Stephen Hennessy writes:
I liked how these lined up on the Irish Times website yesterday…
The World Corruption Perception index 2013 published yesterday.
Ireland scored a
surprising respectable corruption perception rating of 72.
Eamon Delaney writes:
What makes makes Italian style corruption almost unnecessary for those seeking gravy In Ireland. And this… what you might call an institutional corruption, and an embedded, ingrained sense of entitlement and reward for the ruling elites which is disproportionate, unfair and unwarranted, but which still goes on.
Basically, the system is fixed in a way that gives such rewards for those at the very top, or even half way up the public ladder, that there is no need for palms to be greased and money siphoned off.
Worse still, this money, and juicy extras, is being given regardless of where it is being taken from. It is also a culture of entitlement which prevails into a time of severe recession with major cutbacks in public spending elsewhere.
And so we have the bosses of certain charities get top –ups from money that might otherwise go to treat sick and disabled children. And so we have former Ministers getting pensions that run into hundreds of thousands of euro, regardless of what pressure this puts on the public purse, during a time of recession. And yet, like former Taoiseach John Bruton – who is on a very large multiple pension, and a big salary – they preach austerity to the rest of us.
And so senior public servants are immune from the pay cuts that are meted out to lower grade public servants, simply because they are senior public servants and presumably run the system and can run rings around any politicians who try to change it.
And so we have been paying the heads of quangos and boards far in excess of what they are being paid in other European countries, purely because this is what we do, and the system ensures it and there’s nothing the public can do to change it. And so we have the Government blithely breaking their own pay cap for the salaries of advisers. Most disgracefully in the case of the charity bosses, (and some hospital bosses), many of the top ups were not known to the public, but were quietly taken in all conscience by the recipients as being a customary reward for being part of the system.
Is this embedded sense of entitlement and reward for the ruling elites really much different to the more slippery corruption in Bulgaria or Greece? Do you really think the Swedes or the Danes would tolerate such extra gravy-taking when their economy was on its knees and the public finances were banjaxed?