A Class Struggle

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anne-marie

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Anne Marie McNally (top second left) during secondary school and (above) today.

 When Third Level is what ‘others’ do and getting to the junior cert is an achievement.

Anne-Marie McNally writes:

It was Ben Franklin who said “an investment in education always pays the best interest.” That enlightened comment came somewhere in the 1700s but as is true of most words of wisdom, they are more relevant today than ever.

Growing up in inner city Dublin, in what remains one of the most disadvantaged communities in the country, I weaved my way through an education system where my schools, both at primary and second level, were labelled as ‘disadvantaged’ or ‘underperforming’ -before the days of what would now be called DEIS schools.

I had some great teachers along the way but they were struggling in a system where the overriding attitude was that we, the student population, were not really destined for any form of educational greatness so delivering the curriculum and getting us to Leaving Cert would be considered real success though junior cert would be likely more realistic. Ambition was not nurtured – pragmatic stereotyping was more the order of the day.

Most kids I worked my way through the system with came from strong families who were hamstrung by economic disadvantage – my own included. Many of them had parents who themselves had never had access to any education beyond early second level.

Third level seemed like something ‘others’ did. Personally I was lucky to have parents at home who prioritised education and that, combined with my natural indignation at being told by the system that I ‘couldn’t’, ensured I broke the cycle and pushed through. But I was very much the exception rather than the rule and that’s just not acceptable.

I sat in classes where we were encouraged to look to the local VEC at best or the local sewing factory at worst. To aspire to university was highly unusual and really not something that happened very often. When it did it was miraculous – I still get asked back to speak to students by way of the ‘girl done good’ narrative!

Unfortunately not much has changed in the intervening decade or so since I left school. Data published last year following an Irish Times analysis showed that progression rates from affluent areas were almost double those of socio-economically disadvantaged areas.

The analysis also found that those progressing from more affluent areas were more likely to have attended a fee-paying school and/or availed of private grinds. So, as in most things in life, the balance of opportunity is weighted heavily in favour of those who have at the expense of those who have not.

Interestingly, another key indicator that emerges in relation to educational progression is the level of educational attainment of the mother in the family. In other words, there’s a cycle – a vicious cycle- of generational inequality that is perpetuated and solidified by educational inequality.

Education should be seen as a public good – the more society puts in the more society gets out. But rather than families recognising this, it is the State that needs to appreciate the sentiment. It is perfectly acceptable for families to avail of the best education they can afford – indeed they should.

However, it is society’s responsibility to ensure every family has access to the same quality of education regardless of what they can afford. It is not enough to simply invest bricks and mortar into school building projects if you don’t have a symbiotic investment in teacher training and ensure teaching is recognised as a valuable and vital component of a healthy society.

Teachers should be recognised as crucial elements of a vibrant successful society and economy and the respect and remuneration afforded to teachers should reflect that value.

Tomorrow, my Social Democrats colleague in Dublin Central – one of the areas with the lowest third level progression rates in the country – Councillor Gary Gannon will host a public meeting in the Sherriff YC hall [Sheriff Street in Dublin 1] to discuss access to education.

This week is college awareness week. Awareness of college is one thing but awareness that college is a viable option for all –no matter your background – is a whole different thing and that is where we need to get to. If you’re around at 11am in the morning then join Gary in a discussion about how we achieve educational equality.

After all, when Mandela said “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world” I’m pretty sure he was also referring to those outside the affluent suburbs.

Anne-Marie McNally is a political and media strategist working with Catherine Murphy TD and will be a candidate for the Social Democrats in the forthcoming General Election. Follow Anne-Marie on Twitter: @amomcnally

111 thoughts on “A Class Struggle

  1. Jimmee

    “It is not enough to simply invest bricks and mortar into school building projects if you don’t have a symbiotic investment in teacher training and ensure teaching is recognised as a valuable and vital component of a healthy society.”

    This is a fancy way of saying pay more taxes.

    1. rotide

      so, this is the digital equivalent of one of those public meeting posters that double as election material. gotcha.

      1. The Lady Vanishes

        No, it’s a sincere piece by someone who falls outside the usual demographic for a third level graduate or a TD, and is all the more interesting because of it.

        The only qualification I would make is that escaping the hothousing for the Leaving Certificate the preserve of ‘good schools’ may in fact be an educational advantage.

    2. classter

      In my mind, teaching is recognised as a very valuable and vital component of our society.

