With sentiment hardening in favour of the government parties in the south, we’re seeing a return of auction politics says Noel Whelan…
…instead of offering to allocate additional resources that become available during the recovery firstly to those in greatest need the Government and the opposition parties are offering them to those sectors of the electorate most likely to vote and most able to make loud demands for attention.
The spindoctors have been particularly busy with the weekend press. One only has to look at recent editions of the Sunday newspapers to see that.
“Coalition plan 2pc USC cut in election gamble” was the front-page story in the Sunday Independent earlier this month with the sub-headline “€1,000 a year bonus for those under €70,000”.
“Government uses childcare to woo voters” the Sunday Times front page declared a couple of weeks ago.
Among the headlines on the front page of the Sunday Business Post on recent Sundays have been been the following: “Business and farmers to gain in budget”, “Property tax to be frozen as budget give-away begins”, “Government set to unveil new tax cuts for small firms”
When in a corner, what do you do? You resort to the old methods. The only question remaining is whether they go for a November election or one in Spring. It’s thought that Noonan wants to go early whilst the memory of the Budget is still fresh in the public mind.
Less worldly wise heads want it for when the largesse comes on stream in the Springtime.
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