economic crises in the early 1990s, Sweden put its welfare state system on a
durable footing with equal rights for public and private sector workers (only a
small number of jobs such as in the judiciary, are guaranteed for a work
lifetime) while Finland reformed its education system, which today is regarded
as being among the best in the world.
dropped from being the fourth-richest country in the world in 1970 to the 14th
in 1993 when public spending reached 67% of GDP.
In Ireland in
September 2012, a UCD-Trinity College university merger proposal in a leaked
draft report triggered a rapid reaction from various interests to kill the
chicken in the egg. It was as if a fatwa had been issued by the elite. There
would not even be a discussion on it.
Seán Flynn, the late 'The Irish Times' education editor, reported:
for Education Ruairí Quinn and three university presidents last night moved
to distance themselves from a controversial report recommending a merger of
University College Dublin with Trinity College Dublin, and other radical
changes. Mr Quinn said such a merger was 'neither feasible nor desirable,'
while key elements of the report 'would not be acceptable to Government.'
The report, prepared by some of the most distinguished figures in
international higher education, has been effectively buried, according to
crash and severe public spending cuts, it took until mid-2013 for legislation to
be passed to enable more prescribing of generic drugs. Meanwhile,
the State's annual drugs bill rose by €400m to €2bn.
RTÉ’s Prime Time last December,
Richard Bruton, enterprise minister, said progress on the
Legal Services Regulation Bill, introduced in 2011, had been
delayed because the priority was to bring in personal Insolvency legislation to
deal with families in distress.
The courts and the big professional firms have been have been heaving with
activity through boom and bust, with the Exchequer picking up big tabs
and the minister says the Government cannot
multitask during an economic emergency?
promised date for final voting on the bill was last June and it has been
reported that lobbying by lawyer members of both parties, Fine Gael and the
Labour Party, continues to stall progress.
Competition Authority said in April 2012:
November 2010, the Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
with the EU/IMF. The MoU included a commitment that, by the end of the third
quarter of 2011, the Government must establish an independent regulator and
implement the outstanding recommendations of the Competition Authority. In
October 2011 the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr. Alan
Shatter, TD published the Legal Services Regulation Bill."
and you'll get grass.
Elizabeth Dunne, a High Court judge, made a ruling in June 2011 that there was a
flaw in a 2009 law that impacted buy-to-let property repossessions. It took
exactly two years to address it.
management at the Central Bank responded swiftly to overhauling regulatory
systems but in recent years, it has responded in a hands-off manner to the slow
pace of progress in the banks' resolving debt problems.
Michael Noonan, finance minister, met the bailout troika's demand for
a fiscal advisory council but it has been designed to be an intellectual
ornament, which does not produce its own forecasts, with a membership appointed
by the minister and with reporting accountability to the Department of Finance.
the equivalent is the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) who is an independent
Officer of the Parliament and is not subject to direction in the performance of
incumbent has said that the "PBO has had a significant impact in helping to
level the playing field for non-government parties and independent
parliamentarians as they develop their policies.
It has done so by helping to redress the asymmetry of access to costing and
budget information services that existed prior to the establishment of the PBO."
The PBO also
costs party proposals at election time.
Why would a
politician who was then sixty-nine years old and who had long experience of the
wilderness on the Opposition benches, once inside the tent, agree to a
restrictive regime that benefits the Department of Finance, which had a
disastrous record during the property bubble?
It can only
be explained by innate conservatism.