Thursday 19 October 2017

Eoghan Harris: Public-sector wealth can only lead to private decay

ENOUGH is enough. That's the title of Fintan O'Toole's book of aspirations for a new Ireland. Like my mother's aspirations -- Sweet Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee -- its pious platitudes are attempts to escape the problems of the real world.

Fintan sets out five aspirations; security, equality, education, health, citizenship. I could make a wish-list too. But I would feel a fraud if I failed to point out -- as Fintan fails --that all ambitions are hot air unless we cut public-sector pay and pensions back to 2003 levels.

The book sidles past this fundamental problem as if it were peripheral. The index does not even have an entry on it. No "public sector: scandal of" or even "reform of". It's like a book on Northern Ireland that never mentions religion.

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