Newstalk editorial – Pre Budget Statement

Newstalk, a national Irish commercial radio station, have taken the unusual step of releasing a pre-budget editorial statement, repeated at intervals throughout the day. Already it is generating controversy online. From thepropertypin to to Irish Election. I largely agree with both it’s tone and it’s content, others seem upset that a radio station would take such a clear and unambiguous stand.

Scarcely has any politician in the history of our State faced such difficulties as those which face the Taoiseach now. The challenge is daunting. It calls for strong and determined leadership. The decisions required will be difficult to accept. Brian Cowen must now assert his authority.

Never before has a budget been so important. Our cost base needs radical adjustment; we must all reduce our living standards. Our country cannot afford to pay our politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses and accountants more than our European counterparts. We can no longer afford to out price ourselves against our nearest neighbours. We must compete against Newry and Bratislava. Competitiveness is essential if we are to create jobs for our young, educated and newly unemployed men and women.

The future holds much uncertainty and dark days of difficulty but together, working for each other and as a nation we can rebuild our country.

Taoiseach, please lead us, let’s not meander.

You can read or listen to the full thing here

  • Good pitch. Clear message. Hard to understand criticism, unless from those who somehow believe that sure Ireland will muddle through…

  • Glencoppagagh

    You didn’t compose it yourself by any chance? It certainly reads like that.
    Like dissenter, I think it’s hard for any rational mind to disagree with it.

  • Mack

    They must have done a cut and paste job from my blogs 🙂

    It’s very well written and structured, but it’s the contents that is annoying those opposed to cuts. It’s difficult to argue with the focus on competitiveness, if we borrowed to create jobs that can’t be sustained by trade, what happens when we reach our credit limit?

  • slug

    According to the Economist, Ireland is in the most deflationary situation of any of the high-borrowing Eurozone countries.

  • Rory Carr

    It reads as no more than a pretext for making the less well off bear the major burden for the sins of the super wealthy but couched in a patriotic rallying call for “us all” to make sacrifices to “save the nation”. Same old, same old, all that’s missing is the background sweep of violins.

  • Any republicans still fancy 2016??? lmao.

  • mod

    Was this speech written by the tax exile owner of Newstalk by any chance?

  • Captain Moonlight

    This is bull. It is a diatribe from the comfortably off seeking the further screwing of the ordinary man and woman in the street. I’ve had my pay cut by 25% in the last six months and the conditions I operate under would make the average public servant cry like a baby.

    There are lots of employers out there loving this recession as an excuse to cut wages and worsen conditions further. Claptrap like this plays into their hands – McWilliams was right when he divided the country into insiders and outsiders. It’s pretty damn cold outside in the “republic” at the moment and if it gets any colder I’m gone. Then the twats in Nesbitts who created and destroyed the boom can go on sipping porter as if nothing happened. Republic my backside.

  • paddy

    not to worry cork will keep ireland afloat

  • Mack

    Captain Moonlight –

    I’ve had my pay cut by 25% in the last six months and the conditions I operate under would make the average public servant cry like a baby.

    That is beyond harsh. Did your employer make any of your colleagues redundant? Did they hire any extra staff with the money they saved?

    Rory –

    It reads as no more than a pretext for making the less well off bear the major burden for the sins of the super wealthy but couched in a patriotic rallying call for “us all” to make sacrifices to “save the nation”

    In the exact terms you specify that is true (i.e. less well off than super-wealthy). But the burden lies with us, not the super-wealthy. It’s our country, do we let it sink to spite them?

  • RepublicanStones

    Are there any figures available for numbers at newstalk who have taken pay cuts?

  • OC

    What jobs are we talking about here?


    Any jobs that aren’t menial kowtowing to the rich and corrupt?

    Maybe the sex, or drugs industry?

  • Mack

    Republican Stones –

    All of them, 5% for those earning less than €50k, 10% for those earning more than €50k

  • Mack

    OC –

    I think they are referring primarily to jobs where the state determines income, i.e. the public sector and the state protected sector (solicitors, doctors etc).

    The market is forcing any adjustments required in other sectors, normally in some combination of paycuts and redundancies.

  • RepublicanStones

    Interesting Mack, I must eat humble pie here apologise for criticisng Mr Darcy et al with workmates for their ponitifcating over the airwaves. That said, lets hope this afternoons budget is as sensible.
    But the idea of reducing vat on carryout booze to prevent people heading North to buy theirs….not sure about that one.

