Sunday 4 December 2016

Best is needed from private and public sectors

Anti-private sector rhetoric is on the rise, while unthinking and simplistic statism increasingly dominates debate

Published 15/05/2016 | 02:30

There is universal agreement, to say the very least, that the health system could be more effective in treating the people it exists to serve. (Stock picture: PA)
There is universal agreement, to say the very least, that the health system could be more effective in treating the people it exists to serve. (Stock picture: PA)

If a foreigner with no knowledge of this country had spent last week here attempting to understand our general political orientation, they might well have concluded that we are a nation of leftists and reflexive statists. On some of the most discussed issues of the week - housing, health and welfare - far more voices were heard in the broadcast media calling for the government to address all of our ills. Many of these voices held private enterprise in suspicion, if not contempt.

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A prime example of this was Thursday's Sean O'Rourke show on RTE radio, which dealt with the linking of child benefit payments to school attendance. Three guests appeared on the show to discuss the proposal, which was contained in the newly printed Programme for Government. All three opposed the move.

In fairness, the show had asked for somebody from the government to make the case for the proposal, but, indicative of the shambles on the government side on the issue, nobody could be found to speak for the measure.

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