The coalition must make a stand against the Troika and International Monetary Fund. In fact, what’s now required is some of the “patriotic duty” that the late Brian Lenihan once famously called for.
The demand for a further €3 billion in austerity measures appears most excessive and can only lead to further economic woe.
But here’s the rub: the Government still requires exterior financial assistance to the tune of €1 billion a month so it remains in a most difficult bind.
And in the meantime, Joe and Josephine Public will continue to suffer as we continue to bear the pain.
It’s with no surprise but deep disappointment that we learned that monies accrued from the Household Charge are not going to local government, but are instead being used to pay IMF bills. This was not what Enda Kenny and Phil Hogan intimated at the introduction of the charge.
In Waterford at present we are going through the rates revaluation process on commercial property, a process proving all the more difficult to stomach in the wake of the closures of Kellys and Benetton.
The expectation that the Household Charge might lead to an easing on business rates would appear to be the latest of many false dawns for businesses battling to keep their doors open. The law of diminishing returns is very much in play, and public frustration with cut after cut is likely to lead to a backlash against the government parties in next summer’s Local and European Elections.
Where are the incentives to stimulate consumer spending? Where is the proof that Enda Kenny wishes to make “Ireland the best small country in the world to do business?” Where is the proof of the Government’s commitment to end austerity?
So what can be done? Special pension levies for high-end pensions have been suggested in the past as a means of reducing spending. Those who have their mortgages paid and children educated simply do not have the same financial pressures as those in negative equity and with young children.
It’s difficult not to feel angry when one reads about high earners retiring at middle age, at a time when unemployment remains worryingly high, and while those still in work find themselves increasingly affected by austerity.