Monday, August 22, 2011

Bruton kills two birds with quango conundrum

Cllr Anthony Kelly has accused Minister Richard Bruton of trying to kill two birds with one stone by claiming to be reforming the corrupt system of quangos while really moving to weaken hard won protections for the rights of workers. Cllr Kelly said that Wexford Sinn Féin supported getting rid of the many totally unnecessary quangos which exist to provide jobs for the boys, but would have grave concerns that Fine Gael would use public opinion against quangos to eradicate warranted semi state bodies.

Cllr Kelly said;
“Wexford Sinn Féin warmly welcomes commitment from Minister Richard Bruton to deal with the out of control quango culture that has engulfed this nation. There are over a thousand quasi-autonomous national government organisations in this state today. Thousands of people sit on these quangos without any qualifications. Many are there through political patronage, holding a position that was rewarded to them for service to a particular politician or party. Tax payers foot the bill for this whole sorry system.”

“There is obvious need to axe many of these undemocratic bodies. Some do serve a purpose to society however and must be protected. Minister Bruton has proposed amalgamating a number of workers’ rights and equality agencies. If we are serious about protecting workers and about equality, we should ensure that the structures and agencies put in place to protect them are appropriate, robust and properly resourced.”

“I believe that the Minister knows quite well that there are quangos far more deserving of scrutiny than those which protect workers rights. Is it a case that the government have created their own quango conundrum to confuse the general public with and are prepared to use this as a means of weakening workers rights? Why have they not gone after many of the infamous wasteful groups such as the Dublin Docklands Development Authority or used this as an opportunity to amalgamate the many prison visiting committees into one panel? Positions on these visiting committees have been used as political currency for many years.”

“Fine Gael promised to axe one hundred and fifty wasteful quangos before they entered government. It’s now clear that they are going to tip toe around this issue, protecting the many positions of political patronage used for so long to reward supporters while using the issue of reform to wash away the few semi states that actually work for the benefit of citizens.”

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