Tuesday 6 December 2016

The elections showed a lack of faith in all the political parties

Voters could not forgive Labour or Fine Gael for economic austerity or the HSE's medical card scandal

Eddie Hobbs

Published 01/06/2014 | 02:30

Voters could not forgive Labour or Fine Gael for economic austerity
Voters could not forgive Labour or Fine Gael for economic austerity
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore

It is the tragedy of political leaders to oversell expectations, under-deliver in government and spend most of the next term on the run from the media, making up excuses. Such was the antipathy towards Fianna Fail that voting for them was like turning up at a funeral with a get-well-soon card, nevertheless neither Fine Gael nor Labour could resist misleading the public, a pattern now embedded in the economic narrative of the Labour usurper, Sinn Fein.

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In the cynical calculations of vote game, the con is to promise to get the next fella to pay your bills for you. Sinn Fein and Labour before them, spun the yarn that the net contributors to the public finances could simply be squeezed for more, to lighten the burden on the net takers, whom they largely represent. In this daft world it is assumed that a linear increase in the tax rate results in a corresponding linear intake of fresh tax revenues.

Both parties implicitly accept that hammering workers at over 50 per cent on the next euro they earn is both unjust and economically damaging but cling to the stupidity that taking a baseball bat to higher paid workers at rates of over 60 per cent will produce an entirely different result.

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