The danger of the budget not being passed next month due to the threat to current pensions is a possibility and some Green Party members of the Government and Independents may have a difficulty with this measure. If not pensions then where will the money be found?
If the budget is not passed expect the EU and European Central Bank to step in with the help of the IDA. This is a crucial time in our State’s economic history and all positive interventions from business leaders like IBEC last week did give the country a lift in the international media.
A spokesman for the Financial Times at an IBEC conference reckoned that the financial markets are looking at a sovereign default and see Ireland as one country that could find it hard to pass a tough budget. Given the events of the past week, they would appear to read things correctly.
An intervention now is more likely as politicians dither at present. The Government seems to lack authority. While some of the multi nationals last week painted some positive pictures of Ireland and seem to have got their labour and transport costs in order, the situation elsewhere is more troubling.
Some European countries are doing well and exports are growing, And this can inspire confidence in our export sector and show what we can do.
The public finances though are dire, the wage and recruitment splurge of the middle of the last decade is showing how we cannot afford this in the near term.
Expectations grew too high, as we claimed to be one of the richest nations in Europe. This is no longer the case.
Could there be a new benchmarking system where we would work on an average wage of a health or education person in Ireland compared to Northern Ireland, the UK, France, Germany and Holland? Where would Ireland be positioned? Can we expect other countries to bail us out if we over pay? They would say we need to get our numbers in line first.
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