Austerity in two halves: #Budget2012

Early next week will finally see the introduction of #Budget2012 to the Dáil, in a novel format with two speeches, one by Brendan Howlin on Monday and one by Michael Noonan on Tuesday. The budget has been heavily trailed, with endless kite-flying over the last few weeks. A brief guide to (some) of the proposed changes was given by Caroline Madden in the Irish Times last Monday. For ease of reference, most of the main suggested budgetary changes are given below. It will be interesting to compare the kites to the actual cuts next week.

Two coalition partners presenting separate budget speeches might inadvertently reflect alleged tensions between the parties (and one outworking of the presidential election result?). Willie Penrose and Tommy Broughan are already gone from the Labour parliamentary party over the budget, and recently there was Labour backbench outrage over the Taoiseach’s suggestion that he would ‘make an honest leader‘ of Deputy Eamon Gilmore, their party leader and Tánaiste.

Optics appears not to be a strongpoint of the coalition at the moment as the Taoiseach is now intent on a state of the nation address at 9.30 pm on Sunday, on the eve of the budget (although at least X-Factor fans can opt out). Unfortunately, for the Taoiseach, the only frame of reference most people have for this type of address is the infamous ‘living beyond our means‘ speech of Charles Haughey with which it will draw parallels.

Given that tax receipts are now behind target for 2011, projections, and thus cuts, for 2012 may still be undergoing eleventh hour revisions as  we speak…

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  • Alias

    The harsh reality is that government spending will have be cut by circa three quarters from its peak. Spending was circa 60 billion with revenue circa half that. Cira half of that revenue is dedicated to bailing-out the eurosystem so the remainder (25% of the peak) will be split between state services and paying dues to the EU. Happy days…

  • Alanbrooke

    If Ireland has the lowest corporation tax rate in Europe wouldn’t it make more sense to add 1% to the rate ( it will still be the lowest ) rather than drive everyone into grinding poverty. ?

  • The yokel

    Re increase in corporation tax. Google, Intel, Pfizer etc. have taken over from the Brits as the new rulers of Ireland. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The other place where the champagne corks are popping is the Irish public sector, whose gilt-edged pensions and pay arrangements are left untouched while everyone else faces tax increases to support them. In a small way I am thankful that the UK government is at least expecting public sector workers to recognize that they have a part to pay in contributing to those pensions.

  • They dare not touch the Corporation Tax as that would open a door for the Germans/French to make the case for further increases. May be a matter of if not when, but no use gifting the argument to your, er…, friends.

  • Alanbrooke


    well who’s kidding who ? if the corp. tax rate does chip in it simply means other areas of the economy have to foot the bill, Ireland’s slitting its own throat by not letting it rise.