I looked at a Vincent Browne article in the Village recently about his view of the future and what needs to be done. So here is my views.
6. The planning laws in this country need to change. The climate that created the planning tribunals has not changed much. Much reform needs to be taken. Planers need to be no longer in fear of high rise buildings. Also these rules where councils can specify who can live where need serious debate. I think it is true to say a government has no right to specify where someone can live under EU law but does someone with money from D4 and no link to the area have the right to deny someone from the area from living there just because the D4 person fancies a scenic holiday home for a few days a year.
5. The government needs to fund or restart the Centre of Public Inquiry. The centre is very important and needs to be in place. The management of the centre has to be carefully selected this time to make sure nobody with possible ulterior motives will head it up. The Atlantic Philanthropies had offered to continue funding if Connolly and Fergus Flood resigned the board refused. The government should campaign to bring this back even if it requires the creation of a new agency called Public Inquiry Centre.
4. Help needs to be given to help long term unemployed people gain employment. The situation where people who take up employment lose their housing benefit and then can no longer afford their rent needs to be changed. This acts as a real deterrent to people. What does the government expect people to do? They are not going to do something that is going to adversely effect them.
3. While the health services is improving a lot more needs to be done. We invest more per head in health then the British yet it is not a patch on the NHS. We have amongst the highest paid consultants in the world. Their wages need to be brought in line with the rest of Europe and their private practices need reduced. They should either be fully private or working for the state. The management structures of the hospitals need to be over hauled. Increases in the health budget no longer the main issue.
2. Ireland needs to become more self-sufficient in energy. We can not be continually dependent on foreign imports as much. We need to invest in renewable sources heavily and be less wasteful. We need to build incinerators and the government has to help people recycle and reduce waste. My local recycling centre was taken away how is that promoting recycling. We also have to reduce emissions.
1. The early education system in the country needs to be radically reformed. The reason that many people from disadvantages areas struggle to get the University has got little to do with the university system. It has to do with the fact that at that stage students already do not want to go to collage. This attitude needs to be altered. It happens at the early stages of schooling. More resources are needed at primary level. Not just in school but more importantly in my opinion at homework clubs. Also a new approach to Irish needs to be taken. We can learn from the Welsh example and introduce Irish speaking (not grammar) at an earlier age.