Wednesday 29 March 2017

No 'urgency' in Noonan's agenda

We have already waited too long for action on unemployment and distressed mortgages, writes Willie O'Dea

LOOK up 'urgent' in any standard dictionary and it will offer definitions such as 'compelling' or 'requiring immediate action or attention'. Peruse the concise Noonan-Kenny lexicon and you find such turgid phrases as 'interdepartmental groups' and 'no definite timeline'. Their dictionary is small. In it, 'cleanliness' is actually next to 'godliness'.

The Government's massive majority came on the back of a promise to tackle the twin problems of unemployment and mortgage arrears. Every poll during the year leading up to the election told Kenny and his handlers that he was going to head up the next government, so, surely, he had people behind the scenes working on drafting plans to tackle the problems.

The Programme for Government may devote a page and a half to distressed mortgages and housing, but it is woefully short on specifics. The few there are, such as expanding Mabs to become a debt-management agency with quasi-judicial powers, have hardly been mentioned lately. This may explain why, as the Coalition enters its seventh month in power, ministers are still talking of things they may or may not do in the future.

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