Monday, March 9, 2009

Giving David McWilliams ideas....

David McWilliams spent the best part of a decade predicting the collapse of the housing market, and as a result is now being quoted by the same people who used to dismiss him. He's opened a forum for ideas on how we can get out of the miss the government has created for us so I've made a couple of suggestions:

Shut the Aer Corps

The Aer Corps is a waste of taxpayers money:

  1. The Aer Sea rescue mission has already been outsourced
  2. The Gardai have their own Aer Wing
  3. The private sector can provide a dedicated Aer Ambulance service.
  4. The executive transport function has been grotesquely abused. If government ministers need to travel privately then they can rent aircraft for the occasion and charge the costs to the activity concerned. NetJets and other companies would be delighted to have the government as a customer
  5. Baldonnel would make an ideal second airport for Dublin and could be sold to the private sector
  6. The Aer Corps does not have a credible air defence function - the existing Pilatus aircraft do not have the capability to intercept anything other than light aircraft in good weather. Ireland also lacks the political will and chain of command to order a shootdown so why not stop wasting money and buy the Army some SAM capability instead?
Impose Private sector standards on the government

In order to have any credibility when it comes to saving money the government needs to start with itself. It should immediately impose private sector standards on all its own activites. This would mean:.

  1. Executive pay - All cabinet ministers pay to be comparable with those in similar size European countries such as Denmark or Belgium
  2. Expenses - Receipts required for everything - Current practice of gratuitous per diems and allowances for non-existent hotel stays to end
  3. No more extra days off - No more Xmas shopping days for civil servants
  4. Benefit In Kind to be charged at market rates for parking in Dublin, education and canteen facilities
  5. No more junior ministers. The Taniste to be a sitting cabinet member with other ministerial responsibility
  6. Ministerial transport to be subject to benefit in kind if provided on a dailiy basis
  7. The introduction of a defined contribution pension scheme for all public servants and the closure of the current defined benefit scheme to new entrants.
  8. No use of government facilities by politicians for political purposes. No more pre-paid envelopes for political spam
  9. No more use of Aer Corps transportation for matters that do not involve national security

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