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Wonder of wonders, Fergus Finlay is acclaiming the departure of the Troika as an achievement of Government, and wonder of wonders, he blames Fianna Fáil for all our economic woes, and, oddly enough, I disagree with him — not on his broad assessments, but on the subtle context in which he places his political prejudices.
Here are some facts we should not forget: Charlie McCreevy was absolutely reckless in driving up public spending, and the FF/PD cabinet was equally reckless in not reining him in.
The largest element of the McCreevy spend was in old age pensions, children’s allowance, and social welfare generally, and in capital to complete the motorways. Labour, then in opposition, criticised the social welfare spending as being too little.
The 2007 general election brought the most obscene display of auction politics in terms of taxation since 1977, except in this case Labour was the highest bidder, followed by the PDs, and FG. FF did not bid! The Central Bank, and regulator consistently predicted a soft landing, with minimum financial impact.
Banking activity bordering on criminal was the main contributor to the downfall.
Councillors from all parties were equally guilty in voting in unsuitable and unsustainable land zonings.
So, Mr Finlay, a little bit of impartiality when you lay blame for our woes, and you know as well as I do, that even if the loony left were in government for the past three years, the Troika would be departing, for the simple reason that if we didn’t comply, we wouldn’t be given any money.
I, for one, am not celebrating their departure. All our parties without exception, have proved that they cannot be trusted to mind our finances, except when Big Brother is watching.
In this case, the Troika is BB.
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