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Tag Archives: Budget

Numbers game

It’s been bothering me for a while, but until tonight I never bothered to do any research on it. Here’s Brian Lenihan’s version of it, as paraphrased by The Journal earlier today: “The Finance Minister said Ireland’s taxation system was no longer “fit for purpose”, saying that the upper 8% of taxpayers accounted for 60% […]

Promises, Promises

Employers want to cut dole payments by 3%. They mentioned a few other ways for the government to save or raise money too, including an increase in the income levy, but the dole cut is the one making headlines. But some taxes should not be hiked, namely corporation tax, VAT and excise duties. Meanwhile Labour […]


Nine days from now, Brian Lenihan will stand before the Dáil and announce the government’s latest budget. The cabinet has made quite display of how seriously they take the crisis in public finances, even holding a meeting on a Sunday. Things are so bad they’ve even given up their weekends, you see. The cabinet still […]

The Accused

There’s a stairwell in the middle of the courtroom, linking the district court to the nearby Bridewell Garda station. Guards lean against the balcony as they listen to the cases. When he emerges from the tunnel, his body language defines fatigue. He moves to the bench in front of the stairwell, while lawyers shuffle papers. […]

Brace Yourselves

Less than a month ago, I described the new tax on public sector pensions and cuts in departmental spending as a minibudget. This month’s minibudget has just been announced, though the full details will not be available for a few weeks. Early predictions include increased excises on the ‘Old Reliables’ – tobacco, alcohol and fuel […]

News Management

Remember back when when all those junior ministers lined up to declare they were willing to lose their positions, and we really didn’t need twenty of them? It was all part of the Share The Pain the government has been spreading in order to condition the rest of us for pay cuts. After all, if […]


More than thirteen thousand people joined a Facebook group urging Slovenia’s ‘perennial foreign minister’ Dimitrij Rupel to retire from political life. The Slovenians are annoyed that Rupel remains a member of the government, despite his party losing a recent election. Rupel, a flexible politician, had been a member of four parties during his career, and […]

Acceptable Losses

It was almost as a throwaway item during the 9pm RTÉ News. As part of budget cutbacks, the government has decided not to go ahead as planned with a programme to vaccinate teenage girls, saving ten million euros. The human pappiloma virus (HPV) vaccine protects young girls against a form of cervical cancer. Last June, […]

On The One Road

How long can you stay angry? Old age pensioners marched on the Dáil last week to protest against budget cuts, as did students. Teachers are planning demonstrations this week. Army families are upset at plans to close several regional bases, and the farmers aren’t far behind. The popular backlash against the budget had an effect […]


Biffo blinked. As I write, I’m watching live coverage of the Taoiseach’s press conference to announce the government is backing down from the decision to remove free medical cards from all citizens over the age of seventy. By increasing the income limit for a medical card to €700, the government has ensured that all but […]