Members of the Garda Representative Association (GRA ) and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) are to be balloted in the coming weeks on new proposals regarding pay and conditions.
It is understood that both these Garda representative bodies are cautiously welcoming the Labour Relations Commission’s new deal on premium payments and allowances, which are to remain untouched. Instead Gardaí will in return undertake 30 hours of free overtime.
This required GRA ballot could take up to six weeks to finalize, which immediately raises the question of whether the July1st deadline set down by the government for achieving necessary savings, can be now met.
The GRA’s Central Executive Committee have stated that these savings will now have a direct benefit to the State and will minimise the impact on an already stretched police service.
In April last Justice Minister Alan Shatter announced he would delay hiring more Gardaí, following the then rejection by unions of Crokepark 2, stating that without an agreement on the public-service pay deal, he would have no funds to pay for new recruitment.
The Minister had hinted earlier that he was to begin a new enrolment campaign towards the end of this year and whether this extra recruitment and funding will now emerge will be of much interest to the economy of Templemore, Thurles, which is home to the Garda Training College.
Earlier this year the General Secretary of the Association of Garda Superintendents had warned that the strength of the Garda force was at a critically low level. Superintendent Pat McCabe used the AGSI annual conference to call for Garda recruitment to begin again as soon as physically & financially possible.
Will these extra hours, if agreed, remove the need for new recruitment?
Irish Simplified Tax Return For 2013
An employee working on the Property Tax Helpline has been suspended, amid allegations of unauthorised use of credit cards according to Breaking News.ie
The employee, a member of staff at Cork-based Abtran appears to have unnecessarily asked some 11 callers for their credit card numbers, however it is understood no credit card holder suffered any financial loss. It is understood however that the individual involved did attempt to effect transactions but failed to do so.
The Revenue Commissioners gave this contract for running the Property Tax Helpline to a private call centre, despite opposition from its own civil servants. Revenue awarded a one-year contract to the Cork-based company Abtran, following its previous role in processing College Grant Applications. (We do not know how much the latter cost taxpayers.)
Lower paid civil servants had argued that it was a waste of public money to outsource this work, when there was already enough staff in the public service to undertake same, however Revenue insisted it did not have enough available staff. It claimed that this private call centre gave it the best chance of responding to the exceptional pressures expected during the initial roll-out of this tax.
Abtran are supplying some 40 staff, who deal with daily calls from the 1.6 million liable households, while complex enquiries are being passed directly on to current Revenue employees.
The cost to Revenue is based on how many calls Abtran handles daily, but expectations are that the cost to taxpayers will total €4.9m.
Following these allegations of unauthorised use of credit cards, Gardaí & the Data Protection Commissioner have now been informed.
Anybody with concerns can call a dedicated Revenue Tel number, 1890-22-63-36, from 9.00am today.
An Bord Pleanála have rejected plans to build a major shopping centre on the site of the old Erin Foods factory here in Thurles.
The original decision to close the Erin Foods Factory came about after a group-wide review by the then parent company, Premier Foods, in November 2007, to consolidate the manufacturing of a number of its key brands. The plant closed the following June with the loss of 95 jobs.
Thurles Town Council had granted initial permission for the planned development on September 13th last year, subject to 19 conditions to the original plans submitted, which related mainly to the size of the property and the required modifications to various road and access routes.
Baycross Developments Limited had put forward the plans for the demolition of the old Erin Foods factory, replacing it with a retail development which had included a Fast Food drive-through outlet, a Supermarket, Restaurant, two ESB Substations, Vehicular and Pedestrian access, a Cycle Track, the provision of two Roundabouts and other associated development works on the Slievenamon Road, Clongour, Thurles Town Parks area of the town.
The initial plans had attracted considerable local opposition from the Thurles’ business community, with concerns that such a large-scale complex proposed, would delete footfall from Liberty Sq, Thurles, with many understandably fearing that this new complex would now destroy the character and commercial activity, once so vibrant in the town centre.
Over a period spanning some 15 years to date, Thurles has lost some 1,700 jobs due to factory and other business closures, with none of these jobs having been replaced to-date .
Two communications sent recently by the tourism group Hidden Tipperary, to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton, in the hope of generating serious debate on the current jobless plight of Thurles, have as yet only received standard token acknowledgements.
Dear Mr Willoughby,
I wish to acknowledge receipt of your email to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton TD.
