Monday, 31 May 2010 11:51
Everything in Irish life seems to work around money. Ireland's present day problems are no longer about money.
It should be about people and the way they have been treated. It's about supports that are there for the thousands of people who have been treated in a despicable fashion. It should be about people's health and welfare for the future. We all know the problems stress and anxiety causes in society and we oftentimes see the tragic results when it's not handled effectively and efficiently.
It's all about lots of things, which need to be addressed. The continuous talk and debates about our financial crisis should take a new turn instead of being a platform to sell television space or get politicians elected.
There should be a united political effort to help those people both mentally and financially who are trying to cope. To date these issues have rarely been discussed as the emphasis has been the salvation of political face at a time when many support services are being cut.
It's now past time to let the financial brains get on with sorting out the mess. If they don't perform the job they're being paid to do, SACK them, preferably before they pay them their non-performance bonuses. We all need a break and a chance to get back to some sort of normal living we were once used to.
The tough talking has been talked and all guilty parties in this sorry saga have more or less been let off the hook. Very little serious investigations have taken place into their wrong doings. The authorities have stressed that even though NAMA may have taken over the loans that people in the construction and banking business are unable to pay, they will be vigorously pursued for any shortfall in the sale of these assets.
Legislators should get a life and tell the truth. That's simply not the case and everyone in finance knows so. Ninety per cent of loans outstanding by developers to banks are registered to limited companies, which effectively are owned by developers or speculators. If the monies are not in the companies' 'vigorous pursuits' will only throw good money after bad money. Why is it no longer a money issue?
It's no longer a money issue because some people's lives, livelihoods and family values have been destroyed for the foreseeable future. It's a sad life for so many people. Thousands of families now live in dream homes where their assets have dropped by half. To those who have a home it may not matter. What matters should be their quality of life and the support they may or may not get in the situation they have found themselves in.
People are living in half finished housing estates throughout the country with no proper roads, no proper sewage, no lighting, are monuments of bad planning and little backup. It's a local council's obligation to have these issues addressed.
In many cases the exorbitant charges levied on builders was meant to cover the basics like sewage and lighting.
Minister Micheál Martin when questioned recently on these issues, stressed that it wasn't up to the government to interfere. It was the job of the local councils in each county. We have to ask the question 'who is running the country'? Is it the local councils or the government? You won't get the answer easily.
All of us must strive to make life bearable for everyone to live with. It won't last forever. The big problem is we have no one to turn to. The country is broke. The banks are broke so we are left to our own devices. Enterprise Ireland, FÁS and other government agencies will talk about their plans for the future and the major projects that are coming on stream. They don't have the money or the skills to help maintain existing jobs. The future can look bleak for these organisations that gobble up billions of taxpayers' monies.
We have thousands of voluntary workers standing at church gates, running fashion shows to raise money for the bailout of dilapidated services our government have failed miserably to finance. No one knows the amounts of funds collected by charities just to fund the shortfall in all our services. Have we been too patient in the past? Should we not demand a proper service for the taxes we pay? We complain when we buy a product in a supermarket that doesn't work or is faulty and we demand our money back. In all of these types of scenarios the law is on your side and if the retailer shirks their responsibility they're prosecuted. Should the same rules not apply to every service? They should but they don't because we could be classed as a democracy.
Every crisis can have a happy ending if people and organisations take action. Continually telling us that we are in a better financial state than Greece or Iceland solves nothing.
Telling us that the financial crisis is global solves nothing. It's time to get the gloves off. As one disgruntled businessman in the midlands recently commented, the politicians sitting around tables in the Dáil talking sh**e solves nothing. Strong words and maybe there is a certain amount of truth in his remark.