With another significant budget coming down the tracks, and the process of softening up the population for the inevitable through a series of well-planned and well-placed leaks already underway, it's time to question why the Government has failed to make the real tough choices.
We have yet to see any meaningful reform of local authority structures; change in the health service appears to mean nothing more than cuts to frontline services, the Seanad is still in existence, every week brings news of a new Government advisor breaching the agreed pay threshold and even the follow through on decisions made such as amalgamation of VECs, enterprise boards and so on is noticeably absent.
The last Government failed to ever secure any popular support for its policies due to a public belief that it continued to live the life of Reilly whilst it announced cut after cut.
This administration is in danger of failing to learn the lesson of history.
Unless the higher echelons of the public service are streamlined, unless meaningful reform of the health service, and local and central government is not only achieved but seen to be achieved, it will lose any public support for what are going to be immensely difficult decisions on social welfare, health and education cuts.