15 July 2009

Cabinet is discussing 'Bord Snip' Report

Today the Irish Cabinet is discussing the long awaited report from the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, which is looking for possible cuts in the public sector, in order to overcome the current financial crisis and state deficit.

The four-men-strong team - popularly called 'An Bord Snip (Nua)', is led by the well-known economist Colm McCarthy (left) of University College Dublin (UCD), who has headed a similar review group in the past (under the then Taoiseach Charles J. Haughey) and contributed greatly to the cost-cutting and streamlining measures made then.

Individual ministers have already an idea how the report, which was originally expected at the begin of the month, will affect their departments. But once the Cabinet has seen and discussed it, the likelihood is much greater that details from the report could be leaked to the media.

So a decision to publish the report in full within days seems to be a foregone conclusion, despite worries about the effect it might have on public opinion in general and on a special Green Party conference to be held this weekend in particular.

Possible recommendations by 'An Bord Snip (Nua)' could include the break-up of the long obsolete Department of Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs - currently headed by Eamon Ó Cuív (right), the last member of the De Valera clan with Cabinet rank - and the redistribution of other ministerial responsibilities.

This would not only make sense, it would be - in my opinion - an already overdue step to reform the structure of our government. We also need a reform of the Civil Service and of the whole political and voting system.

Trying to solve the problems of the 21st century with the tools and methods of the 20th - and even 19th - century will not work and only lead to more problems and further decline. The current government is very unpopular, and for good reasons. But if it has the courage to tackle the problem of political and system reform head-on, it might gain new and strong support, some of it from perhaps unexpected quarters.

The Emerald Islander

No comments:

Post a Comment