Saturday, April 14, 2007

NUI how to update the register – call the tax man.

Use our PPS/RSI numbers

Most students from Irish 3rd level educational institutions will remember those ever so helpful notices in student administration offices telling us that the local social welfare offices had been informed that we were full time students just in case anyone was the slightest bit tempted to try and sign on for the dole while attending third level. Of course to do so they needed our PPS numbers or RSI number as they were called then. So the college administration have on record the PSS/RSI numbers of all students who attended and this in turn means that they have the PPS/RSI numbers of all graduates. That is one side of the problem solved, identifying who can vote.

Now who could possible know where most of these people if they still live in Ireland might be? Why the tax man of course! The revenue has the current address of all taxpayers in the state. Now if the colleges to send on those PPS numbers of graduates to the revenue naturally with the money to cover the cost of one envelope per voter containing a registration form and a prepaid envelope address. Then the revenue could send same to all those PPS/RSI holders they have on record without any concern about a breach of confidentiality. That solves the other side, identifying where people live.

Combine this with automatic registration at graduate ceremonies and we could expect to have an accurate and up to date register instead of the poor condition it is right now. Such measures would increase the registration level from pitiful 30/40% to closer to 90% in my view.

All the information is there in the system it is simply a matter of making best use of it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Health Service "Employers" - who day?

I'm often struck by the manipulation of language in modern life. During the current dispute with the nurses, that odd grouping the Health Service Employers have been on the box every once and a while.

Now none of these so called Health Service Employers are actually employers in the real sense of the word. They are more like glorified junior vice presidents. It is the state that pays the salaries for the doctors, nurses and other staff at the hospitals. Whatever boards of management may be left over from the days when the nuns or whoever ran the hospitals aren't involved in employing the staff. We employ those working in the health service and we appoint a government every once in a while to run it on our behalf.

Also on the nurses dispute you'd swear from the HSE that there had never been a operation or procedure cancelled or delayed prior to the nurses dispute starting. Thing again strangely the INO isn't saying much about that either.