Gilmore must come clean with voters
IT IS reported that the Labour Party does not intend to cut child benefit (Irish Independent, October 20).
If Labour is to fulfil the trends in recent opinion polls, the electorate needs to have some clear insight and concrete understanding of how the party, once in government, would steer the economy.
Why should the electorate buy a pig in a poke?
A scarecrow in a fog would have offered more incisive economic leadership than our beloved nation has witnessed in recent times.
The consequences are mirrored in the polls, high interest rates, indifferent sentiment and declining credit ratings.
Economic leadership includes not just the broad policy frameworks concerning public expenditure and the successful prosecution of delinquent bankers.
It also means fielding an A-team throughout the government apparatus that delivers competent economic leadership.
Otherwise, we jeopardise our national reputation and risk becoming an exploited, inconsequential backwater.
The social welfare budget has increased by 206pc since 2000, from €6.7bn to €20.5bn. During this time, our population increased by just 19pc and the consumer price index rose by 28.8pc.
Total child benefit payments increased by 291pc, while the number of child beneficiaries rose by only 14pc, to 1,156,917 last year.
The deficit in the Social Insurance Fund has grown from €249m in 2008 to €2.48bn in 2009. Social welfare is the largest component of the Budget.
Politics is fundamentally about making choices. What choices does Labour intend to offer voters?
Glenageary, Co Dublin
WITH more cuts on the way, I would like to ask how much of our money is spent on Dail postage?
No matter what the figure is, it needs reviewing.
This morning I, along with most of my fellow townsfolk, received a letter from a Labour councillor, in a Dail prepaid envelope, regarding a parish-pump matter.
Do TDs and senators hand out these freebies to their council buddies, who already have allowances that are meant to cover just this sort of thing?