Bruton publishes legislation to reform JLC/REA systems

The proposed legislation is available here.

13 replies on “Bruton publishes legislation to reform JLC/REA systems”

@Minister Richard Bruton

Really! Popping this out now a few days before XMas and no Dail in session! Will peruse, and see if I can figure out how many geese you have plucked from the tables of the 200,000 …

@Minister Richard Bruton

Well done for your destruction of the lower paid and less well off. Your Overlords in IBEC must be delighted. Hope they gave you at least a good vintage bottle of whiskey for Christmas as a token of their thanks.

It is amazing how certain reforms are always possible to make…. and others unthinkable…

For years bankrupt companies have been able to legally pay their senior executives large pensions and redundancy payments while stiffing creditors. It should be possible to reform this abuse and make it illegal for a company to pay bonus/pension/redundancy/dividend payments that are above statutory to shareholders, directors (and indeed employees) as long as creditors (revenue, suppliers, employees excluding directors) are owed money and not paid in time… Just imagine how a law like that would focus minds on ensuring suppliers are paid.

But that would have stopped the shysters from trading recklessly and looting legally when reality catches up with their business models. Scams like not paying employee pensions, or contractors bills while stashing personal pension pots would be impossible.

I think the intention in this is is to reduce the cost of doing business but it is maddenning that as usual only one area (and class) has been targetted to make the sacrifice. What else has been done… oh yeah, apart from trying to get people to work for nothing via jobbridge… Cut VAT, direct local authorities to reduce charges, stop bankrolling NAMA and the fraudsters and force rents down…. Force the non wage element down and the wage element will follow..

The master plan for Great Depression 2.0 seems unchanged… the connected to continue to try to live off the rent from the unconnected. or “last to starve” as Jareed Diamond described it.


“Force the non wage element down and the wage element will follow..”

Sounds simple and logical but it can’t be done, you see. Politically very difficult. Very strong legal agreements in place. Very influential people would be upset, don’t you know. Pillars of society, we rely on their major contributions and goodwill, not wise to generate discontent or damage morale or esprit de corps without good reason or to disincentivise their sterling efforts, you get the picture. It could all get very messy. Drawn out legal actions, reluctance to implement arrangements already agreed, that sort of thing. And there could be loads of unintended consequences – and that’s very worrying.

And even if something could be done it would be very ‘slow burn’ and might, only might, generate some benefits in the longer term. The game probably isn’t worth the candle. In any event, in most cases it would involve some very limited transfers from one group to another. Wouldn’t provide any significant net benefit.

Far easier to go after those at the lower rungs of the ladder. Those less-organised, less well-connected, unable to mount any effective collective action. And we’ll let them know we’re going to put the boot in just before Xmas. Nice touch, that one. Just a bit of unfortunate time-tabling in a very packed schedule of legislation. Nothing personal, really. Just life, you know. Trying to sort out these medics, legal eagles and potion dispensers is very time-consuming. Not to mention this competition and consumer law stuff. And the stuff on state assets would give one a splitting headache. We just have to be very careful how we deal with all these people who, let’s say, have more important and prestigious roles in society and the economy.

Well its OK you see, because as Minister Noonan says, ‘ people will get the same wages in January as in December’.

Except for as below:

Dear Pat

We regret to advise that due to a slowdown in orders for January we are implementing a temporary layoff for a number of people who will be directly affected.
• This temporary layoff period will commence on January 9th 2012 and we expect it will be for a period of four weeks. At the end of the four week period, or sooner if the order situation improves, we hope to be in a position to take back the people affected.
• If the order level has not improved at the end of four weeks, the period of layoff may have to be extended. In that event any person affected is entitled to request that they be made redundant provided they have been in employment with XYZ for a minimum of two years.
• During this layoff period people will be entitled to claim their social welfare entitlements. As these layoffs are temporary this letter is deemed to be the official notice of layoff required in such a situation.

While we regret having to take this action, we believe it is the minimum necessary to sustain the business during this downturn.

December 21st 2011

There are different worlds out there.
Kenny was complaining about whingers this morning. I seem to remember Bertie talking about whingers and moaners once..
No need to whinge if live where the whinge-bashers live.

Keep it up Bruton. Deep down, its all about protecting yourself and your own class.

@Joseph Ryan,

I wouldn’t be too hard on this particular Minister. This stuff is part of the EU/IMF support conditions. Given that the Government is cunningly whittlling away other structural reforms to the point of nothingness some have to be implemented in full – or even more fully – to compensate. This kind of stuff was in FG’s playbook before the election. However, I reckon Labour has gotten some concessions to encourage them to swallow it – and the total watering down of any state asset restructuring or disposal is probably it.

And at least one Minister was going to draw the short short on stuff like this. It should be no surprise that it’s the one who orchestrated the heave against the once and future Taoiseach last year.

@ Garry

“… Cut VAT, direct local authorities to reduce charges, stop bankrolling NAMA and the fraudsters and force rents down…. Force the non wage element down and the wage element will follow..”

Have you heard about the 2 “parking angels” that did Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council out of 120,000 Euro’s in parking revenue fines, In the space of 10 months? They stick a ticket under the wiper blades as the bad men from the council approach!

Garry, your list sound like common sense, therefore it will not be adopted. They like lurching from one crisis to another, it give them power over people.

@obsessive mf

“It’s a pity there’s no JVC/REA system for civil service salaries and pensions.”

Actually there is.

In the same way that the proposals for private sector trades have a provision to allow an employer who is in financial difficulty to pay lower wages, in a surprising display of competence the FF government includes paragraph 1.28 in the Croke Park Agreement. It basically says that if there were to be a significant deterioration in the budgetary outlook (from March 2010) then the guarantees of no management imposed redundancies and no further reductions in generous PS pay (by EZ standards) would cease to apply.

I don’t think it would be easy to argue there was no significant budgetary deterioration – what with the markets clearly indicating there was and the IMF arriving and all that – with a straight face, so this aspect of the agreement is deemed not to exist in polite society.

Maybe someone should tell the taxi drivers?

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