With the lead up to the coming budget, many groups are feeling the potential squeeze of anticipated, threatened and ‘mini-budget’ cuts. From the disabled, to the coeliacs, the unemployed and senior citizens, many cuts have been announced with some reversed and some enacted.
The comical situation of the Taoiseach congratulating a minister on reversing a cut that the said minister said he never made brings the issue into focus. The idea of u-turns and climb downs will surely feature over the coming months. Some barmy decisions are being made which will only affect the most vulnerable in society and not those that can afford to pay towards the fiscal mess and chaos that is the Irish financial position.
Doubtless, some of the decisions being made are the cause collective head scratching and puzzlement. The fact that some daft decisions are being reversed is actually a victory for democracy. The ability of those affected to protest at decisions is at the core of a healthy democracy. If it were the case that elections were the only form of democracy engagement for a citizen the democratic status of this country would be eroded.
Governments shouldn’t be wary of moderating or even scrapping decisions when they hear the complaints of those they are representing. They also shouldn’t make a habit of flying kites causing panic. But they should take on board the views of the citizens as that is the true hallmark of representative democracy.