independent

Monday 18 December 2017

Taoiseach's pot of gold angers the public

By Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Many would say that Enda Kenny and other Taoisigh have been more than adequately paid for their efforts while in office and that a lump sum payout should not be made.
Many would say that Enda Kenny and other Taoisigh have been more than adequately paid for their efforts while in office and that a lump sum payout should not be made.

Since Enda announced his departure as An Taoiseach there has been much debate about his performance over a 42 year political career and what his legacy will be.

While it usually takes a while for someone's contribution to be evaluated fully, news of the so called 'pot of gold' that Mr Kenny will depart with has caused quite a stir.

It is understood that in addition to an annual pension of more than €120,000, he will also receive a lump sum of €378,000.

While some are of the opinion that this is a fair deal for someone who arguably held the most high-pressure and responsible job in the country for years, others feel that nobody is worth this amount of money. The lump sum appears to be the bone of contention for many on top of an already very healthy pension. The role of An Taoiseach is not one that just anyone can do, and whether you like Enda Kenny as a personality or not, the general consensus is that he did a decent job during his tenure.

While many say that he simply put in top place an action plan already set out by the departing Fianna Fáil leadership and the Troika, others will say that it was no easy task dragging Ireland out of that recession and that it took a certain skill to ensure that said plans went smoothly.

There is no doubt that anyone who decides to enter public life sacrifices plenty of their personal life. Their every move is open to scrutiny, as are those of their loved ones.

Every decision they make is second-guessed from some angle and the hours are long. It is an all-consuming job like no other, made even more difficult by the fact that you just cannot please all of the people, all of the time. What angers the public about such lump sum payouts is the fact that the leader of the country is seen to be accepting such a significant amount of money when so many citizens are really struggling. To them this flies in the face of their hardship and reflects the social divide that is one of the most troubling issues in modern-day Ireland.

To see any policitican collecting such an amount at the end of an already very well paid career offends people, regardless of what he has achieved. Many would say that Enda Kenny and other Taoisigh have been more than adequately paid for their efforts while in office and that a lump sum payout should not be made, especially given the generous pension that is also on offer.

Wexford People

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