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The same old politicians rely on the same old brand of cronyism

Further proof that Fine Gael and Labour have no intention of stopping the country sliding back into the cronyism is the revelation that in the midst the IMMA scandal, Mr Noonan didn’t even blush at reappointing Michael Soden and Des Geraghty as members of the Central Bank Commission quango. Did no one in the department think it would be worthwhile to advertise the positions to see who might apply?

The response to the recent cronyism should have been for Mr Kenny to announce that no one who is currently appointed to any position will be automatically reappointed and as their terms run out, the position will be publicly advertised and filled by a Public Sector Appointment Commission with no connection to the Minister of the relevant department. If that person wants to reapply they are welcome to do so and the names of everyone who applied will be made public.

Can you imagine any large company in the world where every vacancy is notified to the chief executive first, so he can have first dibs on appointing someone from his family, friends or golf club and then just tell the HR department who he has appointed?

But we ought not to be surprised when Central Bank Governor, Mr Honohan makes a speech to the old boys network in UCD about capping mortgages.

He should have made his recent mortgage speech to an Oireachtas Committee and he should be answerable to that committee about why he has failed to make the Irish banking system face up to the issue of unsustainable debt once and for all, like Iceland did years ago.

The governance of the Central Bank should be subject to an external review, that assesses not just its fiscal duties but its management structure and what steps have been taken since 2008 to reform it, with the finding presented to the Oireachtas. Every time the Central Bank has been faced with a choice of protecting the consumer or protecting the banks Mr Honohan has always protected the banks.

If Mr Honohan really wanted to proffer a solution to the housing bubble he would instead have outlined that capping mortgages wasn’t the answer but assessing affordability on a case by case basis was more credible. If the repayments on a 100% mortgage are 40% of my net income and I have no other debts does that make a mortgage unaffordable compared to someone who is borrowing 90% but has loads of other debt?

Also, what about the people who would like to avail of the same quality social housing options available to EU citizens on the continent?

Desmond FitzGerald

Canary Wharf




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