Brennan also strongly defended the scandalous pay rise that politicians have awarded themselves.
We had a discussion and made a decision and then we followed the public debate, very clearly we followed what guys like you had to say, what thundering went on in editorials, what statements were made by union leaders, what statements were made by other people in the queue for pay rises and we did what intelligent people do, we took account of all that.
Couldn’t you have done that before if you’ve been in power for so long?
They hadn’t made the statements before that.
I know, but you knew what people were going to say.
Well, did you? Because this system has been in place since 1969, I mean this is 2007, isn’t it?
We can be criticised for being weak or admired for taking the message but after weeks and weeks of debate we listened carefully to what was said and we said, ok pay talks coming up, the November figures that came in were not as good as expected and it’s a good thing to show example, to make a gesture.
The following is my interpretation of what the Minister said.
We greedily awarded ourselves a massive pay rise but miscalculated the extent of public anger.
To get ourselves out of the mess we are dishonestly claiming that the decision to defer the pay hike for a year was made in the interests of the Irish people.
We are hoping that our ‘gesture’ will be enough to fool the people and in a years time we can continue to stuff our wallets with taxpayers hard earned money.