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Budget 2011 update

STEVEN CARROLL

photo machholz

The State’s tax base is to be widened before 2014 to include people earning as little as €15,300 and income taxes will return to levels last seen in 2006, according to the National Recovery Plan.

VAT is to be increased by 2 per cent; a site valuation tax, eventually costing some €200 per year, is to be levied on some 1.8 million homes; and a range of reliefs and credits are to be curtailed or abolished as part of the taxation measures the Government expects to generate €5 billion between 2011 and 2014.

However, the 12.5 per cent corporation tax, which has come under fire from international competitors since talks on an EU/IMF aid package began, will not be changed.

Some 65 per cent of income tax adjustment will be delivered next year and the Government plan says direct income taxes would make up just 12 per cent of the €15 billion budgetary adjustment.

The plan says the amount of income tax paid in the State has been “eroded to an unsustainable level” and that the overall tax wedge (combined PAYE, PRSI and levies) on average earnings for a single individual will increase from its 2009 level of 28.6 per cent to 33.7 per cent in 2014.

The plan states that it is “not sustainable” to have 45 per cent of working people paying no income tax and that a 16.5 per cent reduction in the value of tax bands and credits will see the entry point for a single person to the PAYE system fall from €18,300 in 2010 to €15,300 by 2014.

It says the rate of VAT is to be increased by 1 per cent in both 2013 and 2014, which the plan says will increase yield by €620 million in a full year.

A site value tax, to be introduced in 2012, will cost households €100 per annum in its first year and is likely to rise to an average of €200 per household when a value-based addition is introduced in 2013. This is expected to be levied on 1.8 million homes and 700,000 areas of zoned land and should generate €530 million per year.

The plan proposes the doubling of the carbon tax from €15 to €30 per tonne by 2014 which would generate more than €300 million over the four years.

The measures in the plan will be the equivalent of a reduction of 16.5 per cent in the value of tax credits and bands which the Government believes will rebase the income tax system at approximately 2006 levels.

Rate of income tax relief on pension contributions is to fall from 41 to 34 per cent in 2012, to 27 per cent in 2013 and 20 per cent in 2014. This will give an annual reduction of €165 million or a cumulative reduction in pension tax expenditures of €700 million.

It proposes the abolition of 10 tax expenditures that will save €280 million in a full year. These include rent relief, relief on trade union subscriptions and income tax age credit for people aged 65 and over.

A further six measures, including artists income tax exemption and the tax-free status of ex-gratia payments and pension lump sums of more than €200,000, are to be curtailed saving a further €75 million.

Home loans taken out on or after January 1st, 2013, will no longer qualify for mortgage interest relief, which is to be abolished completely by 2018. This will generate full year savings of €485 million.

“Any acceleration of the withdrawal of interest relief would place unacceptable financial pressure on households with the highest risks of being in negative equity,” the plan states. “There will be no change to current arrangements.”

The plan states that the Government remains “steadfastly committed” to the retention of the 12.5 per cent corporate tax regime which it regards as a “cornerstone of industrial policy”.

Reliefs and exemptions from Capital Gains Tax, Capital Acquisitions Tax and Stamp Duty will be abolished or greatly restricted to ensure there is an adequate base for these taxes. The report says a cautious estimate is that these measures will yield €145 million in a full year.

Net pay for a single person earning €55,000 will be reduced by 4.8 per cent per annum (or €36 per week) by 2014.

Net pay for a married one income family on €55,000 will be reduced by €2,310 (€44 per week or 5.4 per cent).

For those making tax relieved pension contributions, net income will fall a further 2.5 per cent at this level in the private sector.
source http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1124/breaking32.html

Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev on projections for Budget 2011

Posted by Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev

DofF has published some preliminary projections for Budget 2011 tonight, titled “Information Note
on the Economic and Budgetary Outlook 2011 – 2014 (in advance of the publication of the Government’s Four-Year Budgetary Plan)”. Catchy, isn’t it?

Here’s my high-level read through:

1) pages 2-3 (note DofF couldn’t even number actual pages in the document) present some rosy scenarios concerning growth. Most notably, DofF doesn’t seem to think that Dollar is going to devalue against the Euro significantly in 2011. As if QE2 will have no effect or will be offset, under DofF expectations by a QETrichet. This is non-trivial, of course. Price of oil is expected to rise by 10.4% over 2011, but dollar will devalue by just 3.7% and sterling by 2.3%. Absent robust demand growth (per DofF-mentioned global slowdown) what would drive oil up at a rate more than 4 times dollar devaluation? This is non-trivial – any devaluation of sterling and dollar will impact adversely our exports and will increase our imports bills, chipping at GDP and GNP from both ends.

