Whilst I can be critical of the Irish Government I am also able to recognise when it tries to do the right thing and in this area, it is at least trying;
The Irish government has announced plans to reform the public service by cutting staff numbers, culling the number of state agencies and axing a controversial decentralisation programme. The Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the plans were the beginning of “radical changes” across government. Currently around 297,000 people are employed in Ireland’s public sector. That figure will be reduced by 23,500 by 2015.
This cut, around 10%, is a start although not enough. However contrast the strength of the Southern Irish government on this with the utter weakness of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The latter seeks to protect every unaffordable public sector job. The reason for this difference in approach is easy enough to understand. The Irish Republic had to go into economic meltdown before it took a long hard look at its finances. Northern Ireland is in gradual economic meltdown and the political class here think they can manage that decline.