Thursday 20 September 2018

Public service efficiency need not be 'big brother'

It is too easy to cry foul and make noises about a dastardly state apparatus trying to snoop on its citizens. Stock Image: PA
It is too easy to cry foul and make noises about a dastardly state apparatus trying to snoop on its citizens. Stock Image: PA
Editorial

Editorial

Earlier this year, there was an understandable furore when more details about Government plans for the use of the universal services card emerged. It has been advanced as helping streamline provision of public services to citizens.

Against that, civil liberties advocates have argued that this is a national identity card being introduced by stealth. They see a potentially sinister "big brother" aspect with citizens' privacy rights being eroded by a prying state authority.

Today, we report on new details of Government plans, involving extended use of the Public Services Card, especially in relation to the Revenue Commissioners. It appears we are moving to a situation where citizens' efforts to remain tax compliant, including paying the property tax, will require this card.

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