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Openletter2MaryHarneyTD

Openletter2MaryHarneyTD

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Published by Paul V. Cassidy
A pre-budget submission to Minister Mary Harney TD in the form of an openletter, thanking her for her attendance at my Father's funeral.Mary Harney has held the Ministries for Environment and Local Government; Enterprise, Trade and Innovation; as well as her current ministerial portfolio, Health and Childcare. She is the sole surviving representative of the Progressive Democrats and if anyone has a freehand she does. Not one for the crass populism of many of her peers and indeed the opposition she has a sense of 'Rational-Politik', than many hope would be the hallmark of the PDs.
The document appeals to her to defend the Irish Public-Private Mix Health System by introducing a 10% Health Tax largely directed at Social Welfare Recipients and the Low Paid by way of securing their health entitlements and preventing the privatisation of Irish hospitals.
The document further proposes the axing of FAS; the integration of Community Employment Schemes with the development bodies associated with Local Government; designating the National Construction Centre and Edenderry and Institute with Regional Technical College status; and using the EU Maternity Directive as an opportunity to launch a 100,000 placement Job-Share Programme with the possibility of expanding it to a 400,000 placement programme aimed at reducing unemployment levels to the structural level of 4% achieved during the Celtic Tiger Years.
A 100,000 Job-Share Programme could be achieved at just €70M additional expenditure by reallocating the surplus FAS budget of €580M. A 400,000 Job-Share Placement Programme would cost just €2.6B, offering people either six month placements or 'week on week off', for one year.
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A pre-budget submission to Minister Mary Harney TD in the form of an openletter, thanking her for her attendance at my Father's funeral.Mary Harney has held the Ministries for Environment and Local Government; Enterprise, Trade and Innovation; as well as her current ministerial portfolio, Health and Childcare. She is the sole surviving representative of the Progressive Democrats and if anyone has a freehand she does. Not one for the crass populism of many of her peers and indeed the opposition she has a sense of 'Rational-Politik', than many hope would be the hallmark of the PDs.
The document appeals to her to defend the Irish Public-Private Mix Health System by introducing a 10% Health Tax largely directed at Social Welfare Recipients and the Low Paid by way of securing their health entitlements and preventing the privatisation of Irish hospitals.
The document further proposes the axing of FAS; the integration of Community Employment Schemes with the development bodies associated with Local Government; designating the National Construction Centre and Edenderry and Institute with Regional Technical College status; and using the EU Maternity Directive as an opportunity to launch a 100,000 placement Job-Share Programme with the possibility of expanding it to a 400,000 placement programme aimed at reducing unemployment levels to the structural level of 4% achieved during the Celtic Tiger Years.
A 100,000 Job-Share Programme could be achieved at just €70M additional expenditure by reallocating the surplus FAS budget of €580M. A 400,000 Job-Share Placement Programme would cost just €2.6B, offering people either six month placements or 'week on week off', for one year.
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Published by: Paul V. Cassidy on Oct 22, 2010
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10/23/2010

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2010
Cover Picture: Mary Harney with patient Emma Bergin age 13 from Kildare at the official opening of the extension to the National Centre of Medical Genetics at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin. Taken from Irish Government News www.MerrionStreet.ie Letter Submitted by: Paul Cassidy: M.Sc. Rural &Regional Resources Planning; Dip. Environmental Resources Management; Political Strategist & Policy Advisor. Location: Knockatallon Monaghan.
Download this doc at:http://www.scribd.com/doc/39890636/Openletter2MaryHarneyTDContact: paul@pdfwebpublishing.com
OpenPre-Budget LettertoMinisterMaryHarney TDregardingFASandtheHSE
 