2) “in overall terms, real GDP is projected to increase by 1¾% next year (GNP by 1%). This takes account of budgetary adjustments amounting to €6 billion, which are estimated to reduce the rate of growth by somewhere in the region of 1½ – 2 percentage points. Nominal GDP is set to grow by 2.5% in 2011, implying a GDP price deflator of ¾%.” Errr… ok, I can buy into low inflation, but… folks – DofF is talking tough budget. which will mean inflation on state-controlled sectors is going to be rampant. To keep total inflation at just 0.75%, you have to get either a strong revaluation of the euro (ain’t there, as we’ve seen in (1)) or a strong deflation in the private sectors (possible, but if so, what would that do to Exchequer returns and to domestic activity? Interestingly, DofF refer to HICP, not CPI when they talk about moderate inflation of 3/4%. Of course, they wouldn’t dare touch upon the prospects of our banks skinning their customers (err… also shareholders, rescuers etc) with mortgage costs hikes.

3) Now, consider that 1.75% growth in real GDP and 1% growth in GNP. Where, exactly will this come from? IMF projection for WEO October 2010 (before Government latest adjustment in deficit announcement) factored in 2.277% growth in constant prices GDP for 2011. DoF says that the reduction in Government consumption will amount to 1.2-2% point in the rate of growth. This is, I assume, before factoring in second order effects of higher taxation measures – just a brutal cut. So IMF, less DofF estimate leads to growth rate of 0.227-1.077%, which is less than what DofF assumes. Of course, that range – with a mid-point of 0.652% still does not capture the adverse effects of increased taxes and other charges, which – if we are to take €6bn headline figure for deficit reductions, applying 1.2-2% of GDP net adjustment on expected Government consumption side and factoring in stabilizers of 20% implies that DofF is aiming to get well in excess of €1.9-3bn in new revenues in 2011. Of these, maximum of €1.1-1.2 billion can be expected to arise from DofF forecast growth, leaving €0.8-1.9bn to be raised from tax increases and other charges. Apart from being optimistic, it does look to me like DofF didn’t factor the effects of this into their growth projections.

4) About the only realistic assumption that DofF makes is that investment will contract by far less next year than in 2010. The reason is simple – stuff is going to start falling apart in private sector, so companies will have to replace some of the capital stock sooner or later. I can tell from here whether investment will fall 6% (as DofF assume) or 10%, but I doubt there is much upside from DofF assumption. The problem is that if you expect investment goods decline to be reversed on plant and machinery side (continuing to allow for investment to fall further on housing and construction sides) you are going to get an increase in imports, as we import much of equipment we use. So I suspect imports are going to rise more than 2.75% that DofF factored into their estimates.

5) I also think DofF are too optimistic on the employment contraction side. The Department assumes -0.25% change in overall employment levels in the Republic. I would say that several longer term trends are going to push this deeper into the red: pharma sector restructuring, continued shutting down of MNCs-led manufacturing, declines in public contracts etc.

6) All of the above is crucial, as per Table 3 we can see that even with the €6bn taken out, 2011 Exchequer balance will be exactly the same as in 2010: €19.25bn deficit in cash terms. In other words, folks – of the total €6bn in cuts almost €3.1bn will go to cover… errr… you’ve guessed it – BANKS! another €1.25bn to cover interest on the BANKS rescue notes (net under Non-voted expenditure). More bizarre, unless you understand our Government’s logic, which escapes me – our Current Expenditure will not fall next year at all. Instead it will rise from €47.25bn in 2010 to €49.75bn in 2011, while Current Revenue will fall by €500mln, leaving our Current Budget Balance at -€16.25bn – deeper than -€13.5bn achieved this year. Under this arithmetic, the only way this Government can claim that it will be on any track in the general direction of 3% deficit by 2014 is by building in some mighty optimistic assumptions on growth side, plus projecting no further demands for funding from the banks.

