on the streets, the many good wishes they received on the Joe Duffy show , and the spontaneous chriistian hospitality displayed by a frequently derided catholic church.
    You are wrong about your attitude towards the elderly Sarah – wrong wrong wrong !!
    I would suggest to you that were it not for people like my grandparents , you and many like you would yourself be in Australia looking back.
    And as it happens my grandparents hold membership in the VHI despite their ‘golden medical cards.”
    It is quite evident that despite their collective income of circa €76 k ., they have worked for what they believed in; the best education for their children -get a decent house – pay their taxes ; sometimes up to 55%.
    Their share portfolio is now tumbling in value by the day. And yet you can be so heartless towards them.
    They have done their patriotic duty. They have never looked for hand outs during their lives- whatever benefits they get from the welfare state . they have paid for many many times over.
    I think Brian Lenihan has betrayed every value both his late father and the late Mr Haughey espoused.
    I happen to know this as my grandparents had the great privalage of knowing and socializing with the much vilified Mr Haughey and my husband is a friend of ”that the only Irish person to blame for the sorry mess of the economy is Denis O’Brien. ” whom you also cast snide remarks about. And yes Mr O Brien is right to worry about the Irish economy , and despite what you think , he contributes much to the socially deprived in Ireland .

  10. Margaret said,

    October 24, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Sarah,
    Somebody thinks they are very clever, using every ploy possible to wind up your readers……Please tell me that everyone can see the blatant attempts to cause controversy……”shares portfolio, socializing with mr Haughey, D4 address, 76K income…… for a wind-up to be successful, a little subtlety is necessary!

  11. Sarah said,

    October 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    yup. We got a troll. Everyone please ignore…….

  12. jane nuts said,

    October 24, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Margret ,
    This is not a matter for derision.
    My relations are fortunate .Their good fortune came from hard and honest work .
    They worked for the state and if they were fortunate enough to be ‘comfortably ‘ too well off now – you are also denying them the subsidy which they deserved.
    Yes , they do have possessions – but again I state categorical that they deserve their ‘golden cards ‘
    It is so sad that people like you can even conceive that their rights should now be deprived – No – Stolen from them !
    I just can not see how you can pillory these , our most valued citizens.
    Would you really want to see these honest , respectable , and patriotic people queuing up in a casualty department waiting for a bed , on a trolley.
    They deserve better. And I dare say you would like to be object also were to ever to have the misfortune to end up in hospital.
    These noble citizens deserve an immediate bed, They have paid all their lives for such an eventuality.
    Surely you would not have them queeing behind drunks , coke addicts , street brawlers , layabouts- in an A/E dept on a Sat. night.
    They deserve better ; And Yes – Emphatically say they should at least be granted the right to be seen and treated ahead of the aforementioned, who have brought their awful circumstances upon themselves through indigent disregard for society -

  13. B said,

    October 24, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    So Jane,

    If I get this correct we should have first and second class citizens based on your criteria.

    A&E is the result not the cause. It is a manifestation of crappy education and crappy social services. Our whole society is corrupt and people get around the system as and how they see fit. We breed ignorance and helplessness from an early age. These people know no better and have no incentive to know any better. Pushing granny and grandad to the front of the queue is ignoring the main problem. I am not saying they deserve what happens but as long as we are mired in idealogical bullshit and a political class that dumbs down and plays to the gallery we will continue to have these problems.

    And people in A&E are triaged. This meaning the sickest get the first call on beds. Even if they are skangers and they did it to themselves. These people are your fellow ctizens. But I think that we now have a divided society that places a very low value on people that are not like themselves or are poor.

    The thing is that the basics are not sexy. Preparing for a rainy day in a boom time is sneered at. You don’t see the fire brigade looking for ladders and hoses when the fire is at its height. They prepare when the going is good and get ready for the bad times in the good times. We went out on the piss and the Government went mad with vanity project after vanity project.

    And Jane use a capital letter for your name and possibly learn a bit of punctuation. Comma, one space. Full stop. Two spaces. And keep the punction to the left. Good girl. Now go back to your 42 inch plasma and keep quiet.