Download this doc at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/39890636/Openletter2MaryHarneyTDContact: paul@pdfwebpublishing.com
Open Pre-Budget Letter to Minister Mary Harney TD regarding FAS and the HSE
2010
2 |P a g e
Dear Minister Harney
I’d like to thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to attend my Father’s funeral , July 2
nd
.2009, at St. James’ Gate Parish. Maurice Eugene Cassidy was one of those PAYE workers who livedthrough the days when workers could lose as much as two thirds of their wages in taxes but who alsoenjoyed the benefits of the ESB’s health insurance and pension plan and passed those benefits onto hiswidow, Monica. The thing that impressed me most about my Father was the fact that he took just fivepounds from his wages per week for cigarettes and walked to work in Fitzwilliam Sq., to save the busfare, weather and time permitting. The irony being that he’d probably still be with us today if it hadn’tbeen for that one ‘Fix’, he allowed himself.This submission is influenced by personal impressions of our mixed public-private health system formedwhile visiting my Father over the five years leading to his death; by my own academic expertise formedwhile lecturing on public policy in UCD and the DIT; and by my first hand experience of FAS havingbecome long-term unemployed in 2004. I’ve spent the last year familiarising myself with the socialmedia and engaging in debates relevant to Irish public policy. I have been particularly struck by the factthat those rich in rhetoric when it comes to the defence of public services offer no coherent taxationpolicy with which to fund those same services.In the absence of any authentic effort on the part of populists to address the need to defend publicservices I wish to argue the case for the introduction of a Health Tax of 10% for the medically uninsuredas a global solution to this year’s budgetary problems. I also propose the integration of CommunityEmployment Schemes with local government and for FAS to be replaced by a National ConstructionInstitute with Regional Technical College (RTC) status at Edenderry, County Offaly. These proposals arebased on a critique of ‘Wasters’, (Shane Ross and Nick Webb), the focus being chapters three and four,relating to FAS (‘Behind the Scenes at FAS’) and the HSE (‘The Sickness of the HSE’), ministerial portfoliosof your own. Given the pressure you’re under I merely intend to outline the proposals here and offer aconcluding comment, commencing with FAS by way of addressing the issue of unemployment first.
FAS Proposals:
Where FAS is concerned I’d urge you to encourage the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation(Billy Kelleher TD) to integrate Community Employment Schemes into Local Government and to increaseCE Scheme functions to include provisions for maternity-paternity related jobsharing and communitylevel training placements. The new EU Maternity Directive, making six months paid maternity leavecompulsory, provides an ideal basis for introducing a culture of jobsharing.At present Social Welfare recipients and their Department of Social Welfare and Family Affairs (DSWFA)training allowances are being directed into a FAS network of industry focused private trainers which wasdriven by Celtic Tiger needs to fastrack new recruits into the workforce. We need an immediate shift in
 
Download this doc at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/39890636/Openletter2MaryHarneyTDContact: paul@pdfwebpublishing.com
Open Pre-Budget Letter to Minister Mary Harney TD regarding FAS and the HSE
2010
3
|P a g e
focus towards providing internationally accredited quality training courses integrated with CE Schemeplacements and work opportunities at home and abroad. The best option is to integrate CE Schemeswith Local Government and to upgrade the National Construction Centre at Edenderry to RTC status.FAS’ inhouse training capacities should be redeployed to this existing
6.7Million Centre opened in 2009(‘Wasters’, P69-70, Paras 4-1). This new National Construction Institute would be funded by the DSWFAallowances allocated to trainees.Local government is already well equipped to manage CE Schemes through its various developmentboards and placement agencies, a process began during you own term as Minister for Local Governmentand the Environment way back when. The Local Government system is far less open to manipulation asa system of political patronage by virtue of its disparate, transparent and accessible nature. At present just
390M of FAS’ near
1Billion budget is spent on CE Schemes. Axing the agency would free thebalance of the budget for CE Schemes, Jobsharing, and the new National Construction Institute. Traineesattending the Edenderry Institute could take up placements on CE Scheme’s many of which are wellprovisioned with plant and machinery as local developers recommit to community agendas.The new EU Maternity Directive offers a great opportunity to link local government and CE Schemeswith jobshare placements by channelling trainees and scheme participants into jobshare placements atno extra costs to employers enabling Ireland to comply with the Directive whilst creating a culture of  jobsharing. With almost 30,000 births per annum a jobshare programme based on maternity leave couldsignificantly alleviate the jobs crisis. If six months optional paternity leave were also allowed one couldexpect such a scheme to produce 50’000 placements per annum. If we succeeded in creating a cultureof jobsharing this dimension of CE Scheme could blossom to include general cover for part paidvoluntary leave in which case a national jobsharing initiative could become a structural component of the fight against joblessness. Minister Kelleher could choose to cap jobshare participation at 100,000placements if he chose to. Part time integration and job options are already a component of CESchemes.Assuming an average wage of 
250/week one hundred thousand, six month, placements would cost
650M/annum. The combined CE Scheme and Jobshare costs would exceed FAS’ current budget of 
970M (Wasters, P73, Para. 1) by a mere
70M adding an incredible 100,000 jobshare placements tothe CE Scheme’s 20,000 placements. Unlike CE scheme placements jobshare placements are not limitedby capacity issues as those capacities pre-exist in the workplace. The purpose of this proposal is to showwhat could be done within the existing FAS budget but the Government could give serious considerationto a national jobshare programme aimed at reducing unemployment to a structural level of 4%. Fourhundred thousand part-time placements (whether six monthly or ‘week on week off’) would cost
2.6Billion and could be administered by the DSWFA in conjunction with the county developmentcomponent of Local Government.With almost
600Million being wasted annually at FAS; the Edenderry National Construction Centrealready completed; Local Government well geared towards taking over the management of CE Schemes;

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