      A ‘symbiotic investment in teacher training’ sounds good too, although it isn’t clear what Anne Marie proposes here and it sounds like what every single party will say,

      More specifically, Anne Marie refers to teachers who have adjusted their expectations after years of teaching in an underprivileged school (inviting back the good student suggests the teachers want to raise expectations). Are these teachers merely burnt out? What is the solution to that?

  2. Big_G

    You can’t force people to learn, no matter how much money you throw at the problem. Although I do agree that teaching should be a more valued profession.

    1. Nigel

      ‘You can’t force people to learn’

      Yes, there are much better ways of getting people to learn than just forcing them. Good point.

  3. scundered

    I wouldn’t agree with calling the areas disadvantaged, the areas were doing just fine before man arrived, however some of the people choose to disadvantage themselves, that’s their choice.

    Those who want to succeed, will.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      That’s pretty impressive being able to sleep and type coherent sentences at the same time.

    2. Donny P

      This is true to an extent. But as with all your comments of this nature you miss the fact that, teaching aside, there is a pretty huge difference between being told you can be anything you dream, president, doctor, lawyer, nurse, whatever and being told you are should fix your sights on the local sewing factory. Aspiration doesn’t just come from within, it comes from a range of sources, including great teachers, parents and role models.

      1. scundered

        True I’m maybe more black/white on the issue than most, but I’d agree your surrounding influences have a big effect, if someone believes in you and gives you encouragement etc, or on the flip side someone who has a negative effect. But ultimately it’s down to the individual whether they choose to accept the way things are.

        1. Donny P

          It’s down to the individual to a point. But no man or woman is an island, you need a lot of support to get where you are, even though you are the one doing it. Without that, without the support to help you achieve goals, to keep you resilient when you need to be people give up, sometimes before they even start. And if you or your parents or your parents parents were told this is the level you get to and that’s that, then why bother? I went to a school with a lot of kids who were told this and they never went anywhere. Those that did were largely middle class kids who had the resources, both financial and emotional, to do what they wanted.

          Saying people just need to just pull up their socks is as helpful as saying cheer up to a person with depression – it doesn’t take into account people’s circumstances or opportunities and how those shape who and what you are.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Saying people just need to just pull up their socks is as helpful as saying cheer up to a person with depression”

            +1

    3. St. John Smythe

      “I wouldn’t agree with calling the areas disadvantaged, the areas were doing just fine before man arrived”
      Damn those stone age immigrants! Indigenous deer and wolves were doing great before they arrived.

      1. scundered

        You’re confusing intention with choice, whether we make the right or wrong decisions is up to us.

  4. Digs

    This naive view on the mechanics of education is damaging. Whether or not you view it from a functional or rational perspective, one thing is constant, namely, not everyone should go or even aspire to go to college. It is simply not a viable course for everyone and nor should it be. Recent theory explores the different types of education and intellect and also suggests that college isn’t in fact for everyone. It’s not about casting those people aside, but rather accepting that it’s ok to do things differently. Education is already overly bureaucratised,monopolised and over subscribed to such an extent as to be devalued ( jobBridge briliantly exemplifies this ) and increasingly homogenised. This polemic leftist analysis is ill informed and completely misguided.

    Just sayin…

    1. DubLoony

      Something like 96% of kids from wealthy households go to college.
      you’re right, its not healthy to have people pushed through a sausage factory of education when they may not be suitable for it.
      Why are none of them going for apprenticeships as electricians, carpenters or plumbers?

      There is a problem in some areas in early school leaving where teens end up doing nothing. These areas are over represented in prison population.
      Education is the single biggest factor in breaking the cycle of disadvantage. That’s a verifiable fact, proven all over the world.

    2. edalicious

      While you are correct that college might not be for everyone, that delineation would be on an individual basis rather than what area or socio-economic background you come from.

      1. Digs

        That’s utterly unrealistic and disingenuous. I have a good friend working as a teacher in very disadvantaged area. Not one parent showed up to the parent/teacher meeting from ANY of her classes. That’s cultural and self fulfilling. I don’t think this attitude would change radically if you gave these parents a pot of cash and a big house. Socio economic background has everything to do with it. There are always exceptions, but education isn’t always valued In lives filled with adversity, addiction and crime. How do you break the cycle of poverty, social exclusion and disenfranchisement? Through education? Perhaps, but sociologists have been grappling with this conundrum for ever and there is no easy fix or even pragmatic conclusions. Besides, a functioning society is more concerned with the collective not the individual.

        1. Caroline

          “Give these parents pots of money and a big house”.

