The government recently published a draft memorandum that will give legal effect to the negotiations between the EU/IMF and Ireland. Essentially the draft details, by quarter of each year, how the government intends to implement an incredibly far-reaching austerity programme to help get us back on our feet.
It's budget day tomorrow and people are all screaming and shouting.... "Not me!" We're all looking out for our lot, trying as best we can to maintain some of the material wealth we have become accustomed to. Of course, some of us have become accustomed to greater levels of material wealth than others. By Seamus Bradley
Last Friday, the Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce held its annual President's lunch at the Newpark Hotel. In an audacious move, the theme of the meal was "A Time for Optimism". And who should address this unfashionable notion? Step forward, Brian Patterson, now CEO of Vodafone Ireland, but until April 2008, chairman of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority. By Roddy Flynn
Criticism, analysis, response: The BudgetJam liveblog. Email you comments here or comment below.
17.51 Michael Lowry was just on Drivetime explaining his decision to support the budget. I copied down a few lines - if anyone doubts the list of myths BudgetJam is built around the following should set your mind at rest:
As public servant salaries come into focus with Labour’s proposed cap of €190,000, Social Justice Ireland (SJI) has contrasted exorbitant TD salaries with meagre rises in welfare payments in the past two decades. Calling on all TDs to vote against any reduction in welfare rates in Budget 2011, SJI has shown that the take-home pay of TDs rose by €980 a week since 1986 while unemployment benefit rates only rose by €143.75 in the same period. Government ministers’ take-home pay rose by more than €1,200 a week in the same period, according to SJI. The full text of the SJI article appears below.
Fianna Fail wants to cut the number of public service employees by 14,700 over the next four years. Fine Gael has mentioned numbers approaching 30,000. Even Labour proposes public service numbers by 30,000 – though on Twitter Labour stated: ‘The 30k referred to also include 10 to 12k who've already lost their job.’ This would mean, then, 18,000 to 20,000.
All this goes to show that the public sector is in for some serious downsizing regardless of who is in the next government.
The buzz at the recent Kilkenny-based Kilkenomics economics and comedy festival was terrific. Assembled were economists and comedians bent on explaining the nuts and bolts of our economic crisis – how it came about, who was involved and what ought to be done about it. By Miriam Cotton