  14. jane nuts said,

    October 25, 2008 at 3:24 am

    Dear B,
    I apologize for my grammatical mistakes;
    I am a busy house wife.
    You are probably not ;neither buisy nor a housewife.
    I have other engagements other than to read your penchant moral tone.
    Your sentiments are clear to me ; I hope you can clarify them to your grandparents, and their other offspring – when the time comes.
    You sound like one of those pompous ex Blackrock College boys-
    Well keep your rugby club ideology to the boys shower room.
    I believe you learn quite a lot in there !!

  15. Andrew Lawlor said,

    October 25, 2008 at 3:51 am

    I agree with Barry the Badger (shock, horror) when he says the following…

    ‘It is a bad idea for the Irish state to be paying for the migration and immigration choices of foreign nationals who choose to come here of their own accord and in their own interests.’

    However, it is also a bad idea for the Irish state to be paying for the lifestyle choices of our own native Irish people who make a conscious decision never to engage in gainful employment. Among the thousands of long term unemployed in this country are quite a number who have always been, and are determined that they never will be anything but, a burden on the state (although they, possibly, would not see it quite that way. They believe fervently in entitlements.) The only real difference between welfare fraudulent immigrants and welfare fraudulent natives is the obvious one that the natives, by a random accident of birthplace, happen to have been born in a relatively wealthy nation. Apart from the accident of their birthplace I see no argument for retaining these people in the country, so why not deport them along with the (pesky) foreigners. (For the benefit of Larry the Lamb let me point to my tongue which is planted in my cheek as I utter the word ‘pesky’).

    Now, that’s the dole spongers sorted out. What about those thieving ladies who are claiming lone parents’ allowance while living with their partners? Surely there can be no place in a civilised democracy for people who would steal from their own kind, their fellow citizens. I mean, it’s not as if they are stealing from (pesky) foreigners. They are actually stealing from Irish citizens! And as we know, the only difference between them and a (pesky) foreigner who is defrauding the lone parents’ allowance is an accident of birthplace. Let’s deport all of them as well.

    The kind of thinking espoused by Barney the Bear makes perfect sense to people like him because they see everything in terms of a nationalistic world view. This is ‘Our Country’. That is ‘Your Country’. Our country is rich and safe. Your country is a shit hole. Tough. This kind of them and us mentality feeds and breeds xenophobic and racist ideals.

    Henry the Horse then says…

    ‘Allow me to point out that people are not employed by O’Brien in this country rather they are emplyed (sic) by companies in which he doubtless has a stake in or is a CEO of…
    …for it is the efforts of a great many other people that DOB would rely on which insure (sic) his success or failure. He is richly rewarded to an obscene level for the efforts he pouts (sic) into his business interests and all I say is that it reveals alot (sic) about the man when he plays the silly game about being a resident of ……. Just to keep taxes which otherwise would normally come his way.’

    Presumably, then, if Denis O’Brien had not started his mobile phone company all of those people now employed by it in its current form would simply have decided to set up their own phone company. Also, O’Brien is the owner of several radio stations in Ireland and lots of people work for those radio stations, ergo, he employs them. It is not a difficult concept to understand. It is even easier to master than a spellchecker or a qwerty keypad.

    When I lumped Wally the Weasel in with the Céad Míle Fáilte people over at Immigration Control Platform I did so based on his apparent belief that there is nothing positive to say about immigration. I’m sure that if our Weasel friend did have some positive thoughts on immigration he/she would have shared them with us. Over at the ICP website one can find no positive comment about immigration. The same old line is peddled again and again. Immigration is bad. Immigration will ruin our society. Nothing good ever came of immigration.

    So please, Roger the Rat, don’t give me the sort of line I read last night from Hibernia Girl to explain why immigration is bad…

    ‘I love my country. I love my people. I love Western Civilisation. I want to protect them and ensure that they continue on well into the future.’

    Why do people feel so threatened? Why do people feel that their very culture is under attack? George Hook twice this week on his radio show bemoaned the fact that he can walk three hundred yards from his office to his car and not hear a word of English spoken on the street. So what! They’re not talking to him. They are talking to friends and family whose first language happens to be something other than English. When I go to Spain I always try to speak in Spanish when I am talking to a native. But I don’t speak Spanish to my family over dinner of an evening. That would be daft.

