Irish General Election 2011: The Dublin Chamber of Commerce today calls for “root & branch” public sector reform but has nothing to say on the protected private sector, where professions are significantly supported by public funds.
All political parties contesting the election
have been asked today to respond to a select number of pro-business measures
proposed by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce to help existing enterprise survive
and grow, to promote entrepreneurship and to create jobs.
The philosopher-economist Adam Smith, the author of the 1776 book, The Wealth of Nations, would have termed it a 'tacit agreement.'
Of course, public sector reform is long overdue and is proceeding at the speed of a glacier.
However, it's also relevant to repeat the point
out that multimillionaire tribunal lawyers are continuing to make hay as public
contractors; medical consultants can charge over €200 for a 15-20 minute
consultation; an insolvency firm quoted NAMA €800 per hour for an assignment and
was allowed hide behind a Victorian veil of secrecy; GPs in Ireland get paid
€38.95 to administer the seasonal flu vaccine to patients. In the UK GPs get
paid £7.51 (€8.30) for doing the same job and the State health insurer VHI has
to hike premiums by as much as 45% to pay for featherbedding.
This week, the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee published a report which shows that public bodies are the largest procurers of legal services in the State with an estimated spend of anything up to €500m.
The Committee said it heard evidence to suggest that the cost of legal services in Ireland is amongst the highest in the developed world and it has been suggested that the State itself is one of the primary drivers of high legal costs.
Overall, the report stated that the likely cost to the State of three public tribunals based on the pattern of costs experienced to date is estimated to be in the range of €336m to €366m.
The Committee also reported that five of the barristers working for the Mahon (Planning) and Moriarty tribunals earned in excess of €5m, with two of them earning almost €10m.
The Committee referred to "three senior counsel at the Moriarty Tribunal being paid €2,500 a day for an extraordinary 304 days in 2008. The Moriarty Tribunal sat in public session for an average of 20 days in each of the past three years. The report advised that there were no specific attendance records for the legal teams maintained at the Morris and Mahon Tribunals. The Moriarty Tribunal records attendance of tribunal legal team members but does not take account of arrival and departure times."
The Committee "was exercised to learn that at the Moriarty Tribunal, an extra €1m has been paid to counsel because of an error in the Department of the Taoiseach, where counsel have been paid a per diem rate of €2,500 instead of €2,250 and where the matter was allowed continue without rectification."
This surely encapsulates the failure of Irish governance and the system that allows lawyers as public contractors to become multimillionaires in a small country, while in some cases investigating bribes lower than they themselves are getting paid per day.
One of the tribunal lawyers even claimed the cost of a chocolate bar of Toblerone from the State!
These wealthy people like their political masters, have got their gilt-edged meal-tickets for life while many of the victims of the failed system, remain invisible.
The Dublin Chamber of Commerce said on
Wednesday that the measures included in the Chamber’s election manifesto, will
be unveiled tonight at its AGM Dinner.
These initiatives, which Dublin Chamber is asking each political party to commit to in the election campaign, include:
- taking a pro-active approach to privatisation;
- creating an executive Mayor for Dublin, who is responsible for the cost
effective delivery of local services.
© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com