Looking after the poor is, of course, central to the Christmas message, and in the absence of a bonus during the last three years, the poor have generally resorted to the moneylender, leaving them in debt till the following Christmas, probably, or beyond.
The bonus cost €180m in 2007, but it was money well spent in terms of the boost to national morale and the promotion of the values of kindness and compassion, currently in very short supply. I mean, if MIchael Noonan can invite a special submission from the Irish Property Owners Association, on the retention, or not, of Section 23, as he did prior to the last budget, surely he can find something in his hard heart for the poor. I’m sure the good people of Southill Ballinacurra, in his own constituency, would agree with me on that, and it might soften the blow of another broken promise to that community, (cf the Limerick Regeneration fiasco).
Cadhla Ní Frithile