Budget options on cuts and taxes


Sir, – So the group of five Labour TDs proclaim they are not “austerity junkies” (July 2nd) and  will only do as much of it as is needed and “not a cent more”. Another way of putting this is committing to borrow as much  debt as possible to finance day-to-day living and not a penny less. For, in the Labour philosophy,  there is always somebody in the future to pick up the bills. – Yours, etc,


Beechwood Court,

Stillorgan, Co Dublin.

Sir, – The five Labour TDs who wrote to The Irish Times (August 2nd) regarding budget 2014 were simply reflecting the political ideology of their party. Labour as a party of the left must strive to uphold its values: there are limits to compromise.

If budget 2014 goes further than needed, then Labour must leave government, any other action is unconscionable. – Yours, etc,



Co Offaly.

Sir, – I note with interest the letter from the Labour TDs (August 2nd), especially the line: “We will do as much austerity as is needed to secure the recovery”. So, can we look forward to large cuts in the number of TDs, their salaries, pensions and expenses? – Yours, etc,


Killurin, Co Wexford.

Sir, – The reported “clash” between Fine Gael and Labour backbench TDs over the fiscal plan for 2014 is a clear signal that the silly season is upon us (Front page and Letters, August 2nd, and Opinion, July 31st). This is nothing more than a phoney war waged between the two Government parties in the lead-up to the next austerity budget. The Labour Famous Five TDs, in particular, are throwing shapes when they write “we are not austerity junkies. We will do as much austerity as is needed to secure recovery. Not a cent more”. These are the same TDs who had no problem voting consistently for austerity in the Dáil since they embraced power in 2011 and callously reneged on their election promises. To borrow some words from George Bernard Shaw, the electorate will not quite appreciate the very clever way in which they systematically humbug them. – Yours, etc,


Shandon Crescent,

Phibsborough, Dublin 7.

Sir, – While I disagree strongly with the opinion piece written by the group of Fine Gael backbenchers (Opinion, July 31st), I take particular exception to the idea that Ireland has a progressive tax system. This lie is constantly uttered by those on the right. A top rate of tax that kicks in at €32,800 for a single person is anything but progressive. This means that those earning about €32,000 or €32 million pay the same tax rate. While the USC does add more to high earners, this is still not good enough.

A truly progressive tax rate would begin at zero per cent and increase incrementally up to maybe 60-65 per cent. That is a progressive tax system that would ensure all make a contribution, but particularly those at the top. This assertion by these TDs is nothing more than right-wing ideology, not out of place in the Tory or Republican parties. – Yours, etc,


Aberdeen Street,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – It would seem that “New Politics”, long promised by the Taoiseach is a budget debate between the coalition government parties courtesy of the Letters page of the paper of record. Most assuredly, it is certainly cheaper than running a second house and potentially as effective, but hardly what the electorate expected from either party. – Yours, etc,


Ballycullen View,


Dublin 24.