Big Phil gives it Green Welly

Big Phil muses:

Chopra has a key break-power role in the new governments restricted ability to operate. Phil intends to free Ireland from the shackles of economic bondage as quickly as he can.

Jobs Budget in May – this is a certainty and will be supported by the IMF/ECB. Chopper will allow us to grow the economy to facilitate growth in taxes and in Ireland’s ability to pay the way.

The NewEra plan will be produced and the Home Improvement Grants operated to kick start jobs with a time frame for implementation which will not allow for prolonged naval gazing and equivocation. It will be a version of the rugby use it or lose it rule. EU Directives will have to be obeyed or else we will suffer big fines. Big Phil has no intention of being the first Irish Environment Minister to pay the Commission millions in fines so we can expect decisions and action in the next few weeks from his department. Ground water quality, septic tanks, home improvements including insulation and retrofitting will be the order of the day to kick off the PhilEra.The time limit will be about two years.

Water Charges following the EU Directive will be introduced with a generous allowance for each household. This is part of the IMF/EU deal signed by Fianna Fail so a flat utility charge is a certainty. Any local income will be retained by local government and the Efficiency Review Group will play an important role in developments. Shared services and procurement is sure to be synergised. Community Affairs will be placed in the Department of the Environment and that Dept abolished.

The Colm McCarthy Report will likely recommend a site valuation tax on property. That is sure to be a political hot potato.

The census will report by the end of June and will determine the redrawing of boundaries for elections.

It is likely that the “Abbeylara” investigation issue, Judges pay, Presidential term of office and childrens rights will be put to a multiquestion referendum later this year.

Big Phil will amend the Planning and Development Act and sort out quarries and foreshore licences. He has met city and county managers already. I know that some of them were surprised!

Administration fees, enforcement fines and other innovations will reduce the number of small court cases.

There are 378 estates unfinished and bond issues will be sorted out.There will be no directly elected mayor of Dublin anytime soon. Big Phil does not want another layer of bureaucracy imposed on the current system. My opinion is that the four councils in Dublin be reduced to three with boundary changes to all.

The EU Habitats Directive will be implemented and a Peatlands Council will be set up for the relevant bogs.