Three of my direct reports, all at manager level and all doing a great job, have been justifiably agitating for more money. They have taken pay cuts 3 years ago and have had no pay increases since then, despite a heavier work load.
The problem is that they have got to a level where the government will effectively take more than half of any possible increase I can give them, so to them to get a 5k pay rise actually means I need to find over 10k and so forth.
My ability to meet their expectation is minimal, and these guys could all walk into a job in the UK tomorrow, so there's every risk that I'll lose 2 out of the 3 within 6 months. If they go it will be a huge problem for the company I work for but given the tax multiplier effect I can't afford to pay them enough.
The probability is that this cycle will continue over and over - get the right people, give them the experience and lose them until you have to decide do you (a) try to skill down, and get people who won't have the ability or drive to be able to leave to do the job or (b) just get used to the idea of being a creche for a generation of managers-for-export.
Either way Ireland's competitiveness and commercial capability will suffer greatly and further erode our ability to get to a stage where we don't need to hold a begging bowl to the rest of Europe.