I withdraw the remark and apologise. I do not understand how I am supposed to quibble about figures if I cannot make disparaging remarks. I would find their conclusions difficult to accept. In fact, they identified some abuse in the building industry. The extraordinary fact is that the immediate response from the trade union movement was to call for legislation to deal with the abuse by way of abolishing what is known as the lump system whereby sub-contractors get away with enormous amounts of fiddling of various things. The silence from both Government and industry in the face of that demand was eloquent in itself. So perhaps somebody else is doing better out of this abuse than those who are usually blamed for it, that is, the employees and those at the bottom of the heap.
The realities of welfare should be spelled out yet again, because there is a considerable preoccupation with the high levels of welfare, with people recently unemployed who have a substantial amount of social insurance behind them and who qualify for the maximum level of pay-related social insurance. A man with two children, recently unemployed and with full social insurance can claim about £120 per week on his initial unemployment benefit. What is not so well known is that in the case of a married man with two children, when his social insurance runs out and his pay-related runs out — as run out it will in the sort of environment we are promised of long standing high levels of unemployment — we expect him to support his family on £57 per week. I find that, when the anomolies in social welfare are identified, it is the minority who are doing very well in the short-term we hear about, as distinct from the majority who are doing very badly in the long-term and who are entirely ignored. If there are to be adjustments within welfare perhaps there is a case for a scaled level of increases, so that those at the bottom will do better, and those at the top will do less well, and that is the only sort of adjustment in welfare I would countenance.
We have the other extraordinary consequence of a Bill that went through this House about six or eight months ago, that is, the private rented dwellings legislation. We have had recent court findings which have raised rents from £1.80 a week to £59 a week. We have agreed in this House that people who are subject to those sorts of rent increases will get substantial subsidies from the State but, of course, the tenants will not get them; the landlords will get them. What we are doing is giving a substantial hand-out to a landlord in order to enable a tenant to live in private rented accommodation. The shocking contrast is that, in the area of supplementary welfare, on which large numbers of young unemployed people are dependent, the maximum rent allowance payable under the supplementary welfare code is the same as it was seven years ago when the Bill was introduced. It is £5 per week. The maximum when the Bill was introduced was £5 per week, when an average rent of an average flat would have been about £4, £5 or £6 per week. The average rent for a single bed-sitter in any big city or town is now of the order of £15 to £20 per week, and we still give people a maximum rent allowance of £5 per week.
I wonder is it that when we have a constitutional provision to protect private property we must legislate accordingly and transfer a substantial and generous subsidy to the owners of that private property. When we do not have a constitutional provision to protect those who are really at the bottom of the heap — and in this area I am talking about the single unemployed — we leave them with what was a pittance when it was introduced and which is even more pitiful now. The extraordinary excuse which is sometimes given when people talk about welfare abuse is that there is widespread public concern about the problem and, therefore, we must be seen to be doing something about it.
The first thing you do when there is widespread public concern is to attempt to allay public concern, and one way of doing that is by indicating to people that the problem does not exist. There is equally widespread public concern that large sections of our society do not pay their taxes and that large sections of our society get away with murder. Those who quite happily latch on to the anti-welfare prejudice would be the first to announce in the same breath that all those other people are not getting away with tax evasion, even though they would insist to us that they know, because everybody knows, there is welfare abuse, but everybody who knows about welfare abuse apparently does not know about tax evasion and is wrong there. The same political leaders will courageously lead us to understand that there are no untapped sources of taxation, public opinion to the contrary notwithstanding but, at the same time, will quite happily indulge in widespread prejudice and hostility to the poor and to poverty in terms of the criticism of welfare abuse. It is wrong, it is unjust, and in many cases it is unworthy of those who often articulate those views.
There are real anomalies in the welfare system which are not talked about. There is widespread discrimination against women, and particularly against married women, which we quietly and casually ignore and when we are finally dragged screaming into the late twentieth century by the European Commission we will then all of us, predominantly male, stand up and take credit for our progressive views on the area of women and social welfare. That needs to be tackled. It is not an anomaly that business, industry or prominant politicians of the major parties ever get around to talking about.
