The job destruction budget

Budget 2012 will decimate employment in the State. Never mind the rhetoric. By Michael Taft.

Despite the Taoiseach’s 17 references to jobs in his national address last night, the budget presented this afternoon will cut between 15,000 and 20,000 jobs from the economy next year. In other words, there would be between 15,000 and 20,000 more people at work next year were it not for the budgetary measures announced this afternoon. This is, by any definition, a jobs destruction budget.

The €6 billion alternative

Four comprehensive pre-budget submissions have found, between them, ways of saving approximately €6 billion without eviscerating social protections and hammering the lower paid. What was that about there being no alternative? By Michael Taft.

The cuts agenda will not create jobs

Enda Kenny's assertion that "Budget cuts are designed to safeguard jobs" is demonstrable nonsense. By Michael Taft.

We’re into the great expectations-management game again. It happens once a year, just prior to the budget. “Proposals” are leaked or rumoured. The media – colluding in this annual exercise – chase around for stories. TDs, commentators, and people potentially affected are lined up for comment. No one is any wiser but it fills column inches and media minutes. And then the budget happens and finally we know. This ritual is getting tedious.

A bad plan, and false arguments

If Michael Noonan's aim is to protect the living standards of the highest income groups in the State while making the poorest suffer he's going the right way about it. By Michael Taft.

Michael Noonan’s comments justifying VAT increases are deeply worrying. They evince either considerable unfamiliarity with basic economic facts, or considerable indifference to such facts in pursuit of a particular agenda. Here’s what he had to say on RTÉ (22 minutes in):

They cheer, little realising they are cheering their own failure

Why didn’t the Irish media report this comment by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin?

“Today I am announcing further reductions in Public Service numbers. I expect this reduction to reduce consumer spending by over €1.2 billion, to cut employment by nearly 25,000, and to remove about €2.3 billion out of the domestic economy. Through all this pain I am hoping to reduce the deficit by 0.3% of GDP. As the Government needs to reduce the deficit by 7%, we are hoping that this will make a small contribution.”