Emmet Oliver: Brutal Budget looms as Lenihan moves goalposts
The scale of Ireland's economic implosion is encapsulated in one sobering figure -- the entire spending cuts and tax rises likely in December's Budget will be completely wiped out by the interest payments on our national debt in 2010.
Department of Finance projections say that interest payments alone on the national debt for 2010 will come to €4.4bn, far larger than the draconian measures Finance Minister Brian Lenihan is expected to introduce on December 7.
Within four years, interest on our debts will be gobbling up one-in-five of the euros the Government collects in tax, the kind of levels last seen in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Of course, this is based on the current projections -- what the Government is trying to do is change current projections.