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Bertie's new socialist republic.? Low wages back in vogue-but not for civil servants!

An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern,s recent Damascus conversion to socialist principles was a shock to the body politic,and not least to the formerly isolated T.D. "Red" Joe Higgins,whose only suit of clothes disappeared into Bertie,s wardrobe quicker than you could say "Joe Stalin"

And finally Joe Higgins is off to Brussels to represent the downtrodden proletariat..

That Bertie's diktat was followed by the Tanaiste,to the letter of the law -in guaranteeing jobs for life for all superflous state employees/Health sector workers(Aer Lingus etc. next) is even more authoritarian and pure Marxist dogma.

What a remarkable administration,- that can combine communism, capitalism, and cronyism,in one cohesive and credible "collective"!

Thank heaven our non nuclear status disqualifies us from membership of the american "axis of evil" list.!

Meanwhile,the show goes on...

It is therefore the more shocking to see so many exploited workers from poverty stricken regions of the former Soviet empire being exploited in the new socialist republic, where a caring Celtic tiger coalition of reformed Fianna Failers, and the erstwhile right wing P.D.,s.impliment their egalitarian objectives....

As we are home to the foreign offshoots/subsidiaries of the greatest capitalist nation on earth,it is a difficult juggling act for sure,for Bertie and Mary.

Hopefully the many Latvians and Lithuanians who cram the departure and arrival terminals of Dublin Airport nightly,in transit to or from their meat factories around Ireland never suffer the fate of the poor girl who was mentioned in the Irish Independent in January 2005;

"A DESTITUTE migrant worker has had both legs amputated after being found suffering from frostbite The woman, who had been laid off from her job in a meat-processing firm, had been sleeping rough in sub-zero temperatures when an ambulance crew rushed her to hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

The victim, aged 23 and from Ukraine, underwent a critical emergency operation at the City Hospital in Belfast.

One source said: "She is so utterly shellshocked that she's completely closed down."

The wages & expenses of our great socialist leaders

DANIEL McCONNELL

EXCLUSIVE (Irish Independent) Jan 1 2007

TDs and senators have shared more than €10m in expenses over the last year, with many effectively doubling their wages, new figures reveal.

Details given to the Sunday Independent also show that 18 Dublin TDs each claimed more than €20,000 in travel expenses, despite living less than 15 miles from Leinster House.

The figures are based on the total amount of expenses claimed by TDs during the year between December 1 2005 and December 1 2006, and were released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The total amount paid out to Oireachtas members for the period was €10.2m, and it enabled a number of Dail members to almost match their annual salary of €90,770. Much of their expenses claims are tax free, resulting in an annual cash windfall for many members.

But many of those revealed to be claiming the highest amounts, say the figures could be even higher. TDs from all parties, and some Independents, say several of their colleagues are deliberately withholding their claims until after the issue has been highlighted in the media.

They want to avoid embarrassing details of their perks packages emerging in the run-up to the election.

Ministers do not figure strongly on the just-released list, because many of their expenses are covered by their departments.

For example, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern claimed just €6,346.68, while Junior Minister Noel Treacy made no claim at all during 2006.

Topping the list was Fianna Fail Tipperary South Deputy Noel Davern, with €85,998.41 for the year; followed closely by two Fine Gael TDs Dinny FULL LIST

McGinley (Donegal North West), who claimed €85,961.91, and John Deasy (Waterford), who took home €85,954.66.

Mr Deasy claimed a total of €35,000 in one month alone - though that claim could have related to several months of expenses.

Commenting on his generous payout, Mr Davern said his figure was greatly inflated by air-mileage, as a result of his membership of the Council of Europe (COE). However, according to the figures, Mr Davern's COE payments amounted to just over €4,500, while his normal Dail travel expenses amounted to over €40,000.

Deputy Dinny McGinley - who also appeared in the top 10 list of expense claimants for 2005 - defended his claim, saying much of it accounts for expenses dating back to the middle of last year. He also said his geographical location would mean his figure is somewhat inflated over a number of his colleagues.

