| 15.5°C Dublin

Planet Leo

•How excited and enraptured I was on listening to our new Minister for Holidays urging us to book a vacation in the new year because next Tuesday's Budget, that will suck another €3.6bn out of the economy, will essentially leave all of our disposable income untouched.

So off I went to the nearest travel agents and brought home over a dozen brochures, eager to book the trip that I never even realised I could afford until Transport Minister Leo Varadkar told me I could.

But then I read the newspaper and saw more Budget details were emerging, like increased motor tax, increased private health insurance, the one-off €100 property tax, a one-off payment for my septic tank, the pending increase to electricity prices, the rise in VAT -- which essentially increases the price of everything I consume, etc, etc.

Undeterred, I continued to frantically look through the glossy brochures with their promise of sunkissed beaches, warm oceans, and beautiful people. But no matter how hard I looked I just could not find 'Planet Varadkar' in the brochure.

If anyone has the address of this planet can you please forward it to me? My bags are already packed.

Derek Ross
Blessington, Co Wicklow

•The "Good Shepherd" Varadkar has announced that his flock will be able to afford holidays next year. A wise man once said "governments need to have shepherds and butchers". I believe there is another meatwagon on the way.

Sean Kelly
Tramore, Co Waterford

•Every now and again our betters enlighten us with pearls of wisdom from their inner genius.

Remember this one: "We all cannot live here, we are a small island and some of us have to go," said one minister as Irish youth fled the reaches of a previous dysfunctional Irish government.

Remember the Charvet shirt king who gloomily informed ourselves that, "We must tighten our belts, we all are living beyond our means."

More recently, as the country was tossed on to the pawn shop of Europe we were chided: "We are all to blame, we all partied too much."

So we changed jockeys and we pulled a cracker. According to Transport Minister Leo Varadkar, there will be enough left over for us all to take a holiday abroad next year.

So, Mr Varadkar, you lead the way, take the holiday and don't bother coming back.

John Cuffe
Dunboyne, Co Meath

•Strange noises have been heard emanating from Kildare Street in the wee small hours. Some say it is the sound of Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin learning to sing from the one hymn sheet.

Given the season and the advent of the Budget are they rehearsing the 'Howa-ya-Leoooh Chorus"?

D Giles
Donnybrook, Dublin

Irish Independent