Pardon my Occitan, but what the sweet suffering fuck is this?
“There are, in our estimation, over 50 HSE-funded agencies that pay a subscription to Ibec and as you can well imagine, irrespective of the times that we are in, the HSE need to ensure that we reduce duplication and challenge the way we do things for the benefit of the patients and clients.
“Accordingly, we are currently engaging with the service managers in order to see how we progress this issue to deliver the value that we seek,” he said.
Among the bodies believed to be members of Ibec are some of the country’s largest acute general hospitals such as St Vincent’s, the Mater and Tallaght in Dublin,
The HSE move comes as it emerged that State agencies and State-funded organisations are paying hundreds of thousands of euro to Ibec annually.
A series of parliamentary questions tabled to Ministers by Ruairí Quinn of the Labour Party has found that almost €500,000 will be paid this year by State agencies or organisations which operate under the remit of Government departments to Ibec.
However, this figure is certainly an underestimate of the true position. Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey, Minister for the Environment John Gormley and Minister for Communications and Energy Eamon Ryan said membership of Ibec was a matter for the agencies and organisations concerned and that their departments did not hold such information.
In addition, The Irish Times understands the ESB, which was not included in the figures released to Mr Quinn, will pay €140,000 to Ibec this year.
Ibec, on its website, says it provides employer services, based on expert knowledge in areas such as employment law, industrial relations, human resource best practice, training and development and health and safety.
Fás, the State training agency, said it had paid fees of €58,583 to Ibec this year and a similar amount last year.
Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan said Anglo Irish Bank, now in public ownership, paid €24,903 to Ibec this year and €24,823 last year. He also said the Central Bank and the Financial Services Authority had paid €25,626 to Ibec this year.
I like to think of myself as fairly realistic about the prevailing character of the Irish state, but I’m starting to sense an as yet unidentified superego figure chuckling heartily at my Panglossian soft-headedness. Whilst I might imagine I am reasonably aware of the degree of influence exerted by big business interests on the state, in reality I’m an ignorant fool.
Like, I always knew that the free market doctrine promulgated at every opportunity on the airwaves by Ibec’s various talking heads was self-serving tripe, given the huge effective subsidies given to many of their members by government. But I had no idea that the organisation itself, which exists ‘to conspire against the public’, as Adam Smith would put it, received direct contributions from state agencies that exist to serve the public. So whereas Smith might say that the law ‘ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary’, in Ireland they are lubricated by taxpayer cash. Huzzah for corporatism!