Energy costs highlight Cowen's failures
THE easy 'hard' decisions being made by the Government on public pay illuminate an obvious unfairness but also suggest a deeper malaise.
Opportunities for genuinely tough decisions during our economic crisis have been met with political impotence. From granting an effective pay cut 'rebate' to the civil service elite because they were able to plead in person for special treatment, to creating a false division in the public service by refusing to cut the pay of 50,000 semi-state workers, Brian Cowen has shown his true nature, a weak consensus man in a time when clarity is demanded.
Mr Cowen insists that Ireland can only recover when we improve our competitiveness. This argument is used to defend cutting the pay of most public service workers. However, it starts to ring hollow when classic Fianna Fail strokes take hold.