Its finally happened. The Green Party have called time on the Government, but won’t resign until after the Finance act has been passed. Jackie Healy-Rae also has announced he will not be supporting the Government. Cork North Central TD, Noel O’Flynn, is tonight meeting with supporters to decide his future.
This has been a long time coming and with the election due in January, expect canvassing to start in earnest in the next week or two. Also will Fianna Fail be fighting this General Election with a new leader?
With the By-Election on Thursday, it will be a hard task to get the budget passed. Especially by a Government with could either be described as a “lame duck” Government or a “zombie” Government.
What can we expect from this budget? Well according to the Cork Evening Echo we could have the following:
- Social Welfare Payments (except Old Age Pension) down 5%
- Minimum Wage down €1
- All income to be taxed
- A property tax
Will this be enough? Or will this bring us further down as if the low-paid are to be taxed, they wont have money to spend and therefore support the economy.
Is it worth Fianna Fail’s time to pass the budget? Is it worth Cowen’s time to stay on as Taoiseach to pass it or should he just hand over to his successor (Lenihan or Martin??). I’m sure who ever wins the general election will probably have a mini-budget in April-May. Should we hold off until then?
In the meantime its time to dust off the walking shoes and prepare for a long and cold campaign.
In the meantime prepare yourself for plenty of protests.
*Title taken from a tweet by Cllr John Buttimer
If you are looking for indepth stuff on the budget, you wont find it here! Vists Suzy and Irish Election if you are looking for that sort of stuff! This is my reaction to the budget, which I mostly missed due to college. Hence why I wasnt tweeting.
General Reaction: My first reaction is that this budget won’t make a whole load of difference to me. Things may get cheaper with VAT and Excise cuts, but the carbon tax may cut the savings on it. Yes this is a selfish reaction, but this is how we all react to the budget. How will it effect me!
The Good: So what was good in the budget? The public sector pay cuts were needed. It is a pity there wasn’t an agreement on it, but it needed to happen. The 10% cut in the Taosieachs pay (he took the other 10% already) was a move in the right direction, and so is the cut in ministers pay. The reduction of VAT back to 21% was a good move, but maybe he should have taken a full per centage off it? I agree with the cut in social welfare if you refuse a job.
The Bad: The budget is a bit of fob in my opinion. Its tokenistic to being green. The forestry scheme (which was explained to me by Peter) is a complete and utter fob! The scrappage scheme is like what the hell? Who wanted that? The cut in social welfare is hard to defend and as Suzy points out wont be as protested against as the Pension cuts last time.
“Unlike older people, people with disabilities and their carers, children and the unemployed are not as mobile to protest or vote for that matter.”
The Carbon Tax then is another way of putting more excise on petrol and diesel and will actually increase the cost of everything as everything has to be transported. The 50c on the Medical Card Prescription Items is going to take a while to get used to. I am still still trying to fathom the drop in the excise on drink? Why did that happen? Also why no increase in tobacco excise? I had smokers giving out last night over that has they were hoping for an increase as an incentive to give up smoking!
So thats my opinion. There is no doubt that this budget is a half-arsed fob. Where are the concrete actions, where is the stimulus for Irish Business? Not the banks.
The Government has its priorities wrong and Richard Bruton was right to mention TK Whittaker and Sean Lemass in his remarks considering they had a vision for Ireland and pulled us up by our laces. This budget doesn’t even tie them!