          Sir, we’ve had a call from the fire department. They’ve some concerns about the size of your straw man.

          1. Caroline

            What’s the context? You understand that educational attainment is related to socioeconomic background and parental attitudes, but you claim the solution being offered is to throw money at the parents. It isn’t.

          2. Digs

            That’s the complete opposite of what I said. My point (perhaps not very well made) is that in theory you could take the citizen out of the ghetto but you can’t always take the ghetto out of the citizen. One’s values are not simply measured by one’s possessions. I alluded to legacy and culture.

          3. Caroline

            Yes, virtually everyone agrees that the problem is one of legacy and culture. That’s why mentioning cash or possessions seems oddly irrelevant. There is almost no reason to bring it up other than to confuse the issue, which I accept wasn’t your aim.

          4. classter

            Digs has a point. My mother used to teach in one of Dublin’s most ‘disadvantaged’ primary schools.

            They had a very driven principal & actually, from what I can see, an excellent cohort of teachers with relatively little of the (sadly prevalent) fatalism mentioned by Anne Marie above.

            Still though, you could probably pick out which of the kids would go to university from the age of 5 – not necessarily because of ability but because of parental (or grandparental) attitudes to education, discipline & schooling.

        2. Donny P

          “Not one parent showed up to the parent/teacher meeting from ANY of her classes. That’s cultural and self fulfilling.”

          You have no idea as to why that but jump to your own cultural assumptions about where they are. Nice.

          1. Digs

            I didn’t jump to any assumptions. Did you read what I said? NOT ONE…. It’s not assuming to observe a pattern.

          2. Donny P

            Yes I read your comment. You said the reason for non-attendance of parents was cultural, which suggests you might be making assumptions about the type of people they are and their circumstances. Is that wrong?

          3. Digs

            Well Donny, why do you think scores of parents didn’t show up? I caught the news that day and as far as I can recall there weren’t any mass shooting or biblical scale disasters in the communty.

          4. Donny P

            You can probably think of some. They could be working, for one. Low-pay, insecure jobs where they can’t take time off or would be docked wages. There is probably a high likelihood that some of these kids have parents in prison if it is extremely deprived, so physically unable to attend even if they wanted to. But easier to jump to lazy assumptions that they just don’t give a poo I guess. You should read some of the research on poverty, it is a real eye-opener to the realities of people’s lives. I think you would be saddened to learn some of the stats and stories of what people go through and are still expected to be functioning afterwards.

          5. Donny P

            You think assumptions based on nothing are the same as considering some of the factors known to be associated with children and families in deprived areas?

  5. DubLoony

    My parents were at work aged 12 and 14. But they were installed with an old working class attitude of lifelong learning. The house was stuffed with books and evening classes were the norm.
    They absolutely insisted on the the importance of schooling. Mainly because they would have loved to have gone themselves.
    I was the first in the family & on our street to go to college. Its almost normal now for people to do some sort of post-secondary training. One neighbor wasn’t aware that “people like us” could do such a thing. She studied at night and is now working in a medical field.
    Teachers are important in that process, but so are opportunities for adult education, parents and immediate community around a young person.

    1. Spud1

      +1.
      Teacher / education facilities etc… are important, but the
      Constitution recognises the parent as the prime educator.
      Many in disadvantaged areas are simply not getting enough due care in this regard, and you can’t blame schools.
      Many children are turning up hungry to school and not getting proper sleep, along with poor diets… it all leads to the wrong environment for learning.

    2. Happy Molloy

      you’re the result of good parenting, which is the most important aspect of education. Ideally the infrastructure to support those who haven’t got great parents who, unfortunately, usually won’t amount to much.

  6. Spaghetti Hoop

    “Education is the liberation of the working classes”.
    John Reid

    “Real success is where people achieve things in their life in spite of and not because of their economic background.”
    Spaghetti Hoop

  7. Clampers Outside!

    If we pay teachers more can we stop aholes from sitting on positions and preventing full time jobs being provided to the new teachers. Yeah, you Enda, you fupping backstard, I’m looking at you, ya diminutive ginger little hick Enda…. ya tw*t !

    [ …it’s been a long morning… needed to let loose on the virtual punchbag that is our dear leader ]

  8. Joni2015

    I really can’t see the barriers. What is stopping a student from reading their textbooks, siting the leaving cert and getting 300 points for a college course?
    There’s good and bad teachers but I don’t believe that schools in poor areas have awful teachers.

