Thats Capitalism WS56


Bertie Ahern cried foul when RTE broadcast a radio quiz with candidates in last October's Cork South Central by-election. Fianna Fáil's Sinead Behan scored just 1 out of 10. She didn't know how many Cork people were unemployed, or which paramilitary organisation had not called a ceasefire. The one question she was able to answer correctly was "What salary does a TD earn?"

The average industrial wage is just over £16,000 a year. Of this the PAYE worker pays an average £4,649 in tax. The average farmer pays just £1,097 in tax. Are we really expected to believe that the average farmer's wage is just a quarter of what a PAYE worker earns, a miserly £4,000 a year?1

According to Trade & Industry Minister Ian McCartney 10% of the six county workforce earn less than £3.60 an hour. At the same time, the North saw managers' wages rise by 25% since 1990 but the pay of the lowest 10% only increased by 6.4%. Ah!, the benefits of empire!2


According to the OECD's Economic Outlook Database, profit growth in the 26 counties has increased from 25.1% to 34.8% during the decade of 'social partnership'. But seemingly pay rises above 3% would make us "uncompetitive"!

1 Evening Herald, 23/10/19982 Irish News, 04/01/1999; 1988 Labour Market Survey of the Training and Employment Agency

Rearrange the letters and find the truth behind the names

1. Tony Blair PM
2. Performance related pay
3. The Houses of Parliament

1. I'm Tory Plan B, 2. Mere end of year claptrap, 3. Loonies far up the Thames

This article is from Workers Solidarity No 56 published in March 1999