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Wednesday, May 19th 2010

Budget 2009 on Irish Left Review

November 3rd Afternoon: The Recession Diaries

Everybody altogether - let’s help Shane Coleman. In his opinion piece in the Sunday Tribune yesterday Shane took us all to task for being selfish, greedy and indifferent to the economic crisis upon us. So far, not very insightful. But it’s when he attempted to justify his opinion with ‘facts’ that he floundered completely. We [...]

November 5th Evening: The Recession Diaries

Mission accomplished! Unfortunately, the euphoria is short-lived as we return to the dismal news coming out of our own economy: unemployment rising to over 260,000 with the increase in October nearly equaling the entire rise in 2007; service business activity contracting at an alarming rate; the EU Commission opening excessive debt procedure against the [...]

October 30th Lunchtime: The Recession Diaries

Does anyone believe the Government know what it’s doing? I’m not talking about the budgetary U-turns or that sinking sensation one gets when viewing images of the troika of Lenihan, Coughlan and Cowen on our television screens. No, it’s the bank guarantee. First, the Government stated that the banks which sign up [...]

October 29th Lunchtime: The Recession Diaries

Sarah Carey suggests the Government listen to the Opposition. Agreed. As a rule, we should all listen to each other. Of course, Sarah employs a sleight-of-hand. When she says ‘opposition’, she specifically refers to ‘Richard Bruton’ and ‘Fine Gael’. I guess Labour doesn’t count. But there you are - already commentators are laying down tasks [...]

October 28th Lunchtime: The Recession Diaries

The fiscal meltdown is the result of our economic decline, not the cause.  It seems straight-forward enough, but let’s put it another way:  our fiscal imbalance is a symptom of our economic malady, not the malady itself.  The reason why it’s necessary to continually repeat this is because the general political and media consensus is that we [...]

October 27th Lunchtime: The Recession Diaries

If there’s one country where ‘tax’ is an even dirtier word than in Ireland, its the good ‘ol USA. To argue for higher taxes in Omaha is no more popular than in Artane. And, yet, America is about to elect a politician whose platform calls for higher taxes on wealthy individuals and businesses [...]

October 23rd Morning: The Recession Diaries

To kick public sector workers around the block is in danger of becoming an officially recognised sport; bloated, inefficient, over-paid - and don’t even mention pensions.  Tony O’Brien is opining on the best instrument - scalpel or chainsaw - to achieve public sector savings:
‘If tackled correctly we could be aiming for efficiencies of 10 per cent, which is equivalent [...]

October 22nd Lunchtime: The Recession Diaries

An article by Michael Taft of Notes on the Front • October 22nd 2008

Where stands the debate on the unusustainability of ‘universalism’ now?  The Government has stated that only 5% of over-70s have incomes exceeding €36,400 (€72,800 for a couple) and the cost of providing them a medical card would be €10 - €15 million.  Unsustainable?  It amounts to pennies.  In fact, it amounts to less than pennies [...]

October 20th Lunchtime: The Recession Diaries

An article by Michael Taft of Notes on the Front • October 20th 2008

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I think that’s an underestimate.

The chart above is taken from an analysis by Dan O’Brien of the Economist Intelligence Unit which appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post.  He presented this chart to make a point:
‘The increase in public spending in Ireland over the past decade has [...]

October 19th Afternoon: The Recession Diaries

An article by Michael Taft of Notes on the Front • October 20th 2008

The Leader of the Opposition would equally be of the view that he needs to see fairness and equity in the way in which scarce resources are allocated. Can he justify a change by his members’ on the basis that a Government decision to offer medical cards to well-off pensioners, to senior civil servants, High [...]

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