It’s a budget that Fr Jack would be proud of. If Carlsberg could do budgets they’d do this one! Drink prices hit the floor, the millionaire’s G&T drop in price as VAT & excise duty are reduced. The bill is picked up by the public servants and those on social welfare.
I debated the budget in South East Radio with Michael Wall (SIPTU), Michael O’Leary (a local financial services expert) & Cllr Michael Sheehan of Fianna Fail just hours after the speech. Dan Walsh did the needful and chaired the debate. Every year South East Radio has a budget debate and this is the second time I’ve done it. It’s an example of public service broadcasting that you don’t often hear in local radio. The response from the listeners was hugely critical of the budget, and I’m not surprised. As a budget, I must say that I’m still in shock. I’m shocked that Fianna Fail could walk all over vast swathes of people to appease the bankers, builders & IBEC so blatantly. If Labour tried a fraction of what FF & the greens pushed through there would be a schism.!
Lets punch through the noise and set Budget 10 in context. All the money saved last year has been channelled into the banks by the back door off balance sheet and not a cent of it was mentioned today. Its not as though we’re through the worse, the worse hasn’t started yet. There’s no stimulus here, SME’s are looking for credit, they won’t get it today and it won’t happen because the CEO of the Bank of Ireland gave away the game when he said that capitalisation will only lead improving the balance sheet of the banks, no mortgage holders or businesses need apply. Employment is the only way out of the slump.
We’ll soon be out of recession but we’ll be in depression then! By then anincreasing number of families relying on social welfare will be paying prescription charges per item, carbon taxes to heat their way out of fuel poverty, struggling to meet mortgages. against a backdrop of the ending of the embargo on repossessions.
How can you expect people who get less to spend more in an economy? The sub-text to the agenda is emigration, cut jobseekers assistance for young people and that will act to drive young people out. The other subtext from FF & the greens is that there is no alternative to cuts and that the rich should keep their heads down and let ordinary people carry the can.
On the way home I must confess I only stopped to fill the tank with petrol At home I saw Eamon Ryan on “Prime Time” tonight. I couldn’t help wonder if he regretted not running in the 2004 presidential election. Surely his chance of the park is now as real as Kenmare Hospital. The Green Party’s endless spin on the green or knowledge economy is running the risk of getting the word knowledge a bad name. The only green jobs created are for green senators counting frogs. That’s why the budget will get through. It won’t revive the economy it’ll knock it out. Once that happens emigration will start. In the end, Craggy Island may well seem more populous than John Bull’s other one