The programme for Government stated that this Government would stand for a society in which people can feel safe in their communities, businesses and homes. Yesterday, Deputy Crawford uncovered evidence that the former Minister for Health and Children spent €30 million on 145 reports. A sum of €60 million was spent by the former Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government on electronic voting and the Comptroller and Auditor General has reported on how the cost of the roads programme has increased by €8 billion over the period of the programme to date.
Does the Taoiseach understand the sense of frustration on the streets and in homes with petty crime, break-ins and assaults? What does he say to a shop owner in Talbot Street who last year apprehended 150 persons in the process of stealing goods in his premises, all of which went unreported because previous reports were not acted on? What does he say to a family I know in Sutton whose house was cleaned out a month ago? What does he say to an employee of this House whose house was robbed at 3 o'clock in the morning? These are only some of the thousands of incidents of unreported crime.
The Taoiseach as head of Government is bound, under Article 40.3-5 of the Constitution, to ensure the law protects our citizens, their good name, their property and so forth. He has utterly failed to do that. Does he appreciate the level of concern among members of the public? The community has lost confidence in the Garda. The gardaí are not given the resources they need to do their job. The Government has failed abysmally to use the resources of Government and the community to build a society that works and does not have the rash of anti-social behaviour breaking out all over the country every night and every weekend. People have a sense that nobody is in charge and that the abuse of property and people's rights is out of control.
Does the Taoiseach not agree that after eight years in office the Government has failed miserably to address that crisis of confidence? What will he do about it?