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Oireachtas Debate on the PPARs system

10.06.2005

Just browsing through the awful shenanigans last evening in the Dail (debate on privae motion regarding PPARS), the delivery and much of the performance was pretty woeful. Still on paper there are a few gems worth reprinting.
Dan Boyle (Green) responding to Martin Cullens claim that "Deputies from Fine Gael and the Labour Party, during their time in Government, aspired to nothing more than mediocrity."
"This side of the House will not take any lectures on mediocrity from a mediocre man. We will not have any lessons on the proper use of public money from someone who, in every Department in which he has served, managed to come up with at least one crisis that kept this House and nation entertained, if not furious."
Finian Mcgrath:
"On the wider issue of the waste of public money, I wish to highlight a number of examples. We learnt a month ago that the Dublin Port tunnel in my area was €200 million over budget and now it is in region of €335 million over budget. The electronic voting system cost taxpayers €52 million. The Government spent €30 million to buy a farm that was valued at €4 million. The Battle of the Boyne site, which could have been bought for €2.7 million, was bought instead by a private business and then sold back to the Office of Public Works 18 months later for €7.8 million. There was the revamping of the courthouse in Cork estimated to cost €6.5 million but which ended up costing the taxpayer the much larger amount of €26.5 million. Some 30 road projects, which were estimated to cost €932 million, have set us back €2.97 billion. Other road projects were 86% over budget."
Liz McManus with an open goal shot at government;
"
The words “shock and awe” gained widespread currency from events in Iraq. They can also be used in this case but in a different context. Shock to describe the amounts of money lost by sheer waste with no value at all to the taxpayer and at the amounts spent with little or no meaningful return or value. Awe, to describe the dearth of results and the failure of so many projects.
"

Tennis anyone?:
Joan Burton
: Does the Minister consider 35 site visits in Dublin to be enough?

Brian Cowen: I did not interrupt what I am sure was a very positive contribution from Deputy Burton.

My personal Favourite;
Noel Dempsey: It is true to say the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General serves different functions for the Government and the Opposition. For the Opposition, it presents an opportunity to jump up and down and start blaming individual Ministers for every flaw in our system. This is all very predictable and petty and proves the square root of nothing.
Joan Burton: Does the Minister even know what the square root is?

Touche

And so it all continued in much the same vein. Childish rants and some well meaning talk about better ministers, better government and that wonderful holy grail of efficiency. Then Ennui comes on to Dunphy this morning and delivers a decidedly underwhelming control of the arguments. The deeply worrying thing for this opposition is the manner in which voter motivation aint happening over the litany of misspends Finian McGrath outlined above.
Government seems set to sit tight and ship the poblem out to Prof. Drumm at the HSE. Parked and out of sight.
RR


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