Govt needs to show it’s listening
THE findings of the latest Centre for Migration, Identity and Rights Studies survey must make uncomfortable reading for a government fighting fires on several fronts.
Some will argue that the verdict of the quarterly survey is too harsh. Just six months into its term, they would say, the alliance is facing huge problems inherited from previous administrations, while also battling a currency crisis largely beyond its control.
It’s hard not to have some sympathy. And tough for all those new to government to take criticism they probably consider unwarranted. Yet ministers need to take it on the chin. More importantly, they need to digest carefully the unpalatable message being given to them.
While MPs may pride themselves on the decision to eschew an estimated 1,000TL-amonth pay rise due to them, they would do well to recall that for many a worker, even the amount of the increase represents a third of a month’s take-home pay. The gulf between wages for staff in most ordinary TRNC businesses and those with the same skills and qualifications lucky enough to acquire a job for life in the public sector is vast — and that is the kind of economic inequality the government needs to address if it is to improve public mood and confidence.
Add to this the survey’s reports of concern on issues as wide-ranging as prices, health, education, crime, corruption, road safety and the environment, and it would be hardly surprising if ministers were reeling from the long “to do” list staring them in the face.
But making it plain that — to use a phrase beloved of UK politicians — they “are listening, and they get it”, would be a good first step. Acknowledging the problems, and coming up with short-, medium- and long-term plans to tackle them would show that they intend to act on public worries, not just wait for them to go away, as too many have before them.