He told the Sunday Independent: "In addition to the distance I have to travel, I opened a second constituency office, which would add greatly to my figures. Added to this is a number of foreign trips I took which would help increase my total."

However, TDs are only allowed a maximum of €8,888 for constituency offices, irrespective of costs - which Mr McGinley claimed in full - and his total trips abroad cost just €2,356.02 while his tax-free domestic travel and miscellaneous claims totalled more than €50,200.

Another regular at the top of the list is Fianna Fail Cork South East representative Denis O'Donovan, who claimed €78,970.76.

However, Mr O'Donovan was in the unusual position of being a member of four Oireachtas committees, and was the chair of two, including the one that was investigating Judge Brian Curtin.

On his claim, he said yesterday: "Well, being involved with so many committees is not the norm, and I have the furthest to go of almost all TDs. Also, I don't have a property in Dublin, so I have to stay in a hotel while I'm there. I only claim what I am entitled to and no more."

The high figures being earned for 'travel' by Dublin TDs in 2005 were revealed by this newspaper two weeks ago, and it appears the pattern has been repeated again during 2006.

Some 18 Dublin-based members of the Dail claimed more than €20,000 in travel expenses, easily eclipsing many of their country counterparts. The highest claimant in Dublin is the outgoing Fianna Fail TD Jim Glennon, who claimed €38,139 in travel allowances during the 12-month period, meaning he earned more than many of his country colleagues.

He said: "I have the highest because I live the furthest from the Dail of the Dublin TDs [Mr Glennon lives in Skerries]. Some of that amount comes from expenses left over from last year.

"To counter that, I have amounted a high deficit of almost €16,000 on rent for my constituency office and almost €10,000 on my phone, which I have to look at covering myself."

Fianna Fail's Pat Carey and Labour's Eamonn Gilmore also claimed more than €30,000 in travel expenses, despite being Dublin TDs. Tallaght-based Fianna Fail TD Charlie O'Connor took home over €25,000 in the year up to the beginning of December 2006, on top of the €28,000 he received in travel expenses during 2005.

A spokesperson for the Oireachtas said that the price paid is an "essential public cost" which enables many public servants combine their Dail duties with their ongoing constituency responsibilities.

There has been increasing calls from outside Leinster House for the figures to be released voluntarily. At present they are released under Freedom of Information in the form of raw data, which then has to be collated to find out the true cost to the taxpayer.

In the Seanad, the top claimant was the Cathaoirleach, Rory Kiely from Kilmallock, Limerick, who claimed €76,411.59 since December 1 last year, followed by his party colleague Paschal Mooney from Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, who claimed €72,929.34 in expenses.

Speaking about his claim, Mr Kiely said: "I'm in effect a junior minister of state but unlike others who have departments to assume their costs, I have to put mine through, like an ordinary senator.

"As the chairman of the Senate, I have a huge amount of travelling to do and I have to represent the Senate at many events, so my costs are naturally higher," he said.

FORMER Taoiseach Dr Garret FitzGerald has spoken of his regret at the findings of the Moriarty tribunal about his great political rival Charles Haughey. "It's a pity," he said.

"Sean McEntee [the former Fianna Fail Minister who died in 1984] was very disturbed about Haughey coming to power.

"McEntee, when he was dying, asked to see me. He wanted to tell me how worried he was about the country's future because of the current leader of Fianna Fail," recalled Dr FitzGerald in an interview with Eamon Keane on NewsTalk radio.

"That generation of FF had great tradition, they had the interest of the country only. Unfortunately serious damage occurred from 1960 onward. People are not as sensitive about issues of integrity.

"When someone who behaved improperly is being re-elected by a large majority, or when a party like Fianna Fail feels it does not have to face up to it, then public opinion is a problem.

"We are on the way back, but we have a long way before we have the standards other European countries have," added the former leader of Fine Gael.