Off to Davos

28th January, 2009

Oh dear. My contribution on the order of business today caused a bit of a stir. I posed a number of questions about the discussions in government buildings with the social partners. I wanted to know why the government were only looking for a one year plan with the social partners. If you are looking to turn around a company little alone a country you must have a plan that is over a number of years. Remember next year savings of €4 billion will need to be found and the same the year after. It therefore appears crucial to me that a plan is delivered for at least the next 3 years. The first Plan for National Recovery lasted from 1987 to 1989.

At the end of (what I thought was a pretty substantial point) I questioned why in the name of God the Taoiseach was heading off to Davos. I think he was right to go to Japan a few weeks ago. But if he is looking to rebuild confidence in the Irish economy he would be better off at home.

Any gravitas I had in the eyes of others was promptly lost. The government side retorted about what a silly point that was. As their mirth grew I knew I had struck home. The Leader of the House appeared (though I have to check this) to state that his opinion was the truth. All very worrying stuff. I’ll have to keep going at this point.