Thursday 14 December 2017

Government is wilfully blind to struggles of families crippled by burdens of legacy debt

Picture posed. Thinkstock
Picture posed. Thinkstock

The revised Cabinet has played their last hand of cards. The 'Statement of Government Priorities 2014-2016' was launched on the steps of Government Buildings last Friday. Anyone else think this outdoor pomp and ceremony is ostentatiously over the top, and more appropriate to occasions of visiting heads of state, rather than routine ministerial pronouncements? The 10-page document contains the usual mix of departmental agendas, reheated previous announcements and vague aspirations of future budgets. Six key priorities emphasise job creation, fiscal discipline, housing initiatives, enhanced living standards and modest institutional reform.

There's a glaring omission – a significant departure in tone and content from their original programme.

Newly 'disappeared' are the tiny Tony O'Reillys. Risk-takers of the Noughties are officially forgotten. We're talking about entrepreneurs and householders in their 40s, 50s and beyond who borrowed from banks to either purchase a home, expand businesses or sought to provide for pension needs. Banks hurled cash at them. They willingly took on associated risks and lost all. They are now airbrushed out of government thinking, no longer on the radar of policy considerations.

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