We should encourage our leaders to come forward with original ideas
BUDGET 2019 is upon us this week and who knows exactly how it will shake out for each and every individual when the dust settles.
In advance of the budget we had members of the independent alliance float the idea of allowing grants for the conversion of homes into granny flats.
I heard one radio commentator criticise the independent alliance for having an idea and not a policy two years into being part of Government.
There is some truth to that criticism, but also surely there should be no such thing as a bad idea.
Some ideas won’t make good policy or are not affordable but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is not a good idea in the first place.
We need big ideas and blue sky thinking.
What was the last good idea or fresh, unique policy that you can remember?
The smoking ban is one that springs to mind. There were guffaws when that was first mooted but it is now universally accepted and has been rolled out internationally.
The plastic bag tax is another which was a small yet practical idea which has proved effective, even if it has not solved the masses of plastic which are polluting our countryside.
The SSIA savings scheme was another original idea which was of its time. It might not have solved the problem of the over-spending during the Celtic Tiger boom years, but it certainly was taken advantage of by hundreds of thousands of ordinary members of the public.
In the UK they are marking the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service. A sacred cow, no UK Government would ever dare to dismantle the NHS however unaffordable it has become.
Imagine our Government trying to take the free travel pass off those aged over 66. That was nothing more than idea at one point.
The truth is we need big ideas to solve the complicated issues of today, such as funding the HSE, solving the housing crisis, tackling global warming.
How original and innovative will this year’s budget be? The leaks to date indicate Budget 2019 will tweak with the existing measures, giving us something with one hand and taking something from us with the other hand.
There will be nothing radical or original if the well-placed leaks are anything to go by, yet we need some innovative thinking to address the issues of the day.
The same old, same old is not enough.
THE SMOKING BAN IS ONE THAT SPRINGS TO MIND. THERE WERE GUFFAWS WHEN THAT WAS FIRST MOOTED BUT IT IS NOW UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED