Saturday 24 March 2018

Alliance charter has all the marks of a Looney tune

The Alliance's charter is merely FF lite, and its 'principles' are the sound-bite politics of its current Dail ­membership, writes Alan Shatter

Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney
Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Anyone holding their breath waiting for Shane Ross's Independent Alliance to publish an independent costing or audit of their 'Charter for Government 2016' is liable to be disappointed. While presented as some new radical departure in Irish politics, the charter, unfortunately, is the same old, same old uncosted discredited politics masquerading as something new.

The charter in some respects is merely Fianna Fail Lite. Its title reveals that some members of the Alliance hope to end up in government. However, they have remained schtum on who the Alliance will support in the Dail chamber in a vote for the next Taoiseach. Based on their Dail votes cast over the past five years, Gerry Adams has to be the likely chosen one for most, if not all of them. Their silence on this vitally important issue belies their advocacy of greater transparency in politics.

The Alliance's charter claims to provide the basis for "radical but responsible government" but says nothing of substance about fiscal and economic policy, taxation, the budget deficit, jobs growth and a myriad other vitally important areas. It is less a prescription for responsible government than a political platform which abdicates responsibility for all those aspects of government essential to keep the recovery going and address the financial pressures still impacting on individuals and families.

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