7) Now, let me touch upon the last part of the concluding sentence in (6) above. Oh, boy. The Government, therefore is reliant on €31bn in promisory notes to cover the entire rescue of the banking sector. Yet, not reflected in any of DofF estimates, AIB’s latest failure to raise requisite capital is likely to cost this Government additional €2bn on top of already promised funds. Toss into the mix expected losses for 2011-2012 on all banks balancesheets, and you get pretty quickly into high figures. Let’s suppose that the whole banking sector will cost the state ca €60bn (this is well below my estimate of 67-70bn, Peter Mathews’ estimate of 66.5bn, etc). The state will be on the hook for some €29bn more in ‘promisory’ notes. Suppose none are redeemed and no new borrowing against them takes place. The gross cost per annum of these notes will be roughly at least what DofF estimated for €31bn or €150mln in 2011, while the borrowing requirement for the state will have to go up by €2.9billion annually (if structured as previous promisory notes).

Overall, I have significant doubts that the numbers presented in these early estimates will survive the test of reality. However, the Department of Finance seemed to have gotten slightly more realistic in these estimates, when compared to the stuff produced a year ago. It remains to be seen if the learning curve is steep enough to get them to reach full realism by the Budget 2011 day.

source http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2010/11/economics-41110-early-doff-estimates.html
Comment:
As usual an excellent article by Dr Gurdgiev on the current malaise of spin on the upcoming budget that the government is seeping out through their cronies in the media

What a breathe of fresh air  Keep them coming Constantin!

relates items Listen  to  This  danobrien041110

Focus Ireland launched Pre-Budget Submission

Dear Machholz,
On November 1st Focus Ireland launched our Pre-Budget Submission calling on the Government to maintain funding for homeless services at current levels.
On June 2nd 2010 Minister for the Environment John Gormley said:
‘During the economic downturn, I have made it a priority that vulnerable groups are protected. Therefore, I make it a priority during the three budgets that have taken place in the last 30 months that homelessness funding has been ring fenced against the cuts… Protecting the homelessness budget will continue to be a priority for me.’
Focus Ireland has consistently acknowledged Minister Gormley’s ongoing work in ending homelessness in our society and his commitment to protect funding for homeless services.
As Budget 2011 approaches Focus Ireland are calling on Minister Gormley to honour his commitment to protect the budget for homeless services. As many org anisations will be lobbying Government at the present time it is important that those if us who want to see homeless funding maintained have our voices heard.
Maintaining funding for homeless services is vital if the Government’s own homeless strategy it to be successful.
Focus Ireland are asking you to e-mail Minister Gormley asking him to honour his commitment. To mail Minister Gormley click here .
To read our pre budget submission click here .

Out of this World Minsters and TD’s

Nama to seek pay cuts

SIMON CARSWELL and STEVEN CARROLL

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) has said it is not setting a cap on developers’ pay but will force large pay cuts across their companies as it seeks reductions of up to 75 per cent in the cost of running their businesses. 

The agency, which was set up by the Government to take the most toxic loans out of the banks, is aiming to approve business plans submitted by the 30 biggest borrowers by the end of next month.

According to the plans, developers must provide details of how they plan to reduce overheads, including pay, by between 50 per cent and 75 per cent of what they were at the peak of the booming property market.

Nama said the banks had allowed developers to grow their businesses to “unsustainable and unrealistic levels of overheads”.

“We are not getting into what individuals should be paid,” said a spokesman for the agency. “But it is inevitable that there will be very significant pay reductions for executives working in the businesses if their overheads are reduced by up to 75 per cent.”

Developers who assist Nama can hold on to their family homes if they can afford to do so on their reduced pay, as the agency will not call on personal guarantees on loans while they are co-operating. However, Nama will force developers to sell overseas houses and holiday homes to repay loans.

Weekend newspaper reports suggested that some of the 10 most heavily indebted developers may pay themselves salaries of up to €200,000 a year under their business plans. Nama would not comment on specific salaries, saying the division of an overall pay bill approved by Nama under a business plan was a matter for developers.

Speaking on RTÉ radio yesterday, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said the scale of salaries might not seem right to the public but the developers would not be let off the hook.

If Nama wanted co-operation from developers to finish building projects in order to ensure a return for the taxpayer, then it had to take pragmatic decisions, said Mr Ahern.

“Ultimately, there will be excessive pain for these people one way or the other – either it is bankruptcy or they co-operate with Nama,” added the Minister.

