"The Minister [Pat Rabbitte], I think, has done a very good job, and he has come out supporting the industry, in a way that other Ministers haven't in the past. And I think that's to his credit."
The latest figures from Norway show that their Oil Fund (ie the money that the State has accumulated from oil and gas revenue) now stands at US$ 327.5 billion. Given that Norway’s population is 4.6 million people this means that the State has an investment fund equivalent to 52,128.50 euro for each citizen. This Fund is quite apart from the oil and gas revenues annually spent to support Norway’s world class social welfare and health systems.
It is sad and humiliating to recognise that Ireland’s Corrib gas reserves will go to augment this financial resource in Norway. Our government has once again failed to protect the interests of its own citizens. The financial regime governing the oil and gas industry is merely another manifestation of the endemic incompetance and mediocrity of public governance in Ireland.
Norway represents a model for good governance and how a society should function in the interests of its citizens and focused on ensuring the optimum quality of life for all. Perhaps our political leaders should be obliged to spend their summer holidays there for some intensive study! It could be that Brian Boru made a serious mistake!