Reaction to Budget 2013
Sir, – Eamon Gilmore said the Government is seeking to “protect the most vulnerable” (Home News, December 4th). Having just listened to the Budget speech, our “vulnerable” politicians have indeed got off lightly.
A token 10 per cent off party leader’s allowance, the end of the unvouched, no-questions- asked €15,000 per annum allowance, but politicians now move to the higher vouched allowance. Only 10 per cent of payments under this scheme are subject to audit and the Freedom of Information Act does not apply! The Minister did not mention the Act being extended to the “vouched” scheme. No mention of any changes to “turning up” money (officially the travel and accommodation allowance). Presumably the rationale is that it is already “vouched” by clocking in. So our vulnerable Dublin TDs will continue to get €12,000 per annum tax-free to turn up.
No mention of increasing the pension levy on retired politician pensioners getting €100,000-plus.
Just one piece of hardship – the scrapping of the Ministerial severance payments. OMG! – Yours, etc,
Sir, – This Budget will drive us all to drink, hence the increase in the price of motor tax and alcohol. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The Government has claimed that the aim of this Budget is to support job growth in Ireland. First, I fail to see how gutting the domestic economy to the tune of €3.5 billion supports job growth. But aside from that, news that Ireland fell to 25th in a global corruption index casts further doubt on the Government’s commitment to job growth.
The Corruption Perception Index is used by Standard Poor’s to assess the likelihood of a sovereign debt default and could affect the level of foreign direct investment in Ireland – a key driver of job growth.
Yet we have had this Government’s shambolic and as yet unexplained handling of the primary care centre allocation process, its failure to act in any meaningful way on the Mahon and Moriarty tribunals and Fine Gael’s continued close association with political and business figures at the centre of the Moriarty tribunal.
If this Government is truly concerned about job creation and our international reputation, it should deal with the elements that have led to this country tumbling down the Corruption Perception Index, no matter what political party those issues may affect. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The shameful reduction in child benefit makes Ernie Blythe’s infamous treatment of old-age pensioners look like reckless philanthropy.
Many thanks and regards to all at the worthy Irish Times. – Yours, etc,