That's Capitalism

Money for Bertie's make-up

Bertie Ahern is spending more money than the average industrial wage on make-up, and it's all at the taxpayers' expense. Ahern has spent a staggering ¤167,000 on looking good since becoming Taoiseach. Figures from his department reveal he is spending ¤550 a week on his appearance. Taxpayers' money spent on Ahern's appearance could have:

Money for Bankers

The Bank of Ireland has disclosed that it gave 0.3 million to its former Chief Executive, Mike Soden, who resigned suddenly last year. Soden was also given a pension top up of ¤400,000 plus ¤269,000 for working until his abrupt departure. The report also shows that the current Chief Executive, Brian Goggin, was paid a total of ¤1.9 million last year. At the same time the company is seeking to make even more profit from fewer staff, which will result in the loss of 2,100 jobs.

Money for Management

Silver screen, golden profits: Dublin Cinema Group is the company that owns the Savoy and Screen cinemas. Last year the total wage bill for its 78 staff (including part-timers) was ¤1,300,000. That's ¤16,666 each. The four directors took out ¤850,000, or an average ¤212,500 each plus dividends of ¤75,000.

Money for Nothing

Almost 3,000 Irish farmers will get more than ¤40,000 this year (and in future years) for doing nothing at all. The EU single farm payment system no longer requires them to grow any crops or raise any animals. They merely have to keep their land in "good environmental and agricultural condition". 490 of them will get over ¤80,000,595 will get between ¤60,000 and ¤80,000, and 5,943 will get between ¤40,000 and ¤60,000.This comes from the tax of PAYE employees -another shift of wealth from workers to the rich.

No money for starving children

This year,nearly 11 million children will die before they reach the age of 5.That's one child every five seconds. For more than half of them, the main cause of death will be illnesses linked to malnutrition.


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This edition is No87 published in July 2005