I thought it was worth following up on reaction to the southern budget, just to remind people what an utter bunch of callous incompetents are running the show.
“It was a Government decision” so stated Brian Leninhan about the decision to end automatic entitlement to medical cards for the over 70s. The government is removing the entitlement of the top third of pensioners, a huge number in real terms, and if we think of this in terms of taxpayers, we can see how far down the scale it will hit. All this to save about 100m Euro per year. Peanuts. Especially in terms of the sums the southern government has had at its disposal, and the amount being expended to shore up financial speculators. This also helps put in perspective the commitment in the Lisbon Treaty to constant spending and upgrading of military capability. And by the way, I would hope that decisions taken by any minister are government decisions. Doesn’t say a lot for the efficiency of the thing that this needed pointed out.
What of some of the other reactionary aspects of the budget? The INTO is warning that with the removal of substitutes for uncertified sick leave, children will probably be sent home from January, and that the removal of substitutes for teachers on trips etc will hit sport and other extra-curricular activities. The Minister for Education has confirmed that the government was aware of the particular challenges” this will pose to those running schools. Not often you hear a government brazenly admit it is too cheap to educate your child properly. And so much for the health of the nation’s children. Not so much cherishing the children of the nation equally as telling them to go take a running jump. But only metaphorically, as there won’t be any PE.
The ICTU has stated that it will seek those earning 23,000 Euro and under be exempt from the Lenihan levy, but David Begg continued to defend the pay deal, something a lot of those he represents will be less than pleased about in light of the budget.
World By Storm has a piece of the usual high quality over at Cedar Lounge Revolution mocking the squeals of the guilty, as the Irish Times bemoans the fate of the middle class under the budget.
I’m not really going to add a great deal to all this. Just to say that the southern economy has been in “negative growth” (a linguistic trick if ever there were one) for not that long, and already we are seeing the slash and burn instinct coming out in the government. What will the Budget of 2011 be like if we are still in recession then? A cheery note on which to end.