Surely there must be light at the end of the tun­nel af­ter the crash

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - OPINION -


What’s an­other year? We en­ter 2019 hop­ing for a good year, but for most it will be more of the same.

Politi­cians will still promise; they will an­nounce elab­o­rate plans. Bil­lions are go­ing to be spent – over a five- or ten-year pe­riod, of course. It sounds bet­ter that way.

They will tackle health, hous­ing, home­less­ness, in­fra­struc­ture, etc. The coun­try is boom­ing again. We have of­fi­cially re­turned to full em­ploy­ment. We may not no­tice that in Kerry, but statis­tics don’t lie – or do they? Brexit will hap­pen – or will it?

We will shorten hos­pi­tal wait­ing lists and emer­gency wait­ing time. Nurses will be fairly paid and we will open hun­dreds of ex­tra beds in hos­pi­tals to cater for over­crowd­ing.

We will build thou­sands of so­cial and af­ford­able houses. We will stop the rip off of young cou­ples hop­ing to rent or own a home in our cap­i­tal city.

We will speed up as­sess­ment time for those in di­rect pro­vi­sion. It is a scan­dal and we are great at deal­ing with scan­dals in Ire­land.

Yes, we have the prom­ises and we are used to our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives keep­ing theirs, so don’t lose hope.

The sound­ings from gov­ern­ment are good early in the year. The think­ing caps are firmly on, and even though Fine Gael may have failed to bring in a wa­ter tax, it ap­pears that Leo our Taoiseach sees hope in the car­bon tax.

Re­ally there is no limit to what in­crease he could put on it. We will be prop­erly ed­u­cated on how to save the en­vi­ron­ment, but only if we feel the pain. Af­ter all, look how knowl­edge­able we are af­ter the pain of bail­ing out pri­vate banks .

We un­der­stand how bank­ing mal­func­tions now thanks to the harsh les­son im­posed on us by the ECB. Pos­si­bly an­other harsh, ex­pen­sive les­son on sav­ing the planet is what the Ir­ish na­tion needs.

The rich will get richer in 2019, but many work­ers will strug­gle get a wage rise. It will then be swal­lowed up by the in­crease in the cost of goods and ser­vices. We are Europe’s lead­ers in most ar­eas – dearer houses, drugs, health care, fuel, car in­sur­ance and the weekly shop­ping bas­ket.

Not alone are we un­able to build rea­son­ably priced homes, we can’t ac­cu­rately cost the build­ing of new hos­pi­tals ei­ther. The pub­lic purse is a bot­tom­less pit for some projects.

I hope the pic­ture I paint isn’t too rosy. Af­ter all, we are a great lit­tle coun­try in which to do busi­ness, and our friends in Europe think very highly of us.

Eleven years af­ter the crash, surely, this year, there must be light at the end of the tun­nel.


Gerry Cour­nane,


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