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These pension payments are immoral!

I have to admit that when it comes to financial matters, even my own, I haven’t got a clue, and I can never figure out how businesses, even small ones, can keep track of all the things that make up their running costs, and how they can know whether they are making or losing money.

Things like staff wages, PRSI, money owed, in and out stock levels, and all kinds of things like insurance costs, phones, lighting, administration, all have to be taken into consideration, and there is no doubt that it requires a fair amount of business acumen to work everything out.

Taking all that on board, if we imagine that running a country is like running an enormous business, it’s obvious that to do so requires a huge amount of expertise, financial and otherwise, and you would think that we should have at least some of our top businessmen on board, even if only in an advisory capacity.

However, we have to put up with what we have, and so our TDs are generally a mix of all kinds of everything – and some of them are more or less pushed into positions for which they have no qualifications or relevant experience whatsoever.

The big consolation for all of them is that they will be well compensated in their retirement, but the level of compensation, in the form of their retirement packages, is bordering on the immoral.

We have any amount of ex-ministers who are taking home more than €100,00 a year, with the big two, Brian and Bertie, topping the list at almost €136,000 a year. That works out at more than €2,600 a week, and it’s hard to figure out how any business can afford to pay such massive pensions to anyone – never mind the two, especially The Great Bertie, who led the country into unprecedented poverty and hardship.

My old schoolmate, Dick Spring, is pocketing a handy €110,000 a year for his efforts, so if you want a big retirement package, get into politics. I am well aware that politicians, at every level, work hard while in office but, if you can get to the Dail at all, you’ll be well rewarded when you pack it in, or when the people pack you out.

I’m not going to comment on the Greek situation, except to say that I can’t see what difference the No vote makes – as far as I can see the country is still broke and, yes or no, they still have to get money somewhere.

Taking its toll

Talking about money, one of the most terrifying bills that we can get is the one from EFlow telling you that you didn’t pay your toll fee before 8 o’clock on the day of your journey, the toll fee can rise in stages to €152.60 for a single journey and you’d better pay up or else.

Well on today’s paper I am reading about one motorist who hasn’t paid up at all – he went through the M50 toll 1018 (one thousand and eighteen) times last year and never paid a penny. His eFlow bill now stands at more than €155,000!

If they could get that money in there would be enough to pay Bertie’s pension for next year! Get out there and collect it. I don’t know how he got away with it for so long, but I don’t think the ordinary two and sixpence would be allowed to carry on ignoring the fees without facing some legal action. I’d love to know who he (or she) is.

Have you heard of Leona Maguire?

Changing subjects entirely, and one of the most relaxing sports to watch on telly is golf.

Most weekends I take some time out to have a look at what’s going on in the golfing world. Yesterday evening (Sunday) after watching the Cats devour the Galway hurling challenge, in my opinion, at their ease, I was fiddling about with the remote control, when I suddenly found myself looking at the final couple of holes in the British Masters, being played at Denham in Buckinghamshire.

The only difference was that it was the Ladies Masters and so, despite the fact that our own Leona Maguire put in an amazing performance as an amateur player, in a professional competition, to take 2nd place in a top class field, there has been hardly any media coverage of her incredible achievement.

She was within a couple of inches of forcing a play-off for the title, but earlier today (I’m writing this on Monday), in an extensive review of sport over the weekend on RTE Radio her name was never even mentioned.

I can only imagine if it was Rory McIIroy, Shane Lowry, or any of our other male professional golfers, there would have been blanket coverage on their great efforts!

Leona’s effort, as an amateur player, was the outstanding sporting achievement of the weekend, but it hasn’t got a lot of recognition.

Herself and twin sister Lisa, are both students in Duke University in America, and despite her 2nd place in yesterday’s tournament, she had no plans to turn professional – I’m sure she will go pro some day, but for the moment I can only congratulate her on her great performance at the weekend.

Back to the hurling and I see that Anthony Cunningham told Brian Cody that he’d see him in the All-Ireland Final in September – as a Galway man I hope he does, but I fear it will only be as a spectator.

Staying with the sport, and last week I told you of the advice I had given Clare’s Shane O’Donnell – I’m delighted to say he must have taken it on board, as he scored a goal in their win over Offaly, and apparently had a superb game.

I see Clare have drawn Cork in the next round of the qualifiers so I’m sure I’ll be getting a call from young O’Donnell in the next day or two, to tell him how to put one over Jimmy Barry Murphy’s men.

And finally…

Finally, for this week, as a member of the Local Community Alert Scheme, twice in the last few days I have received texts to advise us of burglaries that have taken place in the Creggs-Ballygar area, and all over the country thieves seem to be busier than ever.

We have all read about the 100 head of cattle and sheep that were stolen in Co. Westmeath, while today I was listening to a heartbroken mother who was telling about the theft of her 13-year-old son’s entire collection of horseriding equipment.

The thieves took everything from boots to saddle, to horse box, and as the Co. Meath mother said, her 13-year-old had saved all his own money to buy these things – they were very special to him, and I suppose it shows how heartless these people are.

Anyway, it’s all around us, so keep your eyes open. ‘Till next week, Bye for now

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