Somehow, I can’t but feel a tinge of schadenfreude at the government’s dilemma as it tries to dig itself out of the hole it has created with the decision to end free medical care for citizens over the age of seventy, only to find itself stymied by the Competition Authority in its attempt to negotiate rates with the Irish Medical Organisation.
I wrote just last Friday about the problems the NUJ had negotiating for freelances because of the self-same Competition Authority.
The government is attempting, with a nod from the Authority, to fudge the issue. There will be no negotiations, but the cabinet will ‘consult’ the IMO.
Meanwhile, the relative invisibility of the minister for finance is becoming more than a little noticeable.
Brian Lenihan put in the obligatory appearance with Pat Kenny the day after, to answer questions, but apart from that, he has not been heard from too often.
This isn’t a new pattern. When the banking crisis peaked a few weeks ago, Willie O’Dea was interviewed more often than the minister for finance.
Why a defence minister should go out to explain deposit guarantees was never made clear. Or questioned.
Could Lenihan’s days in Finance be numbered?