There is the extraordinarily low basic rates which nobody ever talks about. People identify the high-flown maximum rates. The low rates of the unmarried mother's allowance, of the deserted wife's allowance, of widow's allowance — the areas where most of us talk eloquently about the sanctity of family life are the areas in which we are least willing to make any attack and where we, happily and quite apparently without much concern for the sufferings of the people involved, indulge in prejudice about the level of welfare payments involved.
If you are homeless — and my concern and commitment to homelessness is fairly well known — you do not qualify. You must have an address and if you have an address you are not homeless: therefore we do not have any homeless claiming social welfare. If we do not have any homeless claiming social welfare, then we can say there is no problem. I do not know what the thinking behind this is, but I have met people in the streets of Cork who asked me if I would say they were staying in the Simon Community night shelter because they had been told they would not get their social welfare if they could not say where they were staying. I said yes and I happily admit on the altar of Parliament that I have deceived the social welfare system on more than one occasion by giving the address of the Simon Community for people who were not staying there because I was not going to have their penury and their total starvation on my conscience for the rest of the weekend. I make no apologies for it. It is a totally ridiculous, pointless bureaucratic regulation which is based on the assumption of the old poor law system that people who are homeless are locked up because they are guilty of a crime, because it is a crime to be homeless and to be wandering abroad without visible means of support and therefore you do not give them welfare because you might encourage them to be homeless.
There is the complicated, irrational, inconsistent rigmarole of means testing where to qualify for various benefits people have to undergo various means tests, and this seems unfair. The articulate middle classes, who are now more and more screaming for means tests with their lobbies from industry and from the major banking organisations supporting them in considerable numbers, would not like to be subjected to the means tests which are imposed on some people. We have demands for more means tests. It is not right. It is cruel and unfair and does not reflect well on our prospects for holding a cohesive society together under the stresses that we will endure in the next four or five years.
The social welfare appeals system is in a dreadful state of disarray. It has been for years. One of the most trenchant comments and criticism I heard against the last Coalition Government was that when they had a problem of short-term social welfare abuse they proposed to tax short-term social welfare but when they had a problem about social welfare appeals which everybody had codified they set up a commission to investigate. That, as far as I am concerned, defines the relative priorities of the two areas. The social welfare appeals system humiliates the appellant and gives enormous and unfair discretion to those who are responsible for taking those appeals.
With regard to unemployment assistance and unemployment benefit there is the extraordinary provision that the recipient must be available for work. It is work that is not available, not the people who should be working. The unemployed should begin to reverse this and say that they will subject themselves to all these humiliations, controls and repressions when work is available and that until such time as work becomes available they expect to be treated properly. Our young people, to whom everyone gives such allegiance and about whom they indulge in such craw-thumping, are entitled to expect better than the insistence that they must sign on once or twice a week and that if they are involved in educational schemes, in voluntary work or anything else, they are liable, depending on the willingness of the local social welfare managers to turn a blind eye, to have their unemployment assistance withdrawn because they are not available for work.
Apparently the fact that work is not available does not make you unavailable for work; the fact that there is no work is irrelevant to the thinking that if you do not sign on there might be work and you are not available. Could we not wait until somebody turns down a job before we determine him to be unavailable for work? I would go much further. I would suggest that any young person unemployed for more than three months should be sent his unemployment assistance cheque through the post and told to keep that and to do what he can for the rest of the week because he will do a heck of a lot better on his own than being subjected to a means test and our attempts to pretend that we have work when we know bloody well we do not.