    1. DubLoony

      If you are from a chaotic home where there is addiction, or from a home that requires a teen to be a carer for younger siblings, if you have mental health issues, if one or both your parents have died, or are in prison, if you have a chronic illness and long periods of hospitalization, if you are living in a B&B.

      The list is a long one.

    2. MoyestWithExcitement

      Also, teenaged children aren’t adults and can’t be held to the same standards re work ethic and forward thinking.

      1. St. John Smythe

        Exactly. I spent the past ten years or so (as a fully grown adult) getting over the low education-expectations of my (upper middle-class/lower-middle-class) parents and of my teachers to be honest, where I got minimal encouragement to try anything past getting the minimum respectable grade and if I was to go to college, it was just to do something basic that could guarantee me a job (I did, but I was the youngest of four and the first to do so).

        It was only when I got to know over my twenties friends and girlfriends who came from slightly more bourgeois backgrounds, where not only was the expectation hat the could go to college, but that they should ‘play the long game’ as regards to doing something challenging and career building based on their interests.

        Rethinking myself out of the more minimalist and more utilitarian attitudes to education, in my late twenties I went back and did a Masters (paid for by myself) more directed towards the creative fields I always wanted to work in.

    3. DriveByCommenting

      Well, here’s one barrier: your family do OK economically, but not amazing – there’s a fiver left over at the end of a normal week, kind of thing. Do you a) continue to cost your parents money for another four years, or b) get a job and take some of the pressure off?

      In middle-class areas nowadays it’s understood the correct answer is (a), if for no other reason than going to college is the default and your family’d have to be really struggling for you not to. In working-class areas going to college is not the norm, and in contrast it seems more selfish to do so in the above situation.

      1. DubLoony

        Very true. There is a culture among working class areas to have someone earning and contributing the the family finances as soon as they were able. It was a mark of being an adult.=, even if 16 or 17.

        I was working part time in college and was expected to hand up a third of my income. I was also expected to stay at home for a year when I got my first proper job to make sure that I could contribute to the rest of the family.

    4. J

      The State partially funds the private schools by paying teacher salaries .Unlike the UK, we don’t have inequality in teaching standards.

  9. Clampers Outside!

    I’ve been to two third level colleges…… Uni and DIT…. I’d give it all up and go to Letterfrack to work with wood, in the morning… if I could but I can’t, so thank Jebus for pastimes and hobbies :)

    There’s too much emphasis on ‘Uni’ without the ‘Why Uni?’

    Also, we go to college too early here (Ireland and the UK) compared to our continental friends in Europe, namely Germany. Maybe a one year ‘service’ is a good thing… then on to college a little older and wiser…

    1. DubLoony

      Germany is the opposite extreme. they are still in college in their 30s and expect to retire in their 50s.
      They are divided very early in life for technical & vocational jobs. But they do have a system where you can complete an apprenticeship in say engineering company and go on to complete degree and post grad engineering if you are so inclined.

        1. Caroline

          +1
          There are really great opportunities in German companies, particularly in the traditional manufacturing and engineering ones. The apprentice system is very well developed and works to their mutual advantage, especially where there is a big native manufacturing sector (slow-moving, immobile industries etc.). That’s obviously not the case here, although there is maybe scope for the state to encourage companies to adopt a modified version in specific fields.

          1. Annie

            There is also a prestige attached to trades as much as university “degrees” in Germany so choosing to attend a “sewing school”, to quote Ann Marie above, early in life to apprentice is seen in very positive terms by society and gives one a good standing and commands respect. Although, you are quite right that this is likely to do with Germany’s long history of manufacture and technological pioneering and the analogy does not transfer quite so well here.

          2. Caroline

            True. You can’t bake a loaf of bread in Germany without a formal qualification. The flip side is restrictions on establishment and the rigid enmeshment of unions and works councils and all that. Would go down like a cabbage sandwich here.

          3. Annie

            Indeed, the old guilds still hold very strong sway in Germany despite a period of liberalisation under unifying Prussian rule.

  10. Lordblessusandsaveus

    The deliberate exclusion of children from disadvantaged areas and schools is an unspoken policy in private schools. Even if a family have the money to send their kid to a private school, the school will deny them entry on the basis that they are not the right social class.

    This is to provide a large under educated working class population to exploit and a small exclusive class of over-educated privileged children of privileged parents who do the exploiting and the wholesale tax dodging.

    That is Ireland. If you want to change that, you need to take control of private schools and make them open to all applicants and you need to undermine the power of the rugby clubs associated with them.

    Good luck with that.

