Why won't they leave poor Bertie alone?


Pity poor Bertie and his cabinet. They worked very hard designing a budget which gives an extra €12 a week to pensioners (though only from next July). What thanks did they get from an ungrateful nation?The whingers and moaners won't shut up about Bertie having received an amazing 37 pay rises since 2000. In the latest round he got an additional €38,000, bringing his annual wage to a mere €310,000. Sure 'tis no wonder he has to rely on digouts and 'loans' from his friends in big business.

If Bertie's friends hadn't stepped in, the unfortunate man would have fallen prey to starvation. At times he couldn't afford to eat properly, and everyone knows that malnutrition affects the memory. Poor Bertie couldn't remember how many bank accounts he had or whether he had a bank account at all, or why he was changing cash into dollars and then changing it back again. When pressed by mental health experts he couldn't even remember his election promises about giving us a 'world class health service'.

Because 'partnership' talks start in February to try and sucker us into yet another round of wage 'restraint', some politicians have suggested putting their own increases on hold. It's not easy to sell a 'moderate' wage deal when you are obviously raking in loads of cash yourself. After all, most of the workforce, almost 1.5 million people, have salaries of less than the €38,000 pay rise taken by Bertie.

But don't be fooled. Politicians have done this before - putting aside their pay rise in the 'national interest', and then after a while quietly reinstating it with backdating.

And it's not like politicians aren't overpaid already. Still, it does show that the system works just as it's supposed to: the rich get richer and the rest of us are supposed to be grateful for any crumb thrown our way.

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