A previous speaker mentioned that all sorts of interests would be consulted. Has anybody yet devised a means by which unemployed will be consulted about unemployment or the old will be consulted about what it is like to be old on an average income of £43 a week, or all the other groups be consulted? We will end up consulting the experts who claim to know what these people are thinking, not the people. We need a drastic fundamental review of how we approach the problem of social deprivation. The first and fundamental platform of that must be that everything will be aimed towards allowing those who are most in need to say what they need rather than have it said for them by well-intentioned people, myself included, who have never really been poor and do not understand what it is like to be poor or to face the prospect of long-term unemployment.
I am glad that Senator Bulbulia mentioned the fact that we have always talked about unemployment as a problem in an abstract sense. Unemployment is 170,000 individual people suffering humiliation consistently through the insensitive remarks of politicians and through the insensitive coverage of the media. There are very few people who are unemployed who do not want to work. There are many people unemployed who want to work and there are very few jobs going around. As Kieran Kennedy of the Economic and Social Research Institute said on one occasion, there is no point in any of us latching on to the fear of the present generation and starting to blame unemployment on the unemployed. It will not work. They will not go away and you will simply create yet another layer of alienation and apathy in our society.
Since we are talking on the Appropriation Bill I must make reference to our national broadcasting service. Senator Ross and I are the only two politicians in either House who have put our names on the record and said that we believe that Radio Telefís Éireann is entitled to a substantial licence fee increase. That motion has been on the Order Paper in this House for the past six months. I put my name to that motion because I believe in public service broadcasting, because I believe public service broadcasting is the least susceptible to blackmail from interest groups and from lobbyists and pressure groups and that you can expect a cohesive and intelligent reportage of problems. It is, therefore, aggravating and infuriating to listen to the biased, one-sided and loaded news reporting of RTE in the area of unemployment, welfare and alleged welfare abuse. Every single report from an industrialist, from the Confederation of Irish Industry, from the Federated Union of Employers or from any other group has been reported in detail and faithfully by RTE, which is their duty. They would be derogating their duty if they did not do it but every attempt that I am aware of, my own and others, to restore the balance to proper order has been ignored by RTE. If you were to listen to RTE's news coverage on the area of poverty and social deprivation you would think the only problem was the problem of an excessively generous welfare State being abused by a bunch of scroungers. There is another side and RTE have failed miserably in their national duty to represent that other side, which is the interest of one million people in this country. It shows a serious lack of judgment on the part of RTE which is probably reflected in the fact that they have no special correspondents in these areas, apparently because of their own impoverishment. Indeed, the only poverty that you can rely on RTE to report diligently and in detail is their own poverty. Whenever somebody in RTE makes a speech about their impoverished circumstances you can rest assured, although all of us know already their position, that that will be reported in great detail and in technicolour if possible.
I want to talk very briefly about education. A painful contrast which struck me as I was conducting the canvass in the election probably is the cause of all the long speeches we are hearing today in this House. As I move from the university sector to the technological sector, both of which we are told have a major and equal contribution to make to future industrial development, the contrast in physical conditions, working environment, maintenance and support is painful and hurtful, particularly to somebody like myself who works in the technological sector. There is no comparison between the relative luxury of either Trinity College or University College and the appalling conditions of the Bolton Street College of Technology here. There is no comparison in my own city of Cork between the conditions in some of the newer parts of the university and the equally new RTC. A gross and inequitable definition of what has been an acceptable minimum standard gives much higher minimum standards to the university sector than to the other third level sectors. That is not just or right and it is not the way to persuade young people that they will have equal opportunities in the future by going to the technological sector. They are entitled to the same standards, the same environment and the same quality of service, but these do not exist for them. The quality of teaching is excellent, but the physical environment in our non-university third level sector is in many cases nothing short of appalling and standards are accepted there that would not be tolerated anywhere else.
