The proverbial dogs in the road know that Ireland is blessed with a bloated inefficient civil service, operating under 19th century work practices. Having unsuccessfully tried on a number of occasions to implement technology change there I know the challenges. The main one is that if anyone - anyone - doesn’t like what’s proposed, it doesn’t happen. So the old ways are continued, and the technology investments are wasted. As we’ve seen, billions have gone down the tube over the years.
It’s gratifying then to see that this has now dawned on our new Finance Minister. His biggest problem, he informs us, is that people refuse to move from where they’re not needed to where they are needed. Now get the word ‘refuse’ here, and who’s doing the refusing. They’re very highly paid, have no fear of redundancy, have pensions that those in the private sector can only dream of, are guaranteed pay increases every year, irrespective of the state of the economy. And they ‘refuse’ to move to where they’re needed.
Now once again, I come storming to the rescue, with a piece of brilliant innovative thinking that's quite clearly beyond the mental capacities of the Minister. And it’s this. Proclaim the following message to anyone who ‘refuses’ to transfer to where he’s needed: ‘you’re fired – clear out your desk’.
Now isn't that simple? Well, it should be. But for it to work the Government would have to do it’s job and confront the public sector unions. And this being Ireland, they won't do that. So the problem rolls on, financed by the increasingly beleaguered private sector golden goose. And how long will it be before this particular goose gives a final honk and expires?