Responses To The Budget


Sir, - I am constantly amazed at the power of spin doctoring. This year we have experienced a Budget which I believe must be one of the most inequitable ever.

Mr McCreevy, the maestro of financial wizardry, talks about percentage increases in take-home pay. Percentages don't buy groceries. Individualisation is a sound concept but an individual according to the Oxford dictionary is "a single human being". Funnily enough, children are individuals too and it costs to feed and cloth them.

Contrary to our learned economists and politicians, those on low incomes with many children are not the greatest beneficiaries; it is those on high incomes with none. This Budget will help fuel inflation by increasing the disposable income of those who already have too much.

Our incredible Minister for Finance chooses to ignore the plain fact that any two childless people (married or not) who are working do not have greater essential costs than a family with children. I don't advocate penalising people for not having children but I believe our Minister for Finance believes in penalising those who do. Governments throughout the world acknowledge that future state pensions are in jeopardy due to the reducing birth-rates. Ireland is no exception. People here are waiting longer to wed and our family sizes are similar to those in China. Most of the world have now woken up to the problems this creates. why can't we? What are the plans for our future? Who will pay our pensions?

Unfortunately, caught up in the spin doctoring, we ignore the obvious: married people don't automatically produce children. Having children is a decision; unfortunately an environment has been created which ensures less people take this decision. The informed or powerful articulate their views and these are then taken as gospel by the masses. "We are the most highly educated country in the world". "Toll roads are a great idea". "Privatisation of profitable public services will not result in job losses and will offer better customer service." "There's no racism in Ireland." "Individualisation of the tax system is the way forward."

I am saddened and incredulous that we accept all this without question. Wake up, Ireland. - Yours, etc.,

Darren Flynn, Tallaght, Dublin 24.