Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s solution to the cost of living crisis is to introduce a tax and welfare package in the Budget to focus not only on lower income earners but on the so-called squeezed middle (‘Fine Gael pushes for inflation-linked tax cuts and welfare increases to fight cost-of-living crisis’, Irish Independent, June 1).
However, the Taoiseach expressed the view that a strategic approach to the upward price pressures fuelling the cost-of-living crisis “could embrace” both tax and spending decisions.
Fianna Fáil has rejected Mr Varadkar’s proposed solution, insisting it is not a one-party Budget but one for three parties to decide.
It is difficult to imagine how the decisions of this divided Government can produce a Budget in the best interest of our society when the parties in power are considering only their own sectoral interests and squabbling over which party is in control.
We do not have a cohesive government acting in the best interest of this country’s citizens.
In order to benefit all citizens, it behoves the parties in government to implement universal basic income in the Budget in preference to wasteful spending, tax adjustments and schemes to benefit the few.
Hugh McDermott, Dromahair, Co Leitrim
Two-thirds of the Danish electorate voted in a referendum to remove its opt-out from the European Common Security and Defence Policy.
Along with Sweden’s and Finland’s application to join Nato, the Danish referendum further continues the trend of closer defence and security co-operation in Europe. The rapid change in the three Nordic countries contrasts sharply with the tardy response from Ireland.
Denmark started the process in March, and in just three months has had its parliamentary and public debates and held the referendum.
Meanwhile, in Ireland, the Government has only mentioned vaguely about maybe having a Citizens’ Assembly.
In other words, while the Nordics have done it, the Irish Government is still at the stage of thinking about starting to talk about doing something.
Jason Fitzharris, Swords, Co Dublin
Tommy Heneghan in his letter, ‘Foul-mouthed Derry Girls a pathetic excuse for comedy’ (Letters, June 2), states: “As far as comedy is concerned, artistic Ireland is dead and gone.”
I couldn’t agree more. I first started watching the comedy on Channel 4 before there was any hype about it.
I just didn’t find it funny, so I stopped watching after a few episodes. Because of all the hype it subsequently generated, I have watched a few random episodes but came to the same conclusion.
I watched the first episode of the final series, in which Liam Neeson starred.
Apparently that scene was quite funny, but I just couldn’t see the humour in it. I didn’t watch any more. Enough said.
Tommy Roddy, Ballybane, Co Galway
Any observer, even from a sparrow’s nest, will find that the only real winners in the aftermath of the Depp-Heard shipwreck will be the lawyers (‘Actor Depp awarded more than $10m after libel action against ex-wife Heard,’ Irish Independent, June 2).
Aidan Roddy, Cabinteely, Dublin 18
Hugh Duffy (‘Downing Street needs to clean up its act’, Letters, June 2) states: “Thatcher had a love/hate relationship with Ireland. She admired Charles Haughey, but had little time for Garret FitzGerald.”
As with any politician’s biography, they will colour it as they see fit.
Thatcher ‘feared’ Garret FitzGerald’s honesty and integrity about Northern Ireland. Full stop. She also abhorred his claims on the innocence of the families wrongfully convicted of the Birmingham bombings and the hunger strikers, something he raised at almost every meeting with her in private. Add his friendship with and respect of all EEC leaders – something she would never achieve were she to live to be a million years old.
FitzGerald could see a future for Northern Ireland as part of the island of Ireland. Charles Haughey played the De Valera game on the North: “Talk a lot but don’t act.”
Declan Foley, Melbourne, Australia