Excuses Over – Act Now, Taoiseach
The so called “National Economic Recovery Talks” have collapsed. Now, all the excuses are gone. Now, it’s time for action from Brian Cowen.
This day has been put off over and over again. First, with the announcement of an early budget in the summer. Then, after the Budget itself completely failed to address the problem and was out of date before it was published, we were told that the Framework for Sustainable Economic Recovery was on the way, and it would solve all our problems. But it failed to be anything more than rehashed existing policies and spending dressed up with a few un-thought-through ideas and a lack of new investment. But, we were told, the social partners would get together in January to decide the future. And January came. And the Taoiseach went – to Japan in this case. Talks with the social partners were postponed until he returned, bringing us into the last week in January.
So, we’ve now gone from July 2008 to February 2009 with not a jot of useful action. No plan for how we get out of this situation. A total absense of leadership from the Government, and the Taoiseach in particular. This has led to fear among the general public, which has made the situation worse. Spending has ground to a near total halt, as can be seen from the desperation of retailers during the January sales, which started in early December and are still running.
In Brussels, we’re being put in the same grouping as Greece – the only two countries to have done absolutely nothing to address the national and international economic downturn.
Today, all the excuses are gone. All the procrastination must end now. At this stage, most people don’t really care what the plan is, but we need a plan now. We need to know how we’re going to get out of this situation. It must be realistic, and it must start quickly, and it must have a defined endpoint.
Act today, Taoiseach. If you can’t, or won’t, then step aside and let someone else do the job. I’m sure Eamon Gilmore or Richard Bruton would be more than happy to take on the challenge of leading this country.