Dáil debates

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions

Semi-State Bodies Issues

9:50 am

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, Socialist Party) | Oireachtas source

The Minister is incredibly ill informed on both counts. First, the problem with the pension situation was not, as he identified, one of simply not paying enough. In fact it was demonstrably poor management decisions facilitating early retirements and voluntary severance schemes over a long period of time putting strain on the scheme as well as outsourcing direct labour resulting in fewer members joining the scheme that caused the problem. The bottom line is that the company is inadequately standing up to its responsibilities in that regard. Instead of telling pensioners, deferred pensioners and active members of that scheme that they have to take a hit on that, the Minister might be better off telling Aer Lingus management to rein it in a bit and stop threatening and bullying its staff through use of the courts and other means.

With regard to the history of Aer Lingus, the airline experienced losses but it was entirely profitable pre-privatisation. Many changes had already been made and it was an incredibly viable company with substantial cash assets on its books at the time of privatisation. The Minister's assertion that it was privatisation that turned this company around is ill informed. Over its lifetime the company has been an incredibly successful Irish venture with a great service and an overwhelming net contributor to the Exchequer over its lifetime, and providing relatively decent, secure and up to now pensionable employment.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.