The Taoiseach has lost no time in explaining why none of the flak from the €1.8m Oireachtas printer debacle should fall on his head, or that of any other minister. He is absolutely spot on when he says the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, not the Government, is responsible for the management of Leinster House.
As a politician not unfamiliar with the importance of perception in modern politics, he knows firstly, that the Government he leads has form in the cost over-runs department and, secondly, many voters busy getting on with their own lives haven’t the time or the inclination to learn about the ins and outs of State spending. They might simply suspect that when it comes to spending other people’s money, there’s a culture of recklessness prevalent in all State agencies. That might be a suspicion held, for example, by some of the 568 patients who were waiting for beds in Irish hospitals yesterday.