    1. DubLoony

      That’s what Ruairi Quinn was doing and there was a backlash from private schools.
      Blackrock College Union, the alumni of Backrock college were on the case.

      I don’t know about anyone else but a well funded alumni association for a secondary school was news to me.
      They really don’t want to mix with the plebs.

    2. Digs

      Wow. That’s fantastic! ” undermine the power of the rugby clubs…” You should write to the knights Templar and see if they’ll join your crusade! Lunatic

  11. Sabatina Andreucetti

    “Education is the single biggest factor in breaking the cycle of disadvantage. That’s a verifiable fact, proven all over the world”. This begins in early years with resourced supports for parents / carers. Focus does not have to be on narrow third level, but on equiping each individual child to build resilience, skills & knowledge to deal with their own realities. The ignorance from some of commentators as to the reasons for inequality is astounding. Best of luck in continued struggle.

    1. Anne-Marie McNally

      Preach Sabatina!!

      Almost all of the comments raised herein thus far are addressed in the piece. Specifically:
      “I had some great teachers along the way who were struggling in a system…”

      “another key indicator that emerges in relation to educational progression is the level of educational attainment of the mother in the family. In other words, there’s a cycle – a vicious cycle- of generational inequality that is perpetuated and solidified by educational inequality.”

      In a situation where education was not the ‘norm’ in a household or something alien to parents, how is it you expect them to imbue a passion into their children. Of course many will – for various reasons and against the odds – mine did – but my fundamental point is that the education system should be supported from early childhood to third level in a way that ensures a student has the same opportunities and supports within the system even if they don’t have them at home.

      Those supports come in various different guises from words of encouragement to extra-curricular teaching etc or maybe even brakfast provision in the school. The school I attended had one student who never had a lunch and was from a family of 17 children…every single morning one of my most influential teachers – a strong working-class woman – would leave a sandwich in that girls locker. It was an unspoken thing that we wre all aware of. Did that woman make a difference in that child’s life? You bet your ass she did – and it may have been the difference between her choosing to spend a day on the streets were heroin was the order of the day, or a day in a classroom.

      1. Annie

        Ann-Marie, there is also another issue untouched upon and that is gender inequality in education. The chasm between boys and girls is at its most acute in disadvantaged “working class” areas. While we are all well aware of girls out-performing boys at the moment, in some communities young males fare far worse than girls with a sheer lack of aspiration and motivation. The odds appear to be stacked so much against these males achieving any kind of basic educational attainment and needless to say, there is a paucity of positive male role models. Instead, all these young boys and men can do is define themselves by what they are not and ape a crude machismo that leads them nowhere.

          1. Annie

            Not only that but the teaching profession has become so feminised that subliminally it is sending out a message to young girls that this is a “more appropriate” profession to which you can aspire and the very opposite to young boys. At primary level, male teachers or aspiring male primary teachers are, to use a hackneyed analogy, as rare as hens teeth. I’ve not doubt that a young man who wishes to pursue a primary teaching career has to contend with many eyebrows being raised. This same rationale makes girls think twice about certain other professions like engineering.

        1. Anne-Marie McNally

          I still think education is a viable option for all. I think college SHOULD be a viable option for all but that;s not to say that all should choose it. Choice rather than exclusion being the key factor there.

          1. Annie

            Even within colleges and universities they are hierarchies: most law and medical degrees are largely populated by those from the upper to middle middle classes, whereas when you get to IT level and less “prestigious” colleges, it is the preserve of the lower middle class and ordinary decent working class. As you say Ann Marie, it is all legacy and perhaps subliminal messages passed down the generations as to what you can and should aspire to.

          2. Clampers Outside!

            Legacy… take a look at law…..
            Law… pffft, full of dynasties and who knows who for the most part. In other words, NOT our best and brightest. All stitched up in a high paying wall – the devil system – to prevent others from differing backgrounds getting in. Whether intentional or not, that’s what happens. The devil system must go if we are to have an intelligent and knowledgeable legal system.

          3. Annie

            Totally agree with you Clampers re “not out best and brightest” but do you think that being a dolt from the upper-middle middle class deters someone of mediocre ability from lofty aspirations? Not in the slightest and therein lies the difference. While the legal profession is somewhat of a meritocracy after a certain stage, connections and financial prowess are the bedrock of the system and get you an incredible head and to be honest, even if you are not that good, you can still eek out a decent living simply as a result of the milieu from which you come and the benefits and connections that it affords. Even if a Senior Counsel’s private school educated son and daughter doesn’t get the points for law in any university, they will eventually end up, possibly by the skin of their teeth in the Law Library or Blackhall Place via Griffith College and the like whereupon in a not too short time decent briefs will land on their desk. This is exactly what I am talking about re subliminal messages about what one can and should aspire to – ability is often incidental.

