The Government needs to work for the people as a new year begins
ONCE again this Christmas, the country’s newspapers, TV screens and social media sites were lit up with great footage of emotional reunions at our airports, as Irish emigrants made their way home from around the world to celebrate the festive season with their loved ones. Having been forced to leave Ireland to find work, these young people were visibly ecstatic as they reunited with their parents, siblings and friends, delighted to be home – albeit for a short time.
While the pictures and video footage were heart-warming to watch, you can’t help but wonder how terrible the scenes will be this week as those same people bid an emotional farewell to their heartbroken families, probably until next Christmas.
How many cameras will be at our airports over the coming days, filming the tears and heartache as another generation of workers are forced to say goodbye to their families and set off for their other life abroad? Alas those pictures go unnoticed.
It is, however, yet another example of how our government, with its never-ending cutbacks and unaffordable taxes, has made it impossible for some people to get by here – something that will stick in the throats of many a heartbroken parent for many years to come.
If 2014 is remembered for anything, it will be the public’s determination to tell our elected members what they really think. The year that the people of Ireland stood up for themselves and finally said ‘enough is enough’.
Take the government’s plans to introduce water charges, for example. It was, for many, the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back and people came out in force to tell our legislators that they were not taking any more.
Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life took to the streets of the country’s towns and villages to let the government know that they simply couldn’t handle anymore. They were stretched to their limit and were at breaking point.
And while President Higgins may have signed the Water Services Bill into law at the weekend – much to the disappointment and anger of many – people should take some consolation in the fact that several amendments were made and legislators did back track somewhat under the mounting pressure from the public.
As we look ahead to the New Year and make our list of resolutions, perhaps the first one should be to keep fighting the good fight.
More importantly, though, our government ministers need to make their own resolutions, the first one being to listen to the people of Ireland.
Families are heartbroken as loved ones fly off across the world in search of work. People are crippling under the pressure of mounting taxes and charges – so much so that the St Vincent de Paul has never been busier and the courts are full of families desperately trying to save their home.
This situation cannot continue. People put their trust in this government but have been let down at every turn, so now it’s time for those in power to turn the tide as a new year begins.