  • Mack

    This, I think, is what they are talking about from


    1) Incremental Credit – A teacher who has studied for four years, starts on point 3 of the incremental credit scale. All teachers have 4 years of study.
    2) For a degree + HDip you are awarded an additional E2561 (both degrees pass) – E6476 (both degrees honours. Someone with a doctoral degree gets more again.

    The minimum starting salary for a teacher is therefore E37,468. The maximum starting salary for a teacher is E41,383.

    One year contracts, maternity leave coverage etc. count towards incremental credit. Lack of permanency in your job does not affect your incremental credit.

    For qualified teachers who work part time hours. A full teaching load of 22 hours per week, 33 weeks per year at the standard rate of €49.60 per hour, gives an annual FTE salary of E36,009.

    Teaching salaries rise by an average of E1.5K a year for the first ten years. That figure excludes inflation related pay rises. They rise by an average of E1K a year thereafter until the top point of the salary scale is reached.


    The starting salary for a nurse is E31,875.
    Additional payments are available for working from 6pm – 8pm (1+1/6)
    8pm – 8am (1+1/4)
    Saturdays – flat rate of E15 per day
    Sundays and public holidays – 2

    Based on a rota of 3/4 of time spent on day shifts (which incorporate some extra time hours) and 1/4 on night shifts, a nurse can expect to earn about 1.2 times their base salary before any additional overtime is taken on.

    This brings the starting salary for a nurse to E39,000 or thereabouts. This rises to E57,000 after 13 years.


    The starting salary for a Garda on attestation is E27,098. An additonal payment of E4162 in rent allowance is also payable, which brings the wage to E31,260

    Additional payments are available for working from 6pm – 8pm (1+1/6)
    8pm – 8am (1+1/4)
    Saturdays – flat rate of E15 per day
    Sundays and public holidays – 2

    Based on a rota of 1 early, 1 late, 1 night, 1 off, a Garda can expect to earn about 20% higher than their base salary before any additional overtime is added.

    This brings the starting salary for a Garda to E36,583 on attestation and E39K by the end of the first year, rising to E62K after 17 years service.

    This compares with an average graduate salary of around €24,000 that will not include a defined benefit pension (but will require self-funding of an inferior defined contribution pension) and may not include paid maternity leave etc.

  • droid

    Well that worked out well didn’t it? Luckily we all united and got behind our government when they made the hard decisions, now everythings ok.

    So where’s this years quasi-totalitarian editorial urging us to get behind our glorious leaders?

  • Mack

    The banks sunk Ireland this year droid.

  • droid

    Eh, no. The guarantee sunk Ireland this year. The one inacted by the cretins that NT were encouraging to ‘not meander’ in their policies.

  • Mack

    I think their editorial focused on the structural deficit. It’s not available online any more but I don’t recall them urging any policy action on the banks.

    Maybe you think the government could have been brought down and the guarantee rescinded? I doubt the editorial made any difference to the probability of that occuring..

  • droid

    The editorial clearly stated that we should get behind the government, accept their authority and take the pain as they meet the daunting challenges that face us…. as it turns out, the cuts have failed and they will continue to fail. Deferring to the authority of the government was exactly the opposite of what we should have done, as they were wrong about pretty much everything.

    This editorial also came about after a weeks of PS bashing, the most entertaining and hypocritical of which was the week after Newstalk breakfast had whipped themselves into an orgy of hysteria over the idea that PS workers might be shopping in Newry during the strike when Claire Byrne quietly noted with a chuckle that Newry was just as busy the following week…

    Simply put, last year NT told us all to shut up, support FF and swallow the pill as part of their nakedly (economically) right wing media agenda. The pill has since made us sicker, and urging the population to support the corrupt idiots in power was an appalling misjudgment.

  • Mack

    Can’t agree with that droid. Had the government attempted a stimulatory course we still would have been shut out of the bond markets and forced into fiscal correction / consolidation by the EU / IMF / ECB Troika. The result is the same in socialist Greece as in centre-right Ireland and socialist Portugal will follow the same course.

    Whatever alternatives remain today – spending other people’s money isn’t one of them. Telling the IMF / EU to get stuffed is an option but we’d have to balance the budget immediately and take a lot of pain re the banks and citizen’s deposits..