Brian Cody and the Irish Exchequer Returns

3rd of September 2014 

Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody is an exemplar of a person who tries to get the very best out of every man on his team. His team’s overall performance may result in a win but Brian will notice, and deal with, any player who may have underperformed. That’s how he keeps winning. It’s the attention to detail.

That’s how it is in business. Successful business people keep an eye on the top line, the bottom line and every other line. When there’s a problem it’s dealt with, and quickly.

Yesterday’s much better than expected Exchequer returns would suggest that Team Ireland is back on a winning way, the rise, as some have dubbed it, of the Celtic Phoenix. But the ISME selectors want to shout an urgent word of caution from the sideline. Not given due prominence in all the commentary is that this country still ran a deficit of over €6 billion in the first eight months of 2014, and that’s just to keep the country going. That does not sound like a country that is ready for first team action to us?

According to Davy Stockbroker commentary, “The underlying picture is also positive, with income taxes and VAT ahead of expectations. Despite continued spending pressures in Health, the government looks set to easily beat the 4.8% deficit target for this year.”

Did we just spot one of those underperforming players, the one called ‘Pressures in Health’. According to yesterday’s figures the Dept. of Health is still out of control with an overspend to date this year of €353m. That department still needs a good dose of Cody TLC.

God knows this country, and business, could do with some positive news, and there’s no doubt that things are getting better. But let’s not lose the run of ourselves. Government needs to keep cutting back on spending. We need a statement from government that its aim, in the medium to long term, is to run a lean operation, to run a zero budget deficit. No more bloated departments with pay rates that are completely out of whack with the rest of the world. Fudges at Irish Rail, talk of wage cuts being reversed and even the possibility of a new Government jet being mooted means that those who live in left-wing lala land – they haven’t gone away you know.

The only way to keep winning, and to get the unemployed off the bench and back to work as soon as possible, is to keep government mean and lean, cut business taxes and let our SMEs perform on the field of business.