I will bring your correspondence to the Minister’s attention at the earliest opportunity.
Minister Bruton’s Office.
Meanwhile the decision required to seek the repatriation of the Derrynaflan Hoard back to its home here in Thurles Co.Tipperary, now remains shrouded in secrecy. No information to-date has been made available to the public confirming an earlier communications from Noel Coonan TD, (Dated April 15th. last ) which stated that the matter would be decided by North Tipperary Co Council and Thurles Town Council, following the disclosure of ‘imaginary meetings,’ some two weeks previous.
It would appear, confirmed by local press reports, that our current Tipperary elected representatives are only interested in individual political point scoring, continuous waffling and the further enhancement of a political culture that in no way helps to expand mature public interest amongst their voting public.
This supercilious self-importance must immediately be haulted and remember you the voting public can immobilize this unashamed arrogance, beginning at the next local elections.
Mr Marney O’Regan has been announced as the newly appointed Manager of the Bank of Ireland here in Thurles, Co Tipperary.
Mr O’Regan will replace M/S Deirdre Shine, latter who has now been appointed Branch Manager, some 44.8km away, in the “Marble City,” Kilkenny .
Mr O’Regan, is understood to possess extensive banking experience within the Bank of Ireland and has previously held, for the past 10 years, the post of Manager in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, as well as Limerick City for two years, all prior to this new appointment.
Mr O’Regan will now join the well known local professional team of business advisor’s, Mr Fergus Melody and Mr Christy Kennedy, at Bank of Ireland in the town.
We welcome Mr O’Regan to the Cathedral Town of Thurles and wish him every success, in this his latest posting.
Contrary to what the Revenue Commissioners and the “Reckless, Macho and Chaotic,” Environment Minister Phil Hogan has stated, (Latter words are from the lips of Eamon Gilmore and God forbid that I should ever be accused of making such utterances.) it has emerged that only around 25% of home owners have filed their returns for the Local Property Tax (LPT). This is despite having until only close of business today to post the same returns.
Those who opt to file returns ‘Online,’ will still have until May 28th to complete same electronically. However only around 420,000 of the 1.66 million liable households or approximately one in four, have informed Revenue of how much they owe. Many others returns still remain not issued as yet and thousand more households have still to be even identified. Third level students who received incorrect demands and who own no property in the state are unlikely to even bother replying as they head for foreign parts.
Revenue’s Property Tax Manager Vivienne Dempsey, has stated that if the LPT Returns are postmarked ‘Tuesday 7/5/2013,’ Revenue will actually accept the return as having been received on time.
Obviously, from her remarks some of the people that are currently left employed in the Revenue LPT branch, and the 100 extra which are to be employed via the permission granted to break the public sector jobs embargo, together with outside contractors, are to be issued with magnifying glasses, when the problem of badly inked franking machine pads, in rural post offices, raises its ugly head in Limerick tomorrow.
Remember of course that the Revenue public officials requesting these LPT Returns are the same people who benefit from Protected Employment, Generous Sick Leave, Long Service Increments, Guaranteed Pensions and Workplace Flexibility. Together with their Unions and Staff Associations these same persons have clearly demonstrated, in recent weeks, that they, and they alone, and not the present government, actually legislate for these “Three Green Fields,” of this so called free republic, so recently invaded by Germany, in a bloodless coup.
One wonders will these same Senior Revenue Auditors, working on these LPT Returns, now receive the same generous gifts previously doled out, following their hard work investigating the infamous Bogus Non-Resident Account scams some years back. These same generous tax free gifts were given on production of a prepaid receipt for items such as foreign holidays and other trinkets and were ever so quietly palmed into the pockets of these auditors, without the full knowledge and consent of Irish taxpayers.
Bogus Non-Resident Account scams you will remember were promoted by smiling Bank Officials, in order to allow, through non-existent foreign addresses, rich customers to pay no tax, while also permitting Banks to pay low rates of interest on the poor man’s deposit account, and all at the expense of the Irish exchequer and those dependant on its generosity.
What I now fail to understand is how these same smiling, banking Gombeens, (Latter word is a pejorative term used here in Ireland for a shady, small-time “Quick Buck Merchant.” ) then proven to be dishonest through their assistance to customers in evading tax, were never prosecuted, but instead allowed to continue trading as normal, eventually leaving the residents of this country lying face down in the muck, paying tax on home ownership.
As an educated nation we sure have a very short memory.