Our esteemed Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has stated that “It’s (emigration) not being driven by unemployment at home, it’s being driven by a desire to see another part of the world and live there.” Now pardon my language but I'm really riled up over this. Have you ever heard such bullshit in all your life? Unemployment is 14.5% leaving over 400,000 people (myself included) out of work in this country. And Michael Noonan thinks this has nothing to do with the increase in emigration. Really? If it was all just because of a different lifestyle how come emigration has only risen during the recession? How come people have to leave their partners and children behind? Is that for the lifestyle choice? How come people so desperately want to come home, if they did it for a lifestyle choice?
The hypocrisy of his statement also sickens me. His party tore Mary Coughlan asunder a couple of years ago when she said something similar.
Fine Gael have tried to project themselves as the antithesis of Fianna Fáil. That Fianna Fáil were out of touch with the real world. That Bertie and his cronies were squandering money (which they were). But judging by Noonan's comments Fine Gael haven't a clue what's going on either. It's easy to be on a six figure wage plus expenses and think that all the little people are having a grand old time of it down below. But are we really surprised by the man who, as minister for health, treated the victims of the Hep. C. scandal so cruelly and ruthlessly? Do we really expect that man to feel sorry for us, as we struggle with financial uncertainty? Do you honestly think he cares that you're missing your family and friends? Of course he doesn't because he has never had to worry about meeting his next mortgage payment. He has never had to toss and turn and wonder if he's ever going to get a bloody job. And he knows when his daughters are fed up abroad he can pay for them to return.
Let us eat cake, let our government eat humble pie!