Spin and win
• It has started already, the spinning, leaking posturing of the vested interests on what will or will not be in Budget 2013 .
Although the Budget is not due until December, already we have had three senior Labour ministers telling us that the Croke Park Agreement will not be touched, while the Minister for Agriculture and some Fine Gael backbenchers tell us they do not want farmers' bank balances or other assets to be taken into account when assessing their entitlement for student grants.
At the same time, there is lots of talk about the high numbers of unemployed and the amount of child benefit being paid out and, of course, the continuous comments about the troika being unhappy about the benefits the elderly are receiving.
So, the scene is being set: those who call the shots keep telling us the Budget will be one of the toughest ever but they will not be reducing the pay of public servants; they will still be giving student grants to wealthy people outside the PAYE sector; and they are "teeing-up" cuts to child benefit, unemployment benefits and benefits to the elderly to help pay for this.
Is that the fair society we were promised?
Celbridge, Co Kildare