Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.07 4 Feb 2020


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Eamon Ryan has said the State needs more civil servants to make the major changes being proposed by the Green Party and others ahead of the general election.

The Green Party leader and Dublin Bay South candidate was speaking on The Pat Kenny Show ahead of the election on Saturday.

His party's manifesto is pledging major investment in areas such as public housing and public transport, as well as a range of climate policies.

Mr Ryan cited recent comments by IBEC head Danny McCoy, who suggested it may be time to expand the role of the State further given the fast growth of corporate Ireland.

Mr McCoy argued that it is possible that the State is now "proportionately too small".

Eamon Ryan today pointed to housing in particular - saying the market won't deliver on the need that's out there.

He explained: "You need civil servants to manage this - I've seen it myself.

"I was in the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources... [That department] has huge responsibility... There were 250 civil servants: I think that's a fraction of what we need.

"We do need additional civil servants to make sure the transition and leap we're about to make is done in the most efficient manner."

Mr Ryan added: "They have to be accountable and productive.

"I think to a certain extent one of the ways you do that is we have to give them room to make mistakes or to do trial & error... not just to be conservative and box-ticking bureaucracy to cover your ass... rather than being innovative and inventive.

"We need a creative civil service - and that's one of the lessons I've learned from government that I'd like to bring into the next one if I can."

Mr Ryan reiterated his belief his party could win up to 15 seats in the election, and that his party would be willing to work with all parties in order to form a government.


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