The agency has a first legal charge over their assets so developers will “potentially lose their family homes and all the assets that they have”, said Mr Ahern. “There will be an awful lot of pain meted out to these people who took out excessive loans, and because of the burst they’re not worth what they used to be.”

The agency said it intended to work with developers who co-operated in selling assets and completing projects with a view to repaying loans and helping Nama to recover the highest amount for the taxpayer.

Where developers do not co-operate the agency will take enforcement action, he said, adding it was working on about 12 potential cases to bring developers to court or take control of their businesses.

Nama said it would judge whether it was better value to install an insolvency expert to run their business if a developer’s business plan was too costly. The spokesman for Nama said the agency was “astounded” that insolvency professionals had asked for up to €800 an hour for a 500-hour assignment – a fee of €400,000 for one job – in a competitive tender for contract work with the agency.

Nama will only hire at the lower end of the range offered, from €180 an hour, the spokesman said.

Some €27 billion in loans owing by the 32 most indebted developers has been acquired by Nama in the first two tranches of loan transfers to the State agency.

Nama is buying €74 billion in loans linked to 840 borrowers from five participating lenders. The agency is paying about €40 billion for the loans, which is creating massive losses at the institutions, forcing the Government to inject capital and to effectively nationalise four of the five lenders.

Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan has said all loans will be moved to Nama by the end of the year after he approved the fast-tracking of the transfers to remove uncertainty around the process.

Comment :

The Governments fast track approach to consigning developer’s loans to NAMA with super speed expedience is nothing short gross negligence.

This is giving the Toxic Banks a unbelievable opportunity to off load otherwise worthless toxic assets  

Then we here that these same developers can now stay in their stately homes thanks to a deal worked out by the new gangsters in NAMA and that they will also receive a salary of up to 200,000:00 Euros and this when the Fianna Fail & Green Government will tell the people of Ireland that they must take 15,000,000,000:00 out of the economy to safeguard Jobs and growth in the same economy.

For God sake how is taking 15,000,000,000 billion out of the economy going to help grow the economy? Cuts are needed but we are  not going to get them where they are needed  namely in the hugue saleries paid to the top directors in semi state bodies ,mMinsters,TD’s and Top civil servents   Are they even livening in the same country that I am struggling to live in?

The one minster we have in Wicklow was “busy” been fated in the Marriott Hotel in Druids Glen last Thursday

source Wicklow Times

while the rest of us are bewildered by the latest display of the pampered out of touch brigade in Government arriving in their plush Merks at Government Buildings .

http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1026/economy.html#video

None of these seem to be worried that they could be on the dole queues anytime soon in written all over their faces.

If you do anything good in your life promise yourself that you will not vote for any one of these Leaches ever again

7 billion “correction”for next budget.???

US State Department photo of Brian Cowen

Image via Wikipedia

Irish prime minister Brian Cowen has refused to rule out a projected 7 billion euro package of spending cuts and tax rises in the forthcoming budget.

Emergency measures could very well reach that scale, despite the fact that it overshadows every previous prediction. The potential figure also comes after an Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) warning that the Government’s top-heavy fiscal agenda threatens to keep the nation bogged down in recession. 


The Irish cabinet are scheduled to meet on Monday and Tuesday to tackle the deteriorating economic situation. Opposition party Fine Gael finance spokesman Michael Noonan told the press that the 7 billion “correction” option was being considered after his top level civil service briefing this week.

Noonan also indicated that the figure was so huge because 15 billion worth of cuts and tax rises may be needed to get the deficit down to the 3 percent of GDP by the 2014 target, not the previous estimate of €7.5bn. 

Meanwhile Cowen insisted that nothing had been finalised, but he added that “significant adjustments” would be needed over the next four years.

“There are two different set of numbers now. The difference between 4 billion and 7 billion on a correction in the first budget,” Noonan told the press. “It is hard to see how two respected organisations could arrive at such diametrically different figures.”

Noonan’s comments prompted an immediate response from the finance department, which insisted that opposition spokespeople had been informed a range of fiscal models of 3 billion, 4.5 billion and 7 billion, but “at no point was any specific target given,” they said.

Cowen added the Irish government was consulting with the European Union and waiting to study further growth projections before outlining its plans. 


Comment:

No surprises here! but Fine Gael and labour should have known that Last week’s invitation to the Department of Finance was a con job to get them into a position where the government could do exactly do what they are now doing and that is maintaining that the opposition knew all the figures and are afraid to bring in a compatible budget and of course they could now share the blame for the hard measures they must now dish out .

