Celtic Tiger on a hiding to nothing

Bertie Ahern’s performance in the Dail yesterday clearly demonstrates that he has no idea what he’s talking about.

He expressed surprise that the Office of Corporate Enforcement would need 20 extra staff to the 35 it already employs. He seems to be ignorant of the fact that corruption in Irish corporate life is practically endemic.

The very fact that ODCE is looking for extra staff so that it can take action in more than 500, mostly criminal cases, should be a strong indicator that something is seriously wrong. He said ODCE would have to wait its turn because the priority was to appoint more labour inspectors.

He seems to be ignorant of the fact that these labour inspectors were promised over three years ago in response to the Gama case.

During this case, which involved slave labour and the unauthorised ‘transfer’ by Gama management of €30 million of workers pay to a secret bank account in Holland, it was found that there were only 21 badly trained and for the most part legally powerless labour inspectors to watch out for the rights of nearly 2 million workers.

He seems to be ignorant of how embarrassing it is, that one on the wealthiest countries in the world cannot appoint sufficient staff to ensure workers are not exploited.

He seems to be ignorant of the fact that if rampant corruption in the corporate sector is not properly dealt with then the Celtic Tiger is on a hiding to nothing.