Thursday 20 October 2016

The luxuries we may have to survive without

Published 17/07/2009 | 00:00

The An Bord Snip Nua report listed some of the luxuries we may have to learn to forego if its recommendations are implemented.

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  • The Army equestrian team: The report calls for the closure of the Army Equestrian School to save €1m a year. No more Army riders at the RDS Horse Show then.
  • Tipstaffs: It could mean an end to the 91 colourfully named tipstaffs -- the men and women who act as personal assistants to judges.
  • The Asgard II: The Navy training ship that sank off France should be left to rot at the bottom of the sea and the Government should pocket the €3.8m from the insurers and save a further €800,000 every year in training costs.
  • Christmas card from your TD: The report recommends barcodes on free envelopes for TDs to monitor how they use their letters.
  • A walk in the woods: Privatising Coillte, the state agency that owns and maintains almost three quarters of all the country's forests would put an end to going down to the woods.
  • Free art: Bord Snip Nua wants us to pay for access to the National Gallery and other cultural institutions.
  • A glass of water: The report calls for all water use to be metered and the introduction of charges based on consumption.
  • Prize funds: An Bord Snip Nua wants an end to the big prizes given out at Irish race courses and paid for by the tax payer.
  • Pulling a sickie: Teachers should no longer get 30 days of uncertified sick leave.
  • Private education: The report wants the Department of Education to slash payments to private schools by 25pc and then continue slashing in the years ahead.
  • Our man in Havana: Scrap our 21 least important embassies and sell off other embassy buildings in good locations.
  • Free passports: The over-65s should be made to pay for passports (along with TV licences).
  • Garda perks: The report wants an end to an extraordinary payment to gardai who are on holiday and therefore miss out on payments for working anti-social hours.
  • Graffiti-free streets: The report wants to end a €1m project to clean graffiti and force those convicted of minor crimes to clean up instead.
  • Friendship: The group calls for a €300,000 saving by scrapping a programme to foster good relations between Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Free flights: A quarter of all Army flying hours are used to shuttle government ministers around the country. The report recommends that government departments should be made to pay.

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