With all this going on everybody is forgetting that the same people in government are now trying to legitimize themselves are being part of the solution for our problems when they should all be in jail

Make no mistake these people should all be in jail!

We the people must not allow these crooks steal our democratic right to have a say in our own nations destiny .

Ronan lyons Budget 2011

By

Ronan lyons

Almost a year ago, the Minister for Finance stated that the Budget he was introducing before Dail Eireann, with its €4bn in savings, was going to be the toughest on the road to Ireland’s recovery. It was, even then, a bold statement and one I doubted at the time.

In recent weeks, interest – at home and on the international bond markets – in Budget 2011 has increased. (For example, on this site, four phrases to do with Ireland’s upcoming Budget have driven 20% of all traffic in the last month.) And it is clear that if last year’s Budget does prove to be the toughest, it will be by a hair’s breadth, as savings of a further €4bn or more are sought in December.

How will this €4bn in savings be achieved? Should the balance be in tax increases or in spending cuts? The TASC proposals, for example, suggest that Ireland can – without deflationary impact, to the scepticism of some commenters on irisheconomy.ie – raise an extra €2.7bn in taxes next year, while only cutting spending by €300m.

In my next post, I’ll be focusing on expenditure. But that is only one half of the equation and today the focus is on taxation and the government’s receipts. I’ll look at measures that can be implemented for the coming year but also with an eye on the Government’s commitment to reduce the deficit to 3% of GDP by 2014 (I actually work off 2015, as I just don’t think 2014 is feasible).

This year, Ireland’s government will take in about €50bn in receipts. The bulk of this, about €44bn, will be in the form of direct or indirect taxes, or “social solidarity” such as health levies or PRSI. By 2015, if the deficit really is to be reduced, revenues will have to rise to between €55bn and €57bn, depending on how growth and spending evolve. This means that we need to increase our total tax take by about 10%-15% in five years. Do-able? I think so, if done right. Here are two ideas that should drive the government’s taxation strategy.

1. Make income tax simple and normal

I have made this point on numerous occasions: Ireland’s income tax system is abnormal. It has evolved over the 2000s to a system based on the wealthy paying a disproportionate share. (Try selling that idea down the pub!) In the last year for which public information is available, 2006, Ireland’s top 0.5% of earners, the 11,714 people who earned more than €275,000 in a year, paid almost 18% of all income tax, over €2bn in total.

full article here at source

http://www.ronanlyons.com/2010/10/19/how-can-ireland-tax-and-grow-thoughts-for-budget-2011/

Budget 2011 (Ivan Yates has his ideas)

 

As we get closer and closer to the December budget we are going to get a platter of suggestions and true to form here is one I came across  a few days ago

This is just a flavor of what is going to be on the dissecting table in the Department of Finance in the coming weeks and Fine Gael is the lead with this one not much difference from FF here! So if you’re going to vote for Fine Gael you can expect to see some or all of these measures acted on

Machholz

By columnists/ivan-yates

With prior EU approval required, the heavy lifting for budget day will be done in the next few weeks. It’s time to get down and dirty with the specific measures to close our fiscal deficit by the required €4.5bn. My blueprint requires slaughtering sacred cows.

More than 70% of current spending comprises welfare or payroll costs. Savings are impossible without addressing these head on.

The Department of Social Protection spends €22bn out of €50bn. If old age pensions can’t be cut, the axe must fall on fringe benefits. €966m is being spent on free schemes — without a means test. Pensioners have been exempt from cuts to date. This is despite a significant reduction in the cost of living. Current pensioners receive defined benefit private pensions that will be unattainable to younger generations.

Imaginative innovations of the 1960s need to be reviewed. The staggering costs are as follows: free travel scheme, €626m; free electricity/gas, €165m; free telephone rental, €120m and free TV licence, €55m. These could be phased out over a two-year period, with a 50% subsidy applying for one more year. These universal benefits are currently payable irrespective of income. Should Fergal Quinn, Michael Smurfit and George Hook really have access to free travel and other fringe benefits?

Administrative arguments about the impossibility of child benefit reform are redundant. The British review in the mid-1990s concluded that means testing and taxation was unworkable because of cohabiting couples and current year incomes. Apparently, you could not discriminate constitutionally against married couples relative to unmarried partners. Because of the inadequate database on the latter, there was a veto on change.

