Don’t know if anybody here has views on Jack Welsh, the former legendary hard nosed CEO of GE, the world’s largest company. Like him or loathe him, he was a decisive leader who prided himself on dealing with reality.
He has a well known quote : Facing reality sounds simple – but it isn’t. Self-delusion can grip an entire organization and lead the people in it to ridiculous conclusions.
Are the powers that be still gripped in self delusion in the ROI? The jobs initiative this week is as expected. PRSI cuts, reducing VAT in tourism sector, getting rid of the airport tax, a few extra bob for the construction sector to improve schools over the summer….all good. And so they’ve robbed a few bob from our pensions to pay for it. Maybe we’ve been getting too much tax relief on our contributions and its time to get some of it back?
Keeping it safe
But does anybody get the impression that it smacks of indecisiveness, that it’s about being seen to be doing something, that its so ‘safe’ that it can’t really be criticised?
Isn’t it interesting that the Government’s jobs initiative is announced around the same time as the ESRI makes some recommendations on REALLY getting to grips with the financial and budgetary crisis?
The ESRI wants an even bigger budgetary adjustment than the four-year €15 billion package the Government is implementing. Central to this, it states, should be public sector pay cuts. It says the State’s capital spending cannot be justified and illustrates Metro North as an example of a project that is poorly planned and budgeted and is ripe for cutting. It says that the McCarthy report on the State’s assets provides all the material any Government needs to make choices on what to sell off and what to retain. There is no reason for further reviews.
Brushing off the cobwebs
It, further, believes consumers are now brushing the cobwebs off their wallets and spending will begin to rise – despite higher taxes, higher interest rates and higher unemployment.
The Government has come out and effectively dismissed these suggestions, along with the Unions and other vested interests. Yet everyone knows that these adjustments are going to have to happen. Isn’t it better for the Government to be decisive now and provide brave leadership?