Driving through the Curragh today it was really rammed home to me how we have no problem (putting better spent elsewhere funds) into a largely useless army, that makes a joke out of our supposedly neutral status. Pompous parades and traffic jams caused by their latest military vehicles which is a regular feature in my part of Kildare, seem to be a most acceptable use of state money.
Of course they serve a function with bomb disposal and national security, but their roles as faraway “peace keepers” can easily be interpreted as armed sunshine breaks with minimal returns for the Irish taxpayer.
The gross allocation in 2012 for Defence and Army Pensions combined is €902m, a figure1 which can only be viewed as offensive in light of the recent €130 million homecare cuts which will cause further havoc to the disabled and elderly who need them.
I am keenly aware of the horror stories which exist, of people falling and lying in their own waste, with no help. To think of those people battling their own bodies and the ugliness that life throws at them on a daily basis. Well I know which war I support.
Its hard to finger point when the HSE budget is €5.23 billion, with 83% being spent on the salaries and pensions of its 102,000 staff.
At least the army have been one of the best public sector agency’s to streamline. They could still do more though. It has been noted that the army cost much less than guards, and i don’t want to be seen to be picking on them, but on the downside there is major expenditure on army pensions. Maybe the HSE and the army aren’t that different afterall. But someone has to speak up for the casualties of misspent money. Last Friday, there was another major hit.
The truth is that no-one is immune to old age or disability. Its only a question of time before it affects everyone. We are all living in fear of being pulverized by economic hit after hit, while there is still so much extravagance and down right over pay in other areas. Hopefully those in the most vulnerable of positions will not carry on being the silent losers in this battle.