On going through the Appropriation Bill I was struck by the escalating cost of our prison service. It is well up into the £40 million figure now. I do not know what we hope to do with our prisons. Nobody knows, because we have no philosophy. We have no studies. We do not even allow researchers into our prisons. Apparently we have decided that not only are the Provisional IRA, the INLA and so on subversives but anybody who takes a passionate and concerned interest in the welfare of criminals is also a subversive, so much so that even at a time of stringency in public funds we can still afford to have a car full of Special Branch men permanently stationed outside the headquarters of the Prisoners' Rights Organisation in Buckingham Street, Dublin, to make sure that nobody goes in there who has not been in before without being identified, photographed and added into the records. That is a fact, although that organisation has no connection with violence or subversion; but people in certain Government Departments do not like them and certain Ministers at various stages have questioned them and, therefore, it is necessary to keep a watchful eye on them. Therefore we have police officers employed fulltime every night of the week sitting outside there, stopping people going in if they do not know them and stopping them coming out to ask them, "Do you realise that you are involving yourself with that —"so-called"— subversive organisation?" That organisation, far from being subversive, are a courageous organ for social reform, committing themselves to the welfare and support of a group whom alone among all the marginal groups in our society the Pope identified to the Irish Hierarchy as being in need of succour and support. Our response to the community regarding the attempt of that organisation to campaign for reform of prison conditions is to set a certain section of the police force on to them. In passing while talking about that I would like to make reference to my friends in the Friends of the Earth in Cork and in the CND who have also had polite but occasional visits from the intelligence and security section of the Garda Síochána. If we have so many surplus people occasional pieces of information of interest to the State are to be got from those organisations, but I doubt very much if we can afford such a level of surveillance on harmless organisations such as those when the public finances are in a mess.
The most painful contrast is that we spend somewhere around £50 million on prisons and about £4 million on special schools. I know the special schools are not concerned with criminal reform but with mental handicap, but the figures for various levels and types of priorities of expenditure contrast painfully. In the area of prisons, apart from suggesting that the Government call off their eternal surveillance over the Prisoners' Rights Organisation and devote it to drug pushers, bank robbers or people who threaten seriously the security of the State in similar ways, I suggest that somebody should now make a fundamental appraisal of (a) what our prisons are supposed to do, (b) whether they do it properly and (c) proposals about what we will do in the future. This is not to minimise the problem of crime, but it is dishonest of politicians to pretend that if we build more prisons or recruit more gardaí or a bigger Army we will stop the crime problem. The crime problem is a phenomenon of every western society. Crime has grown in every western society. I am not sure that we have a simple solution to it other than to restore some of the values which the growth in our society has threatened.
The Appropriation Bill contains some extraordinary things. I did not realise that the cost of rates relief for agricultural land was almost £90 million. That is an astonishingly large figure, another subsidy yet to an area of our productive environment which has, to say the least, not performed as well as it should. We have heard much eloquence here today about agriculture. Some people from farming backgrounds will take great exception to those of us from the cities talking about farming, but I regard farming and agriculture as a fundamental industry on which the future prosperity of all of us depends. Therefore, if the farming community had it easy in the past in terms of what city people said about them, it will not be so in the future because the future of each of us depends on how agriculture is organised. In all these areas of supports, grants and subsidies to agriculture somebody will have to ask if there is a return on that investment or whether it is a fact that if somebody else was working the same land as well as the person who is doing it now such person could (a) pay taxes, (b) maintain the present level of rates. Every other form of productive capacity pays rates and I do not see why agricultural land should be an exception. Could such a person run it in such a way as to be able to pay a fair share of taxation and still produce more than is currently being produced? The evidence now seems to be overwhelmingly on one side.