    By the way, Polly the Parrot, when you cut and pasted the entire first half of your (un)original comment above did you lift it from Hibernia Girl, the ICP or the Irish Independent?

  16. B said,

    October 25, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I suspect you were not a busy housewife when you were learning how to read and write.

    I am not a Rock boy. I am a reluctant Belvo boy though. Wrong side of the city and I never played rugby. I have lived and will live again after a temporary hiatus in D4. Plenty of Rock boys for you to hug there I guess. My car is 92 and much loved so please let me drive it on your velvet roads.

    All my grandparents are dead. Three of them checked out early. My paternal grandfather died at 46, his wife at 56 and the others died at 70 and 83. Not many there would have benefitted from medical cards. And none of them had much luck in the pubilc health system hence their early demises.

    Medical cards and the widespread need for them are the end result and not the cause. We don’t educate people as to what is a healthy diet and poor education leads to poor health. So maybe we need less Denny and Avonmore and more green vegetables and exercise. As the government is in the pocket of big business this will never happen.

    We are aiming at the wrong targets. We are aiming at the results and not the causes. Medical cards are needed for people over 70 and I don’t think they should have to go cap in hand for a handout but to reduce the need for the card in the first place we need to teach people to look after themselves. This starts with education and because education here is based on a failed ideology we arent going to get very far.

  17. harry the hare said,

    October 25, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    According to Andrew the Lawlor

    IF DOB had never existed this means that all those businesses would never have happened? Hilarious and proof that you still don’t get it.

    Goodness forbid that DOB should drop dead today- but if he did all those employees [underlings perhaps in your world?] would continue on as if he never was! DOB depends on other people to make him rich and always has. He evidently is a good manipulator and manager? But that’s all really. If it was not him doing what he does it would have been someone else, and I happen to take the view that nobody should be able to get the sort of obscene amounts of money he and others LIKE HIM get.

    However as we live in a very unequal and unjust world I accept we have not evolved enough yet to have the right balance in all our human affairs. What I object to though is that given the virtually limitless amounts of money people can be rewarded with, that is totally out of whack with any scale of proportion of what they actually do, compared to those around them I think the least such people can do is not be so greedy and venal as to play silly games with TAX laws based on their personal residence.

    If I were earning the amounts of money that DOB got I would be happy/proud to be a resident of Ireland and pay whatever tax I must- coz you know I would still be mega rich anyway! Plus it sets a very bad example to play these silly games about being a resident!

    As regards the other stuff [many flaws and errors contained therein] you have wrote about in your comments I would agree with a lot of what you say but disagree with a lot too- and I can even refute outright some of it!

    That’s something I will do after I have copied what I write in WORD into this browser. But for now I have to go back to WORD first. I know how important it is to you to make no typos and spelling omissions/mistakes etc etc.

    Is that ok with you?

  18. B said,

    October 25, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    What he does is legal.

    Harsh and jealous words from harry the Hare. Begrudgers never got anywhere.

  19. \Dave the Donkey said,

    October 26, 2008 at 12:19 am

    \B your wrong!

    The fact that something is legal does not make it right or even good, just permissable, and attacking people as being begrudgers when they make a perfectly valid set of comments is just dumb.

    There is nothing wrong with someone pointing out and using a set of facts to make some points which happen to be critical of an individual. An individual who has often courted publicity and being a public figure, so he can take the critical comments along with the positive ones.

    And BTW who says “Begrudgers never got anywhere” I think you wil find that statment to be untrue more often than not. Anyway I dont think \the Hare was being a begrudger at all. Merely a strong critic. Now is it not a pity we have not had more of these over the past 5-10 or 15 years? if we had and they had been more widely listened to then the greedy excesses we have seen might not have left us in quite the mess we are in now!

    Capitalism and profit – Yes! But the “off the rails/scale” kind of greed which has virtually destroyed [or at any rate tramsformed] Irish society has not been a good thing for Ireland as a whole and we will be reaping the rewards of the failed ideas and dogmas for years to come.

  20. B said,

    October 26, 2008 at 11:43 am

    It is still legal and blaming one individual who isn’t even in Government for a Government led disaster is a bit on the rich side.

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