Four-year 'national recovery' plan

 

Madam, – Does this Government never learn? Last time it increased the VAT rate, cross- Border shopping increased dramatically to the detriment of our local businesses and shops. At a time when we need to bolster our economy and keep money in the Republic, how can the Government think a 2 per cent VAT hike is sensible? – Yours, etc,

ANN CROTTY,

Gracepark Road,

Drumcondra, Dublin 9.

Madam, – It should be of no surprise to anyone that the budget cuts being proposed by the Government (Breaking News, November 24th) will severely affect the most vulnerable in Irish society, the unemployed and those on social welfare, while other recipients of public money, namely those receiving state pensions, civil servants, politicians, security forces, etc, are likely to retain their relatively comfortable financial status.

In addition, the stated intent to bring in tougher measures “to reduce social welfare fraud” but not a mention of any attempt to deal with rampant corporate or tax fraud, reinforces the fact that in accepting the financial rescue package the Irish Government is marching to the tune of the IMF’s extremely right-wing economic philosophy.

This is nothing new in the world of international finance and corporate capitalism by which nation states and their politicians have, in many cases, become the pawns and puppets respectively of the rich and powerful. Corporate executives, developers and their freewheeling cousins in the financial sector have had the political class under their twisted influence for many years. The result being the unbridled pursuit of profit regardless of the cost to the moral and social fabric of a country, in this case Ireland.

Perhaps the Irish Catholic Church as an institution could find some redemption from its shameful past and renew it commitment to the core tenets of the Christian gospel by speaking truth to power and loudly and visibly siding with those who are likely to suffer the most from the economic tyranny being imposed. – Yours, etc,

MARK FINNAN,

Hunter Street East,

Peterborough,

Ontario, Canada.

Madam, – Now that we have a view into the abyss of the next four years, it seems appropriate to ask whether our esteemed IMF visitors are prepared to scrutinise in detail the unvouched expenses, wonderful perks, endless holidays (even in a national crisis), astonishingly generous pensions and extraordinary salaries of the government worthies who have overseen the comprehensive destruction of the Irish economy? For a change – a real change – start at the top with the slash and burn to Irish society. – Yours, etc,

PATRICIA MULKEEN,

Ballinfull, Sligo.