Dublin Chamber of Commerce speaks unto the nation… September 1, 2011Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.
This weekend in the Sunday Business Post no end of fun to be had parsing out a contribution from Dublin Chamber of Commerce Chief Exec, Gina Quin, who offered the reader a long wish list from said organization and its members.
Some eyebrow raising stuff in there, and no mistake. Consider the following:
Unfortunately for businesses serving the domestic market, the lack of a government ‘business plan’ has citizens worrying rather than spending?
Really? I’d have thought, like many of us, that it was other factors… ah, here’s an outline of them…
‘Persistent unemployment above 14 per cent, pay cuts, higher tax and a series of variable rate rises in the last year – including a 0.25 per cent increase in the ECB base rate in April which affected tracker mortgages…’
And that’s taken from…the front page article by Jon Ihle of the same edition of the Sunday Business Post.
But Quin has identified different factors. Current expenditure being the first and foremost. And the €2.1 bn the government has already sought to save isn’t enough. Nope, Chambers ‘feels this should be closer to €2.5bn’. No reason is given as to why this should be. But ‘the primary issue’ is…
‘…reform of the public sector, focusing on the effectiveness of its delivery, pushing or exceeding the bounds fo the Croke Park Agreement. June’s progress report on the agreement was welcomed by the unions and why not? The agreement in effect rules out outsourcing public services and continues a flawed expenditure reform approach. Reform needs to focus on the effectiveness of public service delivery, which will require departments to not only know how much is spent but how much is bought.
Each department manager and public servant needs to demonstrate the linkage between resources and outputs against other options, such as outsourcing.’
And while we’re left pondering the track record of this gift from the state to the private sector, oops… I mean outsourcing, she’s onto another topic.
.. each local authority should be given a current spending reduction of 3 per cent per annum in addition to any cost saving measures that may already be underway.
She throws in the aside that ‘this approach has been effective for local authorities in England’ somewhat ignoring that we start from a much lower base of funding for local authorities than there.
And lest one be concerned that this might be problematic given that lower funding base, perhaps the following will be consoling. Or perhaps not…
A reduction in spend for local authorities does not necessarily mean a poorer output of services.
One has to admire the ‘not necessarily’. To some extent. But she continues:
‘It is possible to deliver the same quality of service at a reduced cost by exploring alternative options such as the outsourcing of local services.”
Now you might think that all this seems pretty aspirational given that exploring an alternative option is not the same as reaching a conclusion on its efficacy, but what’s odd is that Quin and DCC get it on the global level. They’re a lot less cheery about the reductions in capital expenditure and they’re clear in their wish for the state to step into the breach there.
That aside, to be honest it’s hard to see how any of the proposed measures if implemented will prevent many many more citizens from worrying rather than spending.