          4. Digs

            Everybody is entitled to an education and if they don’t take it up their guardians are culpable. There is too much choice already. Kids heads are spinning with choice. Not everyone can be whatever they want.

      2. Anne

        Hi Anne-Marie,

        Could you answer this whn you get a chance please?
        https://www.broadsheet.ie/2015/11/18/standing-up-for-equality-in-all-its-forms/#comment-1483143

        “In theory, a rate of 51pc kicks in once any of us earn €33,800. But not in reality. Tax credits mean that for a single PAYE worker, the higher rate kicks in at about €42,000.”

        Can someone explains the maths of that to me please?
        Tax credit for a single/PAYE worker is 3,300 PA.
        Just curious as to how that makes it 42k, before the higher rate kicks in.

        Anne-Marie? Anyone?”

        1. Anne-Marie McNally

          basic tax credits for a single/PAYE worker is €3,300.

          However, the higher rate of tax definitely kicks in at anything over €33,800.

          Really not sure where the €42,000 is coming from. There are some credits that people may qualify for (such as credits to do with un-refunded work expenses) that allow this threshold to be extended but you would need a lot of these to make it all the way to €42,000.

          A married person who is the single earner in the household may earn up to €42,800 before entering the higher bracket. Perhaps, this is where the confusion lies?

          The tax calculator on http://www.pwc.ie is a good way to run a check on your tax affairs.

          1. Anne

            Ok thanks.. I wasn’t sure where that figure of 42K was coming from either.

            I was thinking maybe it’s the 3300, multiplied by 42%, and added back onto 33,800 (as I’m thinking you’re effectively getting relief at 42% for the 3,300 tax credits – after anything earned over 33,800) But that still didn’t bring it up to 42K.

            Appreciate your response. Thanks.

  12. Ron

    “I still get asked back to speak to students by way of the ‘girl done good’ narrative!”

    Working as a political and media strategist with Catherine Murphy TD.. As the school report probably said: Could try harder.

    Nothing more then electoral waffle from a candidate!

    1. Donny P

      It’s a pretty big deal to get into politics from anything other than a hugely privileged background. Doesn’t happen much in other countries anymore.

        1. Annie

          +1 Part of Ron’s comment does admittedly reflect the “all politicians are bad and self-serving” mood that pervades society at the moment.

        2. Ron

          @classter. What I have done and what I have not done is irrelevant. Im not the one publicising my ‘everybody look at me, I’m great’ party political broadcast.

          1. Ron

            @Donny P… the day that I start caring about what deluded commentators on Broadsheet think of my opinion will never happen. And as for your comment about getting into politics as somehow being a measure of ones success just shows how uninspiring your life must be too. I imagine your report cards said ‘must try harder’ too.

          2. Don Pidgeoni

            Yet you do care because you’re trying to be mean or funny which is funny and lame in itself. Great job Ron!

          3. Annie

            We get it Ron – all politicians and even aspiring ones are mediocre self-serving egomaniacs who bring ruin on the country and the lives of ordinary folk.

            Now, put on a different record.

  13. rotide

    Are broadsheet going to continue to publish Anne Maries party political treatsies as well as the diatribes against election posters?

  14. ahyeah

    “In theory, a rate of 51pc kicks in once any of us earn €33,800. But not in reality. Tax credits mean that for a single PAYE worker, the higher rate kicks in at about €42,000. ”

    Annemarie, the above is SD analysis of the budget which either demonstrates a fondness for political spin or mere incompetency and laziness on the part of SD. Which one?
    Thanks Anne for pointing it out. A floating voter not convinced by SD.

    1. Anne

      I’d say they meant a married/single earner…
      The credits give you relief of 40% or 20%, depending on what you earn.

      I think it’s a bit of jiggery pokery with the figures all right.

      Maybe they were including pension contributions or something.
      Say if you earned 20% above 33,800 (that’s say 40k approx) and you put the maximum amount of percentage of your income (depending on your age) into a pension.. say you put that 20% into a pension, you’re getting relief on it at 40%, so in effect you could say you have to earn anything over that 40K before you hit the high tax..
      Ja know what I mean?

  15. Hashtag McMór

    Cue more Letters to the Irish Times from Educate Together in Portobello about religion in schools. That’s the big issue for that cohort.

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