Our defence expenditure continues to shoot up. We spend roughly 1.5 per cent of our GNP — in fact almost 2 per cent — on defence, an amount of £204 million. I would like to know how that figure is arrived at and how somebody decided that we need 14,000 full-time soldiers plus an alleged 20,000 part-time soldiers to protect us from bank robbers and other violent elements. On what basis? Is it a tug-o'-war between the Department of Finance on the one hand and the senior brass in the Army on the other hand when finally tension reaches a certain point and we agree on a figure? Has an audit of the effectiveness of the security forces, of the form of their expenditure and so on ever been carried out? I know that the Minister of State will not say too much regarding this area because he has too many members of the Defence Forces in his constituency to agree with me. It is up to all of us to look at this. Japan spends in proportionate terms about one-third of what we spend on defence. Why do we need it? Can we get away from the glamorisation of armies? There are people in our society who take far greater risks to defend the community and who get far less of the glamour and notice. One instance are the Garda who protect us constantly and daily without arms from all sorts of threats, yet they have not the same glamorous role as the Army have. When the Garda become involved in major training exercises we do not have the full ranks of the media, cameras and all, there to identify who won the toy soldiers competition.
Our fire services take risks on our behalf and are rarely noticed. When the Army get involved in man-sized war games in one or other of their training grounds, we have cameras, photographers, journalists and the whole paraphernalia of toy soldiers yet again. Are the Army there to reassure male politicians that they really are in charge or are they there to do a job? If the job is there to be done will somebody (a) tell me what the job is and (b) tell us why it costs that much. I do not understand why it costs three times as much to defend this country as it does to defend Japan, a large industrialised and highly complex society.
I said here when we discussed the Joint Committee on Co-operation with Developing Countries that that was a catch-all, an easy out and a number of other things. I was misinterpreted at the time. Of course, it is right that we should be concerned about developing countries. Of course it is right to be concerned about their welfare and that we should have a committee to discuss it.
A committee to discuss co-operation with developing countries is incorrectly named, when the facts are that developing countries far from developing are in fact going backwards and that the gap is getting bigger. Whatever about our recession their recession is a million times worse. They are the poor countries, deprived countries and, at the end of it all, they are oppressed countries. Of course it is right that we should increase our development aid. It should be increased irrespective of the state of the recession at home because we are immeasurably more prosperous than they are.
Unless we tackle other problems like the fact that we are living in many cases off cheap raw materials based upon unfair and unjust terms of trade between ourselves and the poor countries, unless we are prepared to face up to the fact that in certain areas some of our traditional industries will never again be able to compete with Third World countries, unless we are facing up to those sort of problems which will cost us a vastly greater sum of money than the £35 million or £40 million that we ought to be giving if we are to meet our development target, unless we face up to those problems, we are not really sincere. We are standing in the rich man's club looking out at the poor man's club and saying, "Yes, we think it is terrible. We hope you will be able to climb up here but we are not throwing you down the ladder.".
Ultimately, as everybody has said here, the problem that the country faces is twofold, the problem of public finances and the problem of economic growth of a form, in a fashion and under such a structure that it will generate employment. All of those caveats must be entered into. In regard to the first matter, the problem of public finance, I have already said that I believe we can achieve substantial savings in the area of defence, far beyond what, so far, has been articulated from either Government or alternative Government.
I have to make the rather pained remark that whenever I hear people talking about the necessity to take courageous decisions what they mean are decisions that will crucify the poor. They are the courageous decisions that people talk about. Taking courage seems to me more and more to mean having the ability and the willingness to face up to the fact that we can do nothing more for the poor for the next five years. That is not the sort of courageous decision making that I have in mind.
I believe we could save substantially. I believe that any further concessions in agricultural rates should be forgotten about and, indeed, agricultural rates should be installed. Industrialists have a great habit of demanding that people who can afford to pay for a service should expect to pay for it. Since industrialists are the major beneficiaries of most of what the Industrial Training Authority do I suggest that a substantial levy on industry would pay for that particular body and save about £40 million.
We charge far less than the economic charge for installing a telephone. I suggest, again, that we could forget about that particular subsidy which is a subsidy to those who are relatively well off. First of all, you must have a home before you have a phone and that is a reasonable start in life. Secondly, if you cannot afford to pay it then you can wait till you can and you will not suffer that much, particularly if we develop a reasonably comprehensive public telephone service. I gather that would save between £40 million and £60 million a year.
