May 26, 2010
Regardless of your political beliefs or allegiances, there appears to be one major fallacy permeating current government behaviour, which is the fundamentally bemusing notion that the State can continue to provide the same level of services as before when it is an undisputed fact that the State has significantly less revenue available to fund such services. None of us are so delusional as to expect that we would be able to maintain the same level of lifestyle if we suddenly found ourselves facing a massive drop in income, certainly we wouldn’t enjoy accepting that fact but in real terms we simply wouldn’t have a choice.
During the boom times, the public sector grew enormously and this growth was fuelled and funded by similar growth in exchequer revenues. Now instead of committing economic suicide by electing to raise taxes to punitive levels that will discourage enterprise and cause further economic depression – a move which is basically a crudely disguised self-indulgent smash and grab by a public sector that appears to feel that it is perfectly ok to take money out of the pockets of individuals in the private sector in order to maintain their own standards of living to the detriment of others — the government simply has to face up to the plain and simple fact that it will have to cut state services as we as a Nation can’t afford to maintain the current levels.
However, this realisation needs to go further than just the government. Every citizen in the country also has to accept this unpopular fact. Yes, you won’t like it, lots of you will be giving out and it won’t be nice and it definitely won’t be fair to many people. Unfortunately the economics of life are not fair and the stark economic reality is that we as a State just can’t afford it. Cry all you want, in the end it won’t make a difference as we still won’t be able to afford it and the fact that our current government doesn’t want to face this reality and seems happy to bring the country to its knees with significant tax increases that will ultimately prove self-defeating is a grim reminder of the immense leadership vacuum that exists across the entire political spectrum in this country.
Given that it will probably be a cold day in hell before our politicians will genuinely earn their generous salaries by engaging in real and serious cost-cutting restructuring of the public sector in order to streamline it into a more efficient and much leaner machine capable of maintaining current service levels at a lower cost, the only realistic alternative is to cut the level of services provided by the State.