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Representative forum can help wave goodbye to troika

Lent is over, hide your Trocaire (or is it troika) boxes, as the boys are back in town to check on how Ireland is doing. I think that the EU, IMF and ECB will be happy with the report card titled 'A lot done, much more to do'.

They will talk to the Government, opposition and then drag out the carcass that is the social partnership and meet the IBEC fat cats and the even fatter cats in ICTU.

This is the chance for the beards and suits, the architects of disaster, to stick their noses in the troika trough and look important.

Someone needs to tell Chopra & Co about the hames that these same citizens made of our economy, through selfish and secretive benchmarking and a disregard for the general good.

Someone needs to tell Chopra & Co that the partnership had become an inhibitor of progress and developed a veto on change.

Someone needs to tell Chopra & Co who the real entrepreneurs are, who own and manage competitive small and medium-sized businesses -- the true risk takers in the economy. These are the people the troika must meet, along with the multinationals and indigenous big business.

Drive

Maybe Chopra & Co will advise the Government to immediately replace the social partnership with a National Representative Forum (NRF), to drive economic recovery and advise that this newly proposed forum should include representatives from the SME sector and not be dominated by big business and public sector unions.

A vacuum has developed in the process of economic consultation, which is adding to the ongoing economic uncertainty. Surely the time is right for the introduction of a truly representative forum from all areas of the economy, which can provide consultation and guidance to Government.

The NRF would include small and large business representatives together with the unions, representatives of the Economic and Social Research Institute, the National Competitiveness Council, Central Bank, the diaspora and front bench spokespeople.

The remit of this new forum would be to assist, advise and independently evaluate all government economic programmes and policies to ensure compatibility with the needs of the economy as a whole.

If a genuine, all-inclusive social partnership is to have any true purpose it must include the SME sector, the drivers of economic growth. This proposal should strengthen the Government's mandate to introduce and drive a national recovery plan, thereby saying goodbye to Chopra & Co.

Indo Business