Letters to the Editor: Government and ECB are running around in circles

The headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: Getty© Getty Images

Letters to the Editor

I read that the European Central Bank will further increase interest rates in a bid to curb inflation. At the time of writing, the Government is still pressing ahead with its intention of reintroducing the excise duty on fuel, thereby adding to inflation.

Am I missing something?

Kieran Burke

Ashbourne, Co Meath

Coalition has run out of ideas for the housing crisis

A recent survey saw a record number of 11,988 homeless people. We also saw that a Red C Poll placed Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien as the worst-performing minister in the Cabinet, scoring 4pc. We also read that the cost of hiring a tradesperson has increased by 20pc, and I then read of a sticking-plaster attempt to create 28,000 homes by giving council house owners €14,000 to rent a room.

They could potentially add a further 40,000 homes by offering property owners in Blackrock €20,000 to rent a room and so on in other areas.

In this manner, they could house all the country’s Ukrainian refugees. But such sticking-plaster solutions are the final gasps of a Government that is bereft of ideas.

The only way that affordable or social housing will be available is for local authorities to build them.

Hugh Duffy

Cleggan, Co Galway

Tánaiste should look closer to home to compare ‘values’

It was almost surreal reading the headline ‘The easy part is laying it on the line for Russia and China, but Tánaiste’s words carry weight’ (Irish Independent, May 3).

Really? The Chinese people can rightly ignore the oration as the efforts of a lightweight politician trying to catch the eye of those who get to divvy out the plum jobs in the various international organisations that abound in the western world. Micheál Martin is clearly focused on life after the next election.

With his claims that China’s “values” are different from ours, one could almost hear the instant response from China, “you bet they are”. And make no mistake, the examples of what our “values” produce will be trotted out for comparison – and it’s not a pretty sight.

Our “values” tolerate 671,183 people living in poverty, of which 188,602 are children; 143,633 of our older people are now living in poverty, an increase of over 55,000 since 2021; and, astonishingly, 133,565 people living in poverty are in employment.

Add to this catalogue of failures the homelessness crisis. And all the while, Ireland is regarded as one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. So if money is not the problem, clearly the values that inform policies must be seriously questionable.

Mr Martin would do well to ponder the sound advice “our own failures disqualify us as judges of other people’s failings”. He should also stop the grandstanding – he is most likely embarrassing more of the population than he thinks.

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathedmond, Co Sligo

World cannot let Sudan be turned into another Ukraine

Sudan has been ravaged by a heartbreaking humanitarian crisis. Millions are left with dwindling food and water supplies, medicines and fuel. Public health services are teetering on the brink of collapse.

A prolonged civil war is unbearable to contemplate as Sudan has strategic value in relation to its geographical position. A breakaway country will be a fertile ground for terrorist organisation, instability and insecurity in Africa and beyond. The world cannot afford another Ukraine in the making.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob


Russian ambassador could learn a thing or two here

Your columnist Ian O ’Doherty asks ‘Should we expel Russian ambassador?’ – Irish Independent, May 3. The simple answer is no – we are not at war with Russia nor are we seeking to be.

While understanding Charlie Flanagan’s comments as chair of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee that it was “beyond time we asked Russian ambassador Yury Filatov and his crew to leave our country”, the upsetting aspect in the embassy’s statement was not its bullyboy remarks of threats and intimidation, but the lack of condolence shown to the family of Finbar Cafferkey, who died in Ukraine last week.

Humanity is sadly lacking in that residence in Orwell Road but perhaps Mr Filatov is not free to say as he might wish. We are so fortunate for brave souls like Finbar Cafferkey who knew right from wrong. We should be so proud of him and his values.

Aidan Roddy

Cabinteely, Dublin 18

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