Gerry Corbett slams the New Programme for Government as being wholly biased against workers.

A Government for change my backside

More taxes and attacks on workers coming!

The programme for government is a bad deal for workers.

So what’s wrong with the programme?

1: There is no provision for union recognition.

Employers will still not have to deal with unions even when workers join a union the employer won’t have to deal with it.

There is also no provision for access to workplace for unions during the Covid-19 crisis.

2: There is no provision for equal pay for new entrants to the public service.

Young teachers will still be paid less than teachers who started before 2011.

3: There is no provision for mandatory sick pay.

Despite the Covid 19 crises exposing the low level of sickness benefit here no change is proposed. Workers here in the private sector must wait for 6 days (the average in the EU is 3) before being paid anything in state benefit.

Further, only Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom apply a flat rate amount in state benefit.

4: It says there will be “Progress to a living wage over the lifetime of the Government”.

Thus even at the end of five years we may still not have reached a Living Wage.

Ireland will still have high levels of low pay. We are currently third highest in the OECD.

On the next page it says:

The Low Pay Commission will be instrumental in ensuring that those who are in low-paid employment are valued.

To date this body has not seen fit to recommend a Living Wage.

For Ireland the living wage rate for a single adult was estimated at €12.30 per hour in 2019, 22% more than the minimum wage.

5: There is no protection for workers made redundant through liquidation like those in Debenhams.

Its says the new government will:

Review whether the legal provisions surrounding collective redundancies and the liquidation of companies effectively protect the rights of workers.

The answer to the question here is a simple NO.

We have already had the review. It’s called the Duffy Cahill Report and was conducted in 2016 after the Cleary’s closure.

6: Workers will pay more PRSI.

It says:

As the economy recovers and employment grows, request the Commission on Welfare and Taxation to examine what changes can be made to employer and employee PRSI.
 
A persistent problem here is that employers pay very low rates of PRSI compared to comparator countries.

Payments here are about 49% of the average. But employee PRSI is 98% of the average.

So why seek to increase PRSI rates for both?

7: Workers will pay more tax.

It says:

We will utilise taxation measures, as well as expenditure measures, to close the deficit and fund public services if required.

There are no substantial proposals to tax wealth or profits.

8: Public sector workers will be squeezed again.

They want a new public pay deal.

The approach will “be guided by the State’s financial position and outlook”.

9: And what if you get laid off which many will be over the next few months?

The commitment is to: 

Protect core weekly social welfare rates (and) improve jobseeker supports for people aged under 24 over the lifetime of the Government.

In light of Covid 19 these need to be increased with the €350 as a benchmark for jobseekers including those under 24.

Current rates leave many workers in poverty when they are made unemployed:

A single person gets €203, the poverty line is €284;

A couple get €338, the poverty line is €472;

A couple with two children gets €418, the poverty line is €659.

10: The pension age is not going back to 65.

11: Don't forget the USC emergency tax - not a mention of this temporary tax being removed or even reduced.

Gerry Corbett is the national secretary of the Independent Workers' Union ESB Technicians. 

What The New Programme For Government Means For Workers

Gerry Corbett slams the New Programme for Government as being wholly biased against workers.

A Government for change my backside

More taxes and attacks on workers coming!

The programme for government is a bad deal for workers.

So what’s wrong with the programme?

1: There is no provision for union recognition.

Employers will still not have to deal with unions even when workers join a union the employer won’t have to deal with it.

There is also no provision for access to workplace for unions during the Covid-19 crisis.

2: There is no provision for equal pay for new entrants to the public service.

Young teachers will still be paid less than teachers who started before 2011.

3: There is no provision for mandatory sick pay.

Despite the Covid 19 crises exposing the low level of sickness benefit here no change is proposed. Workers here in the private sector must wait for 6 days (the average in the EU is 3) before being paid anything in state benefit.

Further, only Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom apply a flat rate amount in state benefit.

4: It says there will be “Progress to a living wage over the lifetime of the Government”.

Thus even at the end of five years we may still not have reached a Living Wage.

Ireland will still have high levels of low pay. We are currently third highest in the OECD.

On the next page it says:

The Low Pay Commission will be instrumental in ensuring that those who are in low-paid employment are valued.

To date this body has not seen fit to recommend a Living Wage.

For Ireland the living wage rate for a single adult was estimated at €12.30 per hour in 2019, 22% more than the minimum wage.

5: There is no protection for workers made redundant through liquidation like those in Debenhams.

Its says the new government will:

Review whether the legal provisions surrounding collective redundancies and the liquidation of companies effectively protect the rights of workers.

The answer to the question here is a simple NO.

We have already had the review. It’s called the Duffy Cahill Report and was conducted in 2016 after the Cleary’s closure.

6: Workers will pay more PRSI.

It says:

As the economy recovers and employment grows, request the Commission on Welfare and Taxation to examine what changes can be made to employer and employee PRSI.
 
A persistent problem here is that employers pay very low rates of PRSI compared to comparator countries.

Payments here are about 49% of the average. But employee PRSI is 98% of the average.

So why seek to increase PRSI rates for both?

7: Workers will pay more tax.

It says:

We will utilise taxation measures, as well as expenditure measures, to close the deficit and fund public services if required.

There are no substantial proposals to tax wealth or profits.

8: Public sector workers will be squeezed again.

They want a new public pay deal.

The approach will “be guided by the State’s financial position and outlook”.

9: And what if you get laid off which many will be over the next few months?

The commitment is to: 

Protect core weekly social welfare rates (and) improve jobseeker supports for people aged under 24 over the lifetime of the Government.

In light of Covid 19 these need to be increased with the €350 as a benchmark for jobseekers including those under 24.

Current rates leave many workers in poverty when they are made unemployed:

A single person gets €203, the poverty line is €284;

A couple get €338, the poverty line is €472;

A couple with two children gets €418, the poverty line is €659.

10: The pension age is not going back to 65.

11: Don't forget the USC emergency tax - not a mention of this temporary tax being removed or even reduced.

Gerry Corbett is the national secretary of the Independent Workers' Union ESB Technicians. 

2 comments:

  1. Well said Gerry - not enough of this type of accessibly analysis making its voice heard

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with what's said here. We'll do fuck all though. Ford said if the ordinary man ever finds out how the financial system works there would be a revolution the next morning, he overestimated us we found out in 2008 and did fuck all apart from pay the gambling debts of those who robbed us. We'll do fuck all again the 'oh my can't let them fail 'arguments will become 'oh they did furlough people' ignoring their idiotic policies. Our balls have fell off, I don't know if that's good or bad thing.

    ReplyDelete