Sunday 24 September 2017

James Fitzsimons: You can't pay off electorate with a few euro

The problem is not taxes – it's the level of waste in public service spending.

James Fitzsimons

In a week when EU finance ministers failed to reach agreement on how ESM funds could be used to bail out failed banks, Richard Bruton, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, proposed cutting income tax in the next budget.

We are all suffering and God knows we need some kind of let-up, but really, does anyone in government know what they are talking about? The EU has repeatedly warned that we cannot use the savings from bond auctions, the extension of the payback period for EU funds, or the sale of State assets to cut austerity. The next election must be closer than we think, or has a new leadership battle begun as the rift between Labour and Fine Gael widens?

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton is under mounting pressure to cut more than €400m from her department's spending next year. Try as they may, they failed to eliminate welfare fraud, and the only way to achieve the savings now is to hit the most vulnerable once again.

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