Vincent Browne is sceptical that there any differences between the parties on today’s budget announcements. He believes none of them are interested in radical dismantling (subs needed) of the status quo, Sinn Fein amongst them:
Sinn Féin is in favour of higher taxation if higher taxation is necessary to fund necessary public expenditure initiatives.
The crucial word here is “if”. You can bet your top dollar or bottom dollar that, if necessary, Sinn Féin would discover that buoyancy in taxation revenue and the savings that would be made on other public expenditure projects, as well as closing some of the tax loopholes, would be quite sufficient – no need for any further taxes.
Bertie Ahern’s claims that a deal with Sinn Féin would be impossible because of unbridgeable differences on economic policy will seem and sound thinner tonight as Sinn Féin avoids saying anything that might frighten the same horses Fine Gael and Labour are afraid of frightening.
Basically there is no unbridgeable policy difference between Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil. Actually there is no unbridgeable policy difference between Sinn Féin and Fine Gael. Come to think of it, aside from the bluster on both sides, what is the difference now between Sinn Féin and the PDs? Sinn Féin is part of the soft-core centre of Irish politics that doesn’t want to disturb the status quo or at least won’t do anything to disturb the status quo.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty