South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that the Taoiseach’s decision to prioritise pay cuts for low and middle income earners over those who earn significantly higher salaries has contributed to the on-going sense that frontline workers are being penalised, victimised and singled out.
Deputy McGrath said that the failure of the Government to seek out all other alternatives for savings has left the Gardaí in particular to fight for the crumbs that fell from the negotiating table.
Deputy McGrath said it is impossible now for people not to believe that the Taoiseach perceives the ordinary taxpayers as anything other than scapegoats who “must pay for the sins of the bankers, the Government’s predecessors, regulators agus daoine mar sin”.
Addressing the wider sense that there is a protected clique of people who have not borne equivalent reductions to their income, Deputy McGrath said “There is a hierarchy of such people in Ireland today and, sadly, morality does not even come into the picture”.
Cautioning the Taoiseach not to underestimate the people who gave him his mandate, Deputy McGrath said the ”taxpayer is a lot stronger than the Taoiseach might believe” and in that regard they should be treated with more respect than they have received up to now.
Deputy McGrath said that “Seachtain na Gaeilge which encourages us to converse as Gaeilge also reminds us that we are a united, democratic and independent nation. We are a proud nation and are very interested in our future. Therefore, we ought to have the same objectives to keep our teanga, culture and heritage alive, as well as protecting our citizens. Our citizens ought to be fairly treated but they are not.”