Monday, February 19, 2007

Thanking the Government

As the election approaches, the electorate is constantly reminded of the debt of gratitude we owe to the current Coalition Government for the success of the Irish economy.

That economic success has been largely built on the growth in commercial activity in Ireland, which has been fueled by two main factors; the lowest Corporation Tax rate (12.5%) in the industrialised world, introduced by Ruairi Quinn as Finance Minister in the last Rainbow Coalition Government, and historically low interest rates which are determined by the European Central Bank.

The latter has also helped to maintain the frenetic activity in the residential housing market, sustaining high levels of employment in that sector and hugely boosting revenue receipts of VAT & Stamp Duty. It is widely acknowledged that our economy has become over-dependent on the Construction sector, both for employment and also for revenue receipts. Any setback in this area would have major knock-on consequences for the whole economy.

While the main drivers of economic success have had little to do with the current Government, things which are their direct responsibility e.g. the Health Service, Transport, Gang/Gun Crime, meeting Kyoto targets etc are all in a chaotic state. Major initiatives undertaken by this Government such as Decentralisation, Bench-marking, eVoting, PPARS etc have all demonstrated a breath-taking level of incompetence.

The Government has been awash with money, which it has thrown at every problem area where it perceives there might be votes. It has bought industrial peace in the public service at enormous current and future cost, but has failed miserably to achieve any meaningful reform in associated structures and work practices, which is badly needed to improve delivery of services and extract value for money. It has even managed, every year, to miscalculate the state of the public finances. Luckily these miscalculation, by billions of euros, have been on the positive side of the accounts - to date.

Whatever about lacking experience in Government, any alternative administration could hardly be more lacking in competence than the current lot.

Footnote: Published as a letter in the Irish Times, the Irish Independent & the Irish Examiner.

1 comment:

afei1122 said...

Hello! You have a very nice blog! I'm here to share valuable info with you visit my blog,about Mozilla Firefox web browser.

Blog Archive