They are a few suggestions. I do not think they are the ones that will happen, but they are areas, which, if we are really to talk about a comprehensive review of public expenditure and, by comprehensive, I mean every area we could look at. As well as that, I hope there will be a commitment to real legislative reform which will tackle real, difficult problems and not just easy targets. I am thinking, for instance, about criminal law and the proposals to revise criminal law.
I am very nervous about the highly politicised campaign by the Garda Síochána in favour of changes in criminal law. I do not like it and I find it distasteful, but they are citizens of a free society and I would be the last to prevent them from engaging in this campaign. I wish their judgment was better, that they did not get involved in it and that they relied on their own capacity to influence Governments in this direction through the Department of Justice. They are there and they are talking about it. Our Governments would want to look very carefully at Northern Ireland and look at the most recent consequences in the Northern election, of what happens when you impose an unacceptable security force with an enormous amount of power on a community that do not trust them and do not accept them.
It is only in the last three or four weeks that an Assistant Garda Commissioner said that in substantial areas of our large cities the Garda are no longer acceptable agents of law enforcement. I said it a long time ago but nobody would particularly believe me. The Assistant Commissioner of the Garda Síochána has now said it. If that is the case and we are to persist and give the Garda further powers I do not know where those powers will be used because in most of the areas of criminal activity at present, for instance in the whole area of drug abuse and all the drug peddling and all the other horrible sick manifestations of our slightly sick society, the Garda have ample powers to search people, to arrest people on suspicion and so forth.
In the whole area of subversive crime we have the all-embracing and terrifying Offences Against the State Act. I am worried that these extra powers will not be used against organised crime or subversive crime but will be used against the restless, apathetic, unemployed and alienated young people in the communities which the Garda themselves have stated do not accept the Garda. That is a major step down the road to what has happened in Northern Ireland where one-third of the Catholic population voted for a party which publicly and unashamedly espouse the use of terrorist violence to achieve political ends. I am warning people here — I have warned them before — that this simplistic attitude to the criminal law revision will not produce the result. It will not minimise our crime rate. In my view it will do exactly the opposite, it will make our crime rate worse.
In this area of the future and what we are going to do politicians who quibble with the welfare state and talk about the disincentive to work will want to take another look at the contrast between the western European social democracies and the United States. We have developed welfare services and welfare states in all of these countries. We have a lower crime rate than the United States. We have a higher level of community involvement in politics, higher levels of participation in politics.
It may make life a bit uncomfortable for politicians but it preserves the cohesion, the unity and the common purpose of a society. In the United States in the last mid-term election about three months ago less than 40 per cent of the population voted. In Western Germany a couple of days ago in state elections for one state, Hamburg, 84 per cent of the population voted. That to my mind, contrasts the sort of participation, involvement and concern in the running of the country between one country, which is a comprehensive, supportive and cohesive welfare state, which leaves very few people outside of the sense of community and another country which relies largely on individual enterprise and individual effort.
We should tread very carefully if we begin to dismantle the welfare state however difficult the financial circumstances. The consequences for our society could be dangerous in the extreme in terms of the collapse of any sense of social cohesion, I warn our politicians about that, myself included. As well, somebody has to face up to the future problem of production in this country or in any country in the western democracies. If there ever is a return to growth in the western economies then there seems to be an almost naive faith, if not a slightly religious hope that somehow or other when this happens massive numbers of new jobs will be created. The evidence is entirely in the opposite direction. If there is an increase in demand for the products of manufacturing industry the investment will not be in labour, it will be in new technology. It will be a micro-technology and it will create enormous automated industrial sectors producing all the goods we want but with minimal increases in the labour force.
