Disgrace of letting money go to waste
All Irish governments proclaim their concern for workers made redundant by economic woes or technological change. All promise aid, mostly in the form of education and retraining -- unquestionably one of the best remedies, and one supported financially by the European Union.
But the record is poor. Several times in the past, the EU has given Ireland grants to fund workers' re-education, only to find that Irish plans have been too unambitious, or flawed in some other way, and the money has not been spent in a two-year period. In such a case, the government forfeits the Brussels aid.
When addressing the plight of 8,700 construction workers affected by the near-collapse of the industry, the then government applied for aid to Brussels, had its application approved, and drew up plans appropriate to the size of the task.