Reply to passport letter in Irish Times.
Anthony Sheridan (February 7th) laments that our parliamentarians operate a fast-track system for passport applications to do favours for constituents. But the sad reality is that last year they processed only 6,200 applications in total – an average of 27 passports each or 2.5 per month.
Meanwhile, according to radio advertisements, TV licence inspectors carry out 18,000 raids every month and the Automobile Association rescues 16,000 stranded motorists.
Our parliamentarians are paid huge salaries but in terms of productivity and competitiveness, they fall well behind the standards set in the current National Agreement. The passport rescue service should be handed over to an efficient, rapid-response unit like the AA, or a “you-can’t-fool-us” outfit like the TV inspectors.
Our TDs could then focus on really important tasks such as going to funerals, sending out free Christmas cards and flying off on fact-finding missions to far-flung exotic locations. Parliamentary democracy, Irish-style, deserves no less.