Shane Ross: Middle Ireland will not pay, because it cannot pay
As the economic crisis stretches on, poverty has invaded middle-class Ireland, writes Shane Ross
One of the last measures to pass through the Dail before the summer recess was supposedly aimed at helping citizens in debt. We had waited a long time for the wise men among the mandarins to defuse the next banking time bomb.
Bankrupts were now to live in a more lenient regime. Homeowners in debt were destined to be released from bondage. Committees galore, expert groups comprising a lethal cocktail of bankers by the bucketful, civil servants and accountants had struggled with the problem.
On the night that the dreaded Personal Insolvency Bill was passed, most of the bankrupts could be counted sitting smugly on the government benches. They were bankrupt of ideas, bankrupt of solutions, bankrupt of interest in the subject. They simply wanted to pass the problem on to the various discredited institutions and individuals entrusted with sorting out Ireland's increasingly impoverished middle class.