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INO Reaffirms Opposition To Levy On Public Service Pension. 09/02/09

PRESS RELEASE,        Monday, 9th February 2009

INO Reaffirms Opposition To Levy On Public Service Pension

  • Members called on to support lobbying campaign of TDs
  • Organisation will play full part in public sector wide campaign  of action

The Executive Council of the Irish Nurses Organisation, at a special meeting earlier today, unanimously reaffirmed the Organisation’s opposition to the proposed levy on the pension of public servants.

Following a detailed consideration of the proposal, and its implications for public servants, the Executive Council reiterated its view that:

  • the proposed levy was far too severe on public servants with low or moderate incomes and it was therefore unfair and unbalanced;
  • the failure of government to ensure that other sectors of Irish society, including bankers, builders, land speculators and others were being asked to pay their fair share to the country’s economic recovery; and
  • the failure of government to abolish a wide range of tax shelters, costing the public exchequer hundreds of millions of Euro a year, which were still being availed of, by the well off in Irish society, in these difficult times.

The meeting also considered the huge response from members, which had resulted in hundreds of emails and phone calls, to the Organisation, calling for a public sector wide campaign against the levy.

The Executive Council also agreed, in the context of the foregoing, the following:

  • that INO members would be asked to lend their support to the campaign of lobbying TDs, throughout this week, culminating in intense lobbying on next Saturday, 14th February 2009;
  • commit the Organisation’s 40,000 members to full and active participation in whatever public sector wide protest campaign is agreed by the public service unions as a whole; and
  • to call upon the ICTU to initiate a campaign of solidarity, of all workers, whether public or private.  This campaign should: 
    • reject employers’ efforts to reduce the wages of all workers, whether public or private, in this country;
    • ensure that workers, in profitable employment, can avail of the terms of the current social partnership agreement; and
    • ensure that the employers pursuit of increased profits, in certain industries, in the short term does not prolong the recession, for ordinary workers and their families.

The INO’s representatives on the Public Services Committee and Executive Council of the ICTU will attend meetings, tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday.  This will be for the purpose of agreeing a collective strategy, aimed at having the government re-examine their pension levy to ensure a fair and balanced approach, towards rectifying the public finances in 2009 and subsequent years.

Speaking immediately after the meeting INO General Secretary Liam Doran said:

“The INO is opposed to this levy on the grounds that it is unfair and unbalanced. 

We had a huge response, from our members, across the country, all of which said nurses and midwives were prepared to contribute to the country’s economic recovery only when other sectors of society were being asked to contribute significantly based upon their ability to pay.

The priority now, for both public service unions is that a collective campaign would be brought forward to highlight the inequity of the current proposal while also ensuring that the employer’s agenda, of putting worker against worker, does not succeed. 

The INO has now agreed to be active participants in these campaigns and we will discuss various options and strategies, with our public and private sector union colleagues, in the coming days”.

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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie