Sunday 17 December 2017

Make tough decisions, don't demonise Europe

WHEN the government was looking for our votes back in February, we were promised robust engagement with the investors who lent money to Irish banks and equally robust engagement with our civil servants who count among the best paid in the world. Yesterday, a day before the 100-day anniversary of Mr Kenny's election, the coalition took steps that might yet ensure that these promises are kept.

In the morning, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said further public sector cuts were inevitable. A few hours later and 3,000 miles away, Finance Minister Michael Noonan stepped up his campaign to impose losses on some of the investors who lent to Anglo Irish Bank.

Nobody wants public sector cuts; good people will lose jobs and useful services will be stopped but both are inevitable and Mr Howlin's admission was a sign the government means business. The muted response from the unions sparked hope it can be done without the wave of strikes about to engulf Britain.

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