AS I SEE IT
You know those warnings about how much longer it takes to stop on a wet road? Right: it takes double the time to pull up, never mind turn round. The Government sometimes suffers seriously from wet road syndrome, they can’t stop until it’s too late to avoid a crash.
Take the current energy crisis. You might think, given the amount of hand wringing over the swingeing rise in family fuel bills, that the Government is powerless to control the increases. Not so. Some of our energy crisis is due to the effects of sanctions against Russia and the war on Ukraine but part of those escalating bills are due to increases which could be curbed here.
How do you explain that some European Governments have set a cap on the price energy providers can charge on the wholesale market whereas ours hasn’t done so? In the case of France, the cap set for their equivalent of the ESB is a 4% rise for this year while in Portugal and Spain gas used to generating electricity is limited to €50 a megawatt hour, a fraction of the price charged for electricity generated by wind power here.
Without a similar cap on the charges for wind generated power here the price is set to increase sevenfold.
What about those handsome profits being accrued by retail energy providers while we will shiver in energy poverty this winter? Bord Gais increased its profits by more than 70% for the first part of this year, while Energia paid a €40m. dividend to its investors. Surely it is time to find a way to hit the brakes on charges for public utilities on behalf of consumers, rather than dig into taxpayers’ pockets for handouts to compensate for greedy providers’ price hikes.
You might wonder why the HSE would think twice on the issue when the NHS took the decision to close down the UK Tavistock gender identity clinic given concerns by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health that patients were being rushed into treatment by unquestioningly affirmative practitioners.
Alarm bells might have sounded too, given that the clinic faces class action on behalf of around a 1,000 families where young people have suffered “life-changing and irreversible effects”. But no, the National Gender Service is set continue referring children to Tavistock until it closes next year. Up to 230 have been referred in the last 10 years.
Several of these children were as young as five and you might question what TDs and Ministers, especially those with children, feel about pre-teen children with gender identity issues being referred for puberty blockers, likely to be followed later by cross sex hormone treatment and surgery like mastectomies for trans boys ( ie. girls who want to gender identify as boys) or castration for trans girls.
The legal age of consent for sex in this country is 17 and the legal age for marriage is 18. Are pre-pubertal children old enough to decide and give informed consent to irreversible treatment which they may later regret and to drugs, which it is now emerging, may damage their cognition and development? Time for a turnaround here by Health Minister Stephen Donnelley and the HSE and a rethink about the way that the trans gender ideology is being pushed in our classrooms and online.
For years, buy-to-rent schemes encouraged by tax breaks were considered a great idea as buyers had nest eggs and renters had roofs over their heads. But then landlords became the bad guys (Sinn Fein were particularly hot on this), were subjected to rent controls and then left the market in droves. The result is a rental famine which has deepened in the last few years. As of August 1 there were only 716 rental properties on Daft.ie for the entire country. Landlords are fleeing the market, with 62% of termination notices issued to tenants because landlords were selling up.
Why? Partly due to taxation and regulations but it’s not difficult to see why when landlords in rent pressure zones are limited to rent increases of 2% when inflation is running at 10%. At the same time, demand for rental accommodation has grown due to the increased population and the fact that young people can’t afford to get a start on the housing ladder.
Ironically the Government are now considering offering landlords incentives to stay in the market in tandem with supports for renters.
Just shows what happens when bad policy isn’t reversed in time.