Thursday 18 January 2018

We'll be cash poor, but also time rich

It's how we use that time as a society that will dictate whether we emerge from this crisis intact, writes Stephen Donnelly

Leinster House is a turbulent place at the moment. Last Wednesday, Luke Flanagan brought the people of Roscommon to the Dail to fight for their hospital. This Wednesday, I am joining other independent TDs in protesting outside Leinster House to fight to retain our schools' special needs assistants.

If this is to be a summer of discontent, the winter will be unprecedented. The Government wants to reduce the deficit by €4bn in December's Budget.

I have argued consistently that its macro economic strategy is grievously wrong, that there must be a massive write-down of banking debt, shared between the Irish people, the bondholders and Europe. But even if the Government was to achieve this, it would still be faced with the need for a massive correction in the coming Budget. Fine Gael refuses to consider an income tax increase; Labour refuses to cut wages or social welfare. Michael Noonan is left with few options.

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