James Fitzsimons: We are playing a credit game and the stakes are high
Paying our national debt and providing services is beyond our tax intake, writes James Fitzsimons
The Finance Bill 2012 was published last week to implement Minister for Finance Michael Noonan's Budget. It was a hopeless Budget and nothing has changed that.
Its sole purpose was to appease the troika so that we wouldn't appear to be too Greek. In the end we are becoming more German, but without their financial resources. They keep the honey while we work to the death. In 2011 we missed our tax collection target by nearly €1bn. In 2012 we aim to collect €2bn more than we did in 2011. That could be a tall order.
The Department of Finance estimated that it will cost €7.4bn to service the national debt in 2012. It only expects to collect €35.8bn in tax revenue. That's more than 20 per cent of everything we collect in tax gone from these shores before we can spend one red cent on essential services or employment creation.