“people have to make sacrifices for the greater good..”

RTÉ reports on Republic of Ireland Minister of Finance Brian Lenihan’s comments on Morning Ireland [RealPlayer file]

Speaking on RTÉ Morning Ireland following yesterday’s Exchequer figures which showed a tax shortfall this year of €8bn, he said that a reduction in our living standards is required [in Ireland]. However, Minister Lenihan said he does not believe that there will be a mini-Budget in the spring and that there is ‘little scope’ for tax increases next year. He said there will be further cuts in Government spending once a full picture of tax intake is available at the end of the year.

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  • Mack

    Pete – in a country where train drivers earn €52,000 (£44,590) per anum, on the public pay roll, and strike when asked to train a new start (leaving a train packed with commuters and day-trippers on the platform) – public spending cuts are an absolute neccessity.


    Remember those well paid train drivers also get defined benefit state pensions that increase with any pay awards given to their collegues (worth an additional 30% of salary per anum).

  • Greenflag

    Trees and organisations and countries mostly ‘rot’ from the top down . This particular crisis is the result of 20 years of short sighted devotion to the cult of individual greed uber alles at the expense of the wider society .

    I could see as far back as August 2005 that the property driven ‘boom’ would end -they always do . The only question was the when and how bad it would be .

    Lenihan should start with himself and the entire political establishment plus the public service . A 30% drop in salary for the top echelons plus a reduced scale to 5% cuts for the lowest grades should be a good start for the new found fiscally correct soldiers of destiny.

    Not to worry folks . Human and political nature will not be stood on it’s head either by FF or any other party on this island no matter what they say. Mr Gilmore said the problems of this recession could be overcome by his party – He did’nt say how ? – anyway don’t recall him mentioning he’d take a drop of 30% in political salary so as to set an example to the rest of the highest paid public sector ? Long before the ‘lads ‘ at the top of the public sector feeding trough are forced to eat humble pie those at the bottom will first have to be ‘ahem ‘ removed from the equation as was ever the case . Emigration anyone ? But hang on a minute where can you emigrate to these days and hope to do better ?

    Will we yet hear Lenihan Jr repeat the mantra of his father Brian who memorably as Minister of Finance during the 1980’s mass exodus explained /blamed the economic mess on the fact that ‘Ireland was just too small an island for all these people (at the time the population was 3.4 million ).

    People get what they vote for ? If you think voting for an economic ostrich with it’s head in the sand you should have no problem in finding your party of choice in Ireland -North or South .

    The only difference is that in the Republic the politicians occassionally and for long stretches have been known to take their heads out of the sand and have a gander at the ‘real’ world out there . In Northern Ireland the ‘ostriches’ just keep digging deeper:(

    Meanwhile shopping refugees from some of the ‘rip off merchants of consumerdom’ in the Republic now cause 3 hour traffic back ups into and out of Newry . Local Newry residents are now complaing that they can take them an hour or more to get anywhere because of the traffic coming from across the border .

    Unionists have always been accused of being loyal only to the half crown . It would seem that we Nationalists and Republicans are mostly motivated by a similar form of loyalty albeit in it’s present euro disguise .

  • Mack

    I see an easy way out

  • Greenflag


    ‘I see an easy way out ‘

    Oh yeah . So this is why the CEO’s of Ford, GM , Chrysler and the Bankers of Wall St and the virtually the entire ‘privatised’ executive leadership of the western world’s financial services sector have been on bended knee pleading with their governments for a more of a ‘hand out ‘ for the sake of the country’s few remaining manufacturing industries of course ?

    No easy way out I’m afraid . Never was and never will be . Policy makers have got to find the balance between private and public that works to keep us all from eating each other;)

  • Not only are the train drivers well paid but it’s a closed shop too. You can’t apply to learn to be a train driver or apply for a job as someone with NIR or other train operator experience – you apply to sweep floors in CIE and then they allow you to apply to be a train driver.

    That said, CIE personnel management is shockingly bad and groups like Rail Users Ireland who aren’t slow to blame drivers where its due have pointed out some disputes which were entirely caused by management bungling or intentional messing.

    As for Lenihan, this is his “tighten our belts” moment. His belt better not be made in Paris.