I’d be upset. Not that I’m not upset. But I’d be especially upset if I were a civil servant.
Do you remember that famous sentence that trickled too smoothly from good olde Charlie Haughey that time in the 80s, what was it, “We are living beyond our means, we should tighten our belts”. The irony of that was, of course, he was spending his Taoiseach salary every month on French shirts. Black. Kettle. Pot.
Well FAS isn’t exactly Charlie, but their actions aren’t far off. It seems like every second someone in the country is losing their job, and those of us who are making money, well we’re giving more to the Government to tidy up the mess they’ve made.
No doubt if former Director General of FAS Roddy Molloy could find a suitable place to lie low he would. The man got to keep the luxury company car after he quit! And something tells me it wasn’t a Lada!
Of course that wasn’t all the Rodster got. There was of course a generous retirement package which involved a lump sum and ongoing pension. Not bad. Wonder if many of the people out there who recently got laid off were treated as well?
Let’s not forget that the whole reason he left was because of a little controversy over trips he took abroad when he ‘traded down’ first class airline tickets so his wife could travel with him on business class. Exactly why he had first class tickets in the first place is beyond me.
This wasn’t the only ridiculous spending that went on you know. There was the other little controversy over the hiring of a public relations company, which FAS paid substantial sums of money for advice on how to handle the media storm over reports of excessive spending. Sounds a bit made up doesn’t it? Who in their right mind would go out and spend more money when their spending is already being questioned?
Who in their right mind would spend up to €70,000 on PR when they’ve been accused of over spending? The average industrial wage is €35,000, so FAS spent two people’s annual wages on some PR which obviously didn’t work!
And the scary part is this is all just starting. They will be up in front of the Public Accounts Committee in the next few days and surely more ridiculous spending will come to light.
Oh and did I mention that Rodster got two one-off payments worth a total of €441,000, which included €111,000 in pay and a €330,000 payment into his pension? Nice if you can get it.
And my point? That something needs to be done. Transition year students could handle the running of FAS better. It was supposedly run by educated, mature, responsible people.
It just shows that at the end of the day greed wins out. And it looks like greed is what is ruining this country.
Don’t even get me started on Anglo Irish.