Planning the State’s financial recovery


Sir, – Patrick Honohan’s article “State must deploy full financial strength to ensure recovery” (July 11th) is an excellent opinion piece which is fairly summarised in the final sentence: “Ireland can afford the fiscal measures necessary to reposition the economy, but the task will require care and skill”.

However, a central paragraph highlights the practical challenge: “. . . public funds should not be wasted in financial assistance to firms that have no realistic post-pandemic business model; such payments will end up benefiting creditors and landlords rather than the firms themselves. The merits of appeals from business will need to be scrutinised closely”. Therein lies the problem of his recommendations. Where in the Civil Service reside the skills to analyse which companies should receive financial support and which should not?

Senior Civil Service staff will not be making these crucial decisions and front-line staff do not possess the analytical skills and experience to make the necessary decisions.

They apply rules and regulations handed down to them, apply a “tick the box” process which defends them against pressure from the applicants and sometimes their local TDs.

Sorry, Mr Honohan, I applaud your ideas but not your practical recommendations! – Yours, etc,


Blackrock, Co Dublin.