Kenny goes for inclusive National Government. Sunday Independent not pleased!

The Sunday Independent of the 6th March is a classic in simplistic populism. “Voter betrayal: FG/Labour to ditch pledges for economy” Then a subheading – They will brazenly follow Fianna Fail’s four-year austerity plan as Labour protects public sector.

The other yellow banner announcement is “I am sorry I voted Fine Gael”

Their objections include that the reduction in public sector numbers will be 22,000 not 30,000 as promised by FG. And that Labour will hold the Ministry for Public Sector Reform. It is presumptuous to assume that the Labour Minister will fail in the job and not act in the country’s interest. I will wait to see the performance and not jump to a preordained prejudiced conclusion.

Water charges are on the way irrespective of who was elected into office. Property taxes were signalled by Fianna Fail and Labour and a site valuation tax on property disposal was proposed by Fine Gael. The latter is intended as a once off not a recurring tax.

The ECB/IMF plan also envisaged a property tax as did the Commission on Taxation and the Report of Colm McCarthy’s An Bord Snip Nua. Any property tax must be nuanced and held low otherwise it will be impossible to collect as highly indebted families and individuals will be unable to afford it.

The Sunday Independent seems affronted by a FG/Lab coalition. Ray McSharry is quoted as saying that “was not what the people voted for”. Shane Ross is also peeved that he has not been invited into cabinet. I wonder did he even attempt to get there under the radar?

Liam Collins reports that “sources” believe that Shane Ross, Michael Lowry, Michael Healy-Rae, Noel Grealish, Luke Flanagan, Mattie McGrath, Tom Fleming, =/- Finian McGrath and Stephen Donnelly may have been available to support an FG minority administration.

Those of us who consider that a defacto National Government is what is now on offer will be pleased that FG and Labour covered that spectrum. It gives us a chance to recover our sovereignty once the stand-off of the 1980s is avoided.