Doggy Style


Well just when you think things can’t get worse the country has gone to the dogs.

Well the country is paying more administering dog licenses than it takes in from them. Figures released to Fine Gaels Leo Varadkar via a parliamentary questions show that in 2008 dog licensing cost €5.7 million to administer but only took in €2.8 million in fees!!

What else lies hidden in the expenditure of Government in this country of ours.

Original story can be read here

(was going to categorise this as a rant but in reality this is a despair!)

Time for a rethink, changes, a clean sweep?

Student Life #2

Well what have the last few months taught us about good old Ireland politically? It has taught us that wholesale change is needed from the top down through the system, the civil service and the semi-state. Our councils should govern their local areas and our Parliament (the Dail) should take care of national issues.

We have way too many TD’s the number should be dropped from 166 to a number around the 100 mark. They are paid too much and their wages should be pared down. Ministerial and the Taoiseachs wages need to be drastically cut. My belief is that the maximum number of terms a TD has in the Dail should be 3 or even 2 terms. This lessens the chance that they will just coast in the position they are in and hopefully they will actually make an effort to serve their country. Also to cut out the almost incestuous tradition of Political dynasties no direct relative of a standing down TD be allowed to run in the same constituency without a one term break from the TD standing down and the relative running for election. This includes where a TD passes away during his term. This of course would not be needed if the next proposal came into effect.

The most radical reform I would like to see brought in would be constituencies be redrawn according to population and people to vote on parties and not individuals. The parties will have a list of candidates from where they will fill the seats they have won after the elections. This cuts out the politics of personality from elections and ensures that people will vote based on the policies of the parties involved. It also means that those elected don’t have to worry about the local GAA pitch or if Auntie Mary can get planning permission for the extension of her home and allows them to concentrate on their actual job which is National issues and planning ahead so the country is prepared for the hard times and in a position to make the most of the good times.

This process needs to occur in the civil service and semi state bodies as well. Cut the number of upper management, clear out the vast numbers of superfluous middle managers (especially in organisations like the HSE who have people guaranteed jobs where they have no work!) and set up the organisation based on the needs of the twenty first century and not the 19th century.

These are changes I would love to see happen, I doubt they will. The current bunch of incompetents will fudge their way around the issues and avoid making the hard decisions. What they fail to realise is that leadership sometimes dictates that you have to take the hard and unpopular decision to ensure you move in the right direction for the future.

Down the toilet

Toilet economy

Well this government of fudgers have screwed up again. The emergency budget where major surgery was required to resuscitate and revive the economy turned out to be a band aid with quite a bit of stinging iodine taxes to be applied to the general middle class PAYE worker. And the worse thing is they are using the cash to rescue the banks and ensure their “friends” in the construction industry get away with their reckless behaviour.

My opinion is that this government has to tackle the running costs associated with institutions within the public service before it looks at raising taxes. They have to ensure the Irish taxpayer is getting value for money. It is blatantly clear and has been for years that the way the public service is set up is no longer relevant to the society that it is supposed to serve today. It’s work practices are totally outdated. The day of a job for life is long gone in the private sector and it should now be laid to rest for the public sector and related semi state organisations as well.

These changes need to extend to our houses of representatives as well. Dail Eireann is overpopulated and the number of TD’s has to be reduced to around 100. The amount that they get paid should also be amended downwards and the Taoiseach and Ministers should have a reduction of at least 40% of their current remuneration amounts. The holidays they take should reflect holidays that people receive as standard in the normal working community and they should only work on national issues and not on opening the local GAA teams new pitch or any other local issues that in my opinion are the responsibilities of councillors. The Seanad needs to be abolished. It serves no real purpose in modern Ireland bar being somewhere where favourites of the political elite who failed to get elected properly are sent out to graze. It is a forum of verbal masturbation for the politically failed or outdated.

I really hope the economy does not get depressed more with the current batch of Finance Minsiter Brian Lenihans botches and I hope we do not face more of the same when the next instalment of this horror story enfold at a Dail near you soon (how soon depends on how quickly the bottom falls out of the country). Maybe the Government prop otherwise known as the Green Party will pull the plug if they get a severe beating in the Local and European elections and the opposition will have to clean up a FF mess again. What is happening now is a Chinese curse becoming a reality. May you live in interesting times!