Chasing mice while elephants destroy the house

We need some discussion of the fact that all the main economic indicators are going south. But what we get instead are wall-to-wall demands that the Government cut €75 million in public sector allowances. By Michael Taft.

Grim gets grimmer

Over a quarter of the labour force is currently either unemployed or under-employed. Combine that with the EU Commission finding that there are approximately 28 unemployed per job vacancy, and you have a real crisis. By Michael Taft.

Shake it til the facts spill out

There is no measurement which can come even close to justifying Frances Fitzgerald's claim yesterday that we are one of the biggest spenders on public services in the industrialised world. By Michael Taft.

Sometimes you just want to pick up the radio and shake it until the tiny little people inside start talking sense. Take Minister Frances Fitzgerald onthe Pat Kenny show yesterday:

Scraping the bottom of a broken barrel

We have had cuts in both public and private sector pay. The problem is that too few people ask the fundamental question – why is it that after all the cuts of past, we still are where we are? By Michael Taft.

All is well - All is really, really well

Tax revenue is falling off and the current account deficit is growing. The €130 million in health cuts is just the start; there is more, much more, in store for us. By Michael Taft.

The Exchequer figures are out. And they are not good. Coming into this year, the Government had a strong wind at its back, with €1 billion being carried forward from Budget 2011. That wind has blown itself out and the Government is looking at a deteriorating situation.

Another day in the spin factory

The Government's Infrastructure Stimulus, announced last week by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, is mostly spin with little substance. By Michael Taft.

Raising the floor

Raising the income floor for low-income households is not just about equity, or sharing the pain, or ‘too poor to pay more’. It’s also about a growth strategy. By Michael Taft.

Bathing the rich

If the Government fashioned a set of tax measures – rates, reduction of tax expenditures, new taxes, etc. – to bring the disposable income of the top 10% to EU averages, it would take in between €3 billion and €3.5 billion, enough to reach their Budget 2013 deficit target. By Michael Taft.