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This is a plan to secure “efficiencies” by getting people to work harder and for longer, meaning that some existing jobs can be scrapped. Of course there are some sensible suggestions for improving services, but they mask an agenda for getting rid of jobs.‘‘There is a lot in the transformation agenda that is close to the Taoiseach’s heart” said Kieran Mulvey of the Labour Relations Commission. And that should tell us something. Does even the most deluded fool still think that Brian Cowen has the living standards of workers close to his heart?

Half of all the money taken from public servants in the budget, €2.5 billion, is to be given to twenty law firms in fees for servicing NAMA. And his government is still insisting that the pay of the top 250 civil servants will be cut by less than those earning under €35,000!

The end objective is up to 17,000 redundancies across the public sector. This means jobs destroyed and the rest of us having to work harder to keep hospitals, schools and offices functioning.