“It is a doughnut approach to policy and economics…”

The Irish Examiner‘s Conor Ryan points to the hole in the doughnut that is Sinn Féin’s economic proposals for Ireland.

Its tactics are concentrated on tapping those who have money, or who at least enjoyed the trappings during the Celtic Tiger.

It hopes to bring in €120m on an increased second homes tax, it wants to find €285m on abolishing mortgage interest relief for landlords and €96m on raised capital gains tax. These appear to be realistic targets.

But the more precise measures on the outside of the tax base can only bring in so much. They are not enough to deal with that bit in the middle.

There is promise of a wealth tax of 1% tax on incomes raised among those with assets in excess of €1m. This would be expected to generate €1bn.

Sinn Féin wants to standardise a whole host of tax reliefs. This accounts of €1.1bn of its recovery plan. That is a big €2.1bn hole in a promise to generate €4.7bn in a full year.

Mr Doherty carefully argued that it had asked for figures but was not supplied them by the Department of Finance.

So it took its best estimate.

Conveniently, its calculation was enough to explain how the doughnut can be packed out if it got into power.

But while this might buy some votes among key demographics it is unlikely to pay the bills.

Meanwhile, in the Irish Times, Deaglán de Bréadún takes a look at the party’s manifesto

SINN FÉIN’S election manifesto is like a Late Late Show giveaway: there’s something for everybody in the audience. And despite his history, Gerry Adams does it with a smile worthy of Ryan, Pat or even Gaybo in his day.

As he points out

Virtually every hour, on the hour, Labour reminds us that the other parties, including Sinn Féin, supported the bank guarantee back in September 2008. The republicans backed away almost immediately but Eamon Gilmore and Joan Burton still keep the memory green.

Sinn Féin justifies its initial stance on the basis of protecting the depositors and it still wants to do that, but in most other respects the banks would be cut loose and abandoned to their fate.

You can hear Gerry’s friend, Fidel Castro, cheering this approach although even he discovered, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, that it’s a harsh world out there and survival can be a huge challenge.

A Sinn Féin government would certainly make people feel good about their sovereignty: there would be no need to worry about Prof Morgan Kelly’s scenario of depending on “the kindness of strangers” because the strangers wouldn’t want to know.