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Cowen’s problem with Dermot Ahern?

August 2nd, 2009 · 2 Comments · Equality, Equality Authority, Green Party, Irish Politics

Re-reading the Report of An Bord Snip Nua last week I noted the recommendations to remove several areas of the Equality brief from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to the Department of Enterprise and Employment.

Included in the report are the following:-

  • Reallocate the statutory employment and occupational benefits responsibilities of the Equality Tribunal to the Employment Appeals Tribunal
  • Transfer the disability functions of D/JE&LR to the Office for Mental Health and Disability in the Department of Health & Children [I blogged here about how this is a v. bad idea]
  • Reduce expenditure on the gender mainstreaming [and integration] and transfer the function to the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment
  • Reduce the allocation to equality organisations and projects
  • Reduce the non-pay allocation to civil service offices in this Programme

In total the savings would amount to €7.5 million but if they were acted on the title of the department would breach a trade descriptions act (not that the Minister could be accused of defending the brand of late could he?)

The cuts recommended may not be too upsetting for Minister Dermot Ahern and his Secretary General who have been cutting the brief, kneecapping the related agencies, and butchering funding over the last year but I’m hearing that the Taoiseach has a bit of a pain in the face from Minister Ahern pissing off the Greens in Government.

So maybe the recommendations of Colm McCarthy and friends will help Cowen move the problem and keep John Gormley and co happier?  Of course there is no guarantee that Mary Coughlan would remain in post as Minister for Enterprise and Employment and this is more about the brief then it is about the Minister? Or is it? There are other ministers not happy with the report and it’s impact on their departments and constituencies – Eamon O’Cuiv of course is one of them.

Date of the reshuffle?

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