Why is it the ordinary taxpayer always take the hit?
I’m sure many of us often wonder what it is about Ireland that says the ordinary Joe and Josephine Soap must always take the hit when anything goes wrong.
Is it something in the water or something in the air or do our self-described betters think we are all a bunch of idiots?
Whatever it is, ordinary folk get pounded while those who messed up in the first place seem to continue as if nothing happened.
Indeed, those who should have protected the interests of the people of Ireland, the Government and the various regulators, irrespective of how incompetent, disingenuous, lazy or downright dishonest they are, the buck never stops anywhere near them.
If anything they come out without a blemish on their reputations and their pocket books intact.
The previous government ran the country into the ground.
On hindsight, admittedly, it is now clear many unwise, even incomprehensible, decisions were taken that made the recession far worse than it needed to be.
The various regulators, particularly, those in the financial area, failed not only to stop the rot but actually failed to even spot it was forming.
Have any of these politicians suffered repercussions? Have any of these regulators paid any price? The answer is a resounding NO.
The end result is that many members of the former government, who are now retired, continue to gouge the state without having done, it could be argued, ‘some service’.
Indeed it could easily be argued they did it a serious disservice.
The current government is little better, as it has failed on most of the commitments it has made. The EU agreed and many well respected economists and commentators still agree that Ireland deserves to be supported because of its efforts to prop up the euro.
However, the Government has failed to make that support real and tangible.
That support would be the difference between semi-comfort or getting by at a more acceptable level, and continued austerity. Who pays the price of this failure?
But it’s not just in those areas where those elected and paid to look after our interests have failed. Their failures are ongoing and multitude.
The Irish Water debacle is just a case in point. Not only did they screw up, but they continue to screw up. Even now there are very many issues that have not been addressed.
Until they are resolved, or at least given some clarity and then sold to the rest of us, we will continue to have water protests and all that unwelcome behaviour that has accompanied them.
Ducking these decisions at this stage just makes the next election all the more difficult for those of us who want a fair and progressive Ireland.
Indeed, if the new government in Greece gets the EU and the troika to back down on anything material, we risk being in for a very sorry future if our Government cannot get commensurate support.
If the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report is anything to go by, we could also ask why there are no sanctions on those who repeatedly waste and abuse public funds year after year.
Indeed, we should also ask ourselves why a clear basket case economy such as Greece is paying a lower interest rate on its repayments.
However, the worst of all is the Government’s failure to corral bankers and their ridiculous remunerations. Bankers, when all is said and done, were major architects of the problems we have in housing and mortgage arrears.
By their failure to comply with good practice and common sense and by giving people loans they would never be able to pay back they have put many at the edge of penury.
The funny thing is, rather than come down heavily on the bankers to ensure it does not happen again, they severely limit the ability of people to invest in a family home.
Guys, the bankers screwed up and gave out the money, often on spurious evidence of funds. The prescription for the future should be that bankers who break or massage the rules should be penalised and not the ordinary house buyer.
Perhaps we should wonder who this government really represents. Is it the ordinary people of Ireland or is it the holders of major capital?
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