Saturday 3 December 2016

We're broke: sacrifice the sacred cows

Get real -- we cannot afford to be building motorways in Northern Ireland when we are facing cuts in our own back yard, writes Eamon Delaney

Published 17/07/2011 | 05:00

MANY of us are in despair that we will ever be able to bridge the gap between national income and spending, especially given the timid nature of the political classes and media naysayers who loudly decry even the smallest of cuts.

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However, there is at least one reassuring fact. There are still major savings to be had in areas which in fact, you may not even know of. Did you know, for example, that we are still spending a whopping €700m per year in overseas aid, a figure which remains at our generous Celtic Tiger level? The sum, tied to a country's GDP, makes us, per capita, the sixth largest donor in the world.

Well, given that we are now nothing like the country which signed up for this generosity in 2003, maybe it's time we cut this huge figure or even put the whole donation on hold until we stabilise our collapsing finances.

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