Fianna fail needs to offer more substance – and work with the Govt to address health and housing

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By Eamon Delaney Fianna Fail got a small opinion poll rise recently, but sometimes you have to wonder about our second biggest party, and its focus and direction, not to mention internal discipline. Recently, for example, three of its TDs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) called for more disclosure of the President’s spending. But their party leader, Micheal Martin, … Read More

Fine Gael are doing exactly what they accused Charlie McCreevy of doing

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By Cormac Lucey The latest IMF report on the Irish economy passed by with little remark. That reflects an economy back on its own two feet and no longer dependent on external support. Nonetheless, the Washington DC-based organisation argues that the key policy challenge is to harness Ireland’s strong economic momentum to avoid a new boom-bust cycle, and to bolster … Read More

At least EU Commission’s bite of the Apple has lifted the veil of Irish tax secrecy

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By Cormac Lucey The Irish constitution, Bunreacht na hEireann, contains some important yet mostly overlooked provisions on financial matters. There are only two members of the cabinet who must, according to the constitution, be members of Dail Eireann: the taoiseach and the finance minister. And only the Dail can initiate legislation that provides for the raising of taxes or the … Read More

Overtime budget shows how Gardai and their ‘trade unions’ are running rings around us

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By Eamon Delaney With the Gardai, events and revelations come quick. Two weeks ago, while we were all focused on the Ministerial casualties of the whistleblower row, an extraordinary thing happened : it was announced that the garda overtime budget had been reached and overtime was being cancelled for Christmas ! Garda management didn’t provide someone to explain this amazing … Read More

With massive pensions liability ahead, Paschal’s sums simply do not add up

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By Cormac Lucey Three questions arise from budget 2018. The first is whether there is a fair balance between proposed spending increases and tax cuts, and in my view there isn’t. Government spending has been allowed to keep growing even in areas where it is already excessive. The health budget has risen by 4.6 per cent though spending per head … Read More

Budget 2018 – We Need Tax Relief for Working Families

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Political Debate Must Be Based on Factual Analysis At the 2011 General Election, the main political parties indicated that tax increases would represent 27-42% of budgetary austerity, with spending cuts making up the balance. Official government data indicates that tax increases constituted 42% of budgetary adjustment over that period. Correcting for misclassification (of tax/revenue increases incorrectly classified as spending reductions) … Read More

EU costs on Irish Language show how we export our illusions and hypocrisy

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By Eamon Delaney  Last week, it was revealed that the European Commission had overspent its €220 million translation budget and had to supplement the cost from other sources. One small but telling reason is the cost of translation into the Irish language, which almost nobody is listening to or even reading in Brussels, which is twice the average rate for … Read More

Capitalism is a rigged game — but one we’re far better off playing

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By Cormac Lucey A columnist with The Irish Times recently wrote that the global financial crisis had revealed that capitalism was rigged as “no accountability was ever apportioned: few were arrested or jailed”. He also referred to global income and wealth inequality as evidence to support his case. The column was written by Chris Johns, a blue-chip capitalist and formerly … Read More