For the sake of the people facing searing debt I hope the proposals the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources mentioned last weekend come to fruition. However, people will excuse me for expressing a certain amount of scepticism about that particular statement because it bears closer scrutiny. It refers to the setting up of an expert group, presumably to come together and bring forward recommendations.
The Minister used the term “rolling recommendations”, whatever they are, in respect of what would be done to address this problem. First, it is an expert group set up to make recommendations. From what one can see, it not a group set up to do anything, although perhaps I can be corrected on that if I am wrong. Second, the expert group is not to be set up imminently. It will be set up within weeks.
Senator O’Toole has said, “Fair play to the Greens if they make it happen”, but there is no particular evidence that anything will be made happen from this statement. There is simply a statement of intent to have a group of people come together to discuss it and make recommendations. That is very different from the concrete proposals that have been brought forward, including proposals by Labour, in respect of addressing this very serious and urgent issue.