The British chancellor George Osborne cut through this confusion by abolishing child benefit where one parent earns more than £50,000 (€56,600) per annum from 2013. We can follow suit. We could halve child benefit under the same circumstances for those between €50,000 and €100,000 per annum and abolish it where one income exceeds €100,000 per annum. We could save €800m out of child benefit costs of €2.26bn.

However distasteful, this would be much more equitable than flat-rate cuts that are envisaged.

Another British government welfare reform is a cap on total payments per household. Should child benefit be paid beyond the fourth or fifth child? The disincentive to work is greatest where there are large numbers of dependants. Total state benefits per household could have a cash ceiling of the industrial average wage or €40,000 per annum. To earn this money, net of income tax, requires extraordinary gross pay levels.

Last year’s budget adjustment to public sector pay did not extend to pensions. Total state occupational pension costs are heading towards €3bn per year. Smart actuarial experts assess the current total state liability on the cost of future public service pensions at €108bn. Given our demographics, with a huge increase of those of pension age by 2030, we must act to mitigate this fiscal time bomb.

An immediate two-tier cut in pensions is now appropriate, along the lines of last year’s pay cut. For example, 5% under €50,000 per annum, along with a 10% reduction over this pension threshold could be achieved.

The link between pensions and contemporary pay grades has to be terminated and replaced with cost of living/inflation increases — reviewable every 10 years. Private sector workers face only defined contribution schemes.

The Croke Park deal has yet to deliver real savings. Blather about redeployment, efficiency and productivity from ministers won’t deliver reform. Each department needs to be given a set objective amount to be saved in 2011 and each year thereafter. This could be achieved by altering the sick pay scheme to reduce absenteeism. In a hospital, closing down the maintenance department and replacing it with subcontractors may be the expedient efficiency. In the Department of Transport it could result in some of the 37 subsidiary organisations being amalgamated.

A central voluntary redundancy package, based on five weeks pay per year, needs to be implemented. Multi-annual targets for numerical reductions are required. The Bord Snip report set out a template for this in each department comprising a total of 17,300 less staff. All public bodies must stop the practice of using up unspent money at the end of each year.

Nothing in life is free. Governments tried to convince us otherwise. Ultimately, these panaceas are economically unsustainable. In 1996 third-level education fees were abolished and the entitlement to free access was established. The beneficiary must be liable for the cost of this valuable service. More open competition between universities, colleges and institutes should be based on price and quality. A phased reduction of state subvention would oblige these education dons to cut their cloth according to the market measure. It is patently unfair that an early school-leaver, now a manual labourer, should subsidise the wealthiest kids in our most esteemed educational facilities.

In 2002 it was decreed that household water should be free. By 2050, the world’s scarcest commodity will be water — not oil, fossil fuels or food. EU directives require us to charge for water supplies. In rural areas you have to pay the full cost whether sinking your own pump, procuring a private group water scheme or are on a public supply meter. Free water is unappreciated, disrespected and wasted.

A SEMI-STATE company could replace our local authority water provision. Water could be provided and paid for in the same way as a phone, gas or electricity by a commercial utility provider. Deferring liability until metering is in place is a cowardly cop-out. An immediate minimum flat charge of €3 per week is modest and reasonable.

Colm McCarthy’s proposals to rationalise and amalgamate quangos have been subject to the most intense obfuscation. This can no longer be tolerated. A zero budgeting principle needs to apply. Senior civil servants are guilty of facilitating obstruction by bodies under their aegis. Petty turf wars have been sponsored by compliant secretary generals and ministers. They have allowed themselves to see their cabinet role as defending their patch.

A general repeal of legislation giving statutory effect to these organisations needs to be threatened. The myriad of partnership boards, regional bodies and county structures amounts to a maze of bureaucracy — each with its own human resources and accounts departments. These are no longer affordable and don’t provide essential core public services. €2bn can be saved through a deferral of Metro North, the National Children’s Hospital and other capital projects. This menu is without recourse to tax increases or cuts in rates of welfare. Just like a tooth extraction, the anticipation is worse than the actuality. The gaping hole heals and new normality asserts.

Let’s bite the bullet and cull those cows.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Thursday, October 14, 2010

Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.ie/opinion/columnists/ivan-yates/lets-get-rid-of-all-those-freebies-and-put-a-ceiling-on-child-benefits-133426.html#ixzz12nSaaY1n

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