That is the reality of the future. Therefore there will not be employment within manufacturing industry and if we try to insist on employment within manufacturing industry what we will get is inefficient industry, uncompetitive industry and industry which will not prosper in a world of new technology. That poses a number of problems, the first of which is that if industry employs very few people then the real worth of industry is in the creation of wealth. It is what you do with the wealth so created that will determine the future of our society. That is where the whole reliance on foreign investment based on minimal tax rates will have to be reappraised because if these tax concessions do not generate employment and if they create enormous amounts of wealth which are exported out of the country, then what good are they to us? They are giving us nothing if they are not generating employment.
There was an argument for foreign investment when it generated good secure employment. If the future is to be that of large industries on the scale of some of the big multinationals that will probably not employ more than ten or 20 people, then is that really the way to use our limited resources of capital and labour incentives as well? The plan produced by the previous GovernmentThe Way Forward was not as bad a document as many people said it was. Both Governments have contributed something to the sense of reality and almost gloom which now prevails in our society but neither of them have faced up to the fact that the present structure in manufacturing industry and the tendency of manufacturing industry will be to shed labour and not to increase the labour force when the day of the new era of growth finally dawns. Instead, investment will be in micro-technology to replace not just one or ten but often hundreds of people almost overnight. The pace of change in this area is frightening. Old-fashioned ideas based on nineteenth-century models of economic growth just will not work.
That is why I think the left in our society are often very naîve. They are very good at propounding new ideas for production, most of which I agree with, but they are not nearly as good at identifying where we will sell the products we produce. Therefore I think there is a need for an aggressive State marketing organisation, not just engaging in the sort of work that Córas Tráchtála do, but identifying new markets and being substantially funded to research new markets and new products. The reason why I say "State-funded" is that I believe the future will have to see a partnership of State and private enterprise in which the wealth created by productive manufacturing industry will be redistributed in the community to guarantee the sort of social cohesion we need.
Because there is so much at stake, so much that we need to do and so much more that we have to hope for, and because we have so much tension, leadership is what will count. But we must have leadership which is not based on responding to popular prejudice or suggesting that there are simple solutions and that really we can get everybody to work if we abolish the so-called disincentives to work, which are now part of the mythology, unfortunately, of both our major parties — the mythology of competiveness based on the assumption that wage costs alone are causing the problem in selling Irish produce when we know that many of the multinational companies in this country are still experiencing high levels of growth while paying Irish levels of wages, particularly in the electronic area. Irish wages are not by any means the major problem or the exclusive problem. A large part of the problem is the ineptitude, inadequacy and mismanagement of the native private sector. That is the problem that has to be tackled and it will not be tackled by giving them more money to do the same. It will be tackled by giving them money to learn to operate in the late twentieth century in a western democracy in a highly technological society and not hankering back to the day when everything was easy and simple and when there were controlled markets which were easy to deal with.
At the end of it all it will be leadership that will determine how this country will develop. That leadership will have to be based, not on simplistic analyses of society but on the reality that manufacturing industry will not in the future generate massive numbers of jobs, though it may hopefully generate massive amounts of wealth. Therefore, it is almost a contradiction to talk about manufacturing industry in those terms in the future. The reality is that we will have huge dependency ratios in our society for the foreseeable future because of the demographic structure of our society. We will have large numbers of old people who cannot work and large numbers of young people who cannot work and those of us who are in a position to work somewhere or other are going to bear that burden for at least another generation. That is going to mean taxation for everybody, not just for some of us, that is, if we believe in what we claim to believe in, the sanctity of our old people and the family and the right of everybody in our society to a decent living. There is no way we can do that without taking taxes from those of us who pay them and giving them to those who are not in a position to pay taxes. That will require leadership and it will not come from a tax on those at the bottom of the pile, those who are deprived, but it will come from a leadership based on visions of the future and on the visions of our young people. At the end of it all, our young people are the driving force in our society.
It was people less than 30 years of age who produced the impetus which freed this country in the first place. If we had waited for people of the age of wisdom to liberate us from foreign control, we would still be waiting. It takes the dream and the vision and the angry idealism of young people to bring about change. That is the sort of idealism that should be articulated by political leadership if we are to survive for the next four to five years.