Wednesday 21 March 2018

Consensus is the right path

If the Taoiseach wants to know what the Irish people think about the difficulties he is facing right now, he could do worse than study the results of today's Sunday Independent/Quantum Research poll.

He probably knows that most people would like an election sometime soon -- 65 per cent, as against the 35 per cent who are content to have this Government finish out its term. He may be pleasantly surprised, however, to find that a huge majority -- 73 per cent -- believe he will be able to get a Budget through the Dail in December, despite the nervousness of independents and semi-detached Fianna Fail deputies.

He will probably view as helpful the 80 per cent support for the idea that the Government has no choice but to try to increase the tax take in the Budget, as well as achieving savings elsewhere; and that their preferred method of doing this (43 per cent) is through widening the tax net to include those who heretofore have not paid any tax. Support for increasing certain tax rates such as income tax and VAT stands at 32 per cent which, again, seems to be a recognition by the people of just how desperate our economic situation is.

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