A budget suggestion

johndodger

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Joined
May 5, 2010
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Not going to tell you which ones as I, while I may believe they do nothing, I don't have all the facts on which to make a decision.
So then why make a blaket statement to abolish them all without knowing the facts?

I'd like to think we could go through each and every one of them to see why it exists and to explore whether its function is necessary or whether it can be better carried out through another form.
Eminently sensible suggestion that I've been making for some time. However the Government refuse to do this. The McCarthy report makes a start... but it's only a start.

Where redundancies or wage cuts (I'm mainly thinking of management level wages here) are found, I'd do it. I wouldn't however dismantle useful or essential services just to satisfy a grudge though.
Glad to hear it.

Aren't we still paying inflated rents to these large developers though? I know we have entered into contracts but surely its justifiable to renegotiate given the current climate.
Possibly and yes. I thought you were talking about rent allowance for those on social welfare.

After that, I'd be looking into contracts for services and trying to decimate the costs.
This is already being done. Every sector of the public service have had cuts in their budgets and redundancies. There is a perception that "nothing is being done" but obviously in order to maintain services reform and effieiencies such as the above are already being made. However cuts across the board often lead to essential staff being cut and more services having to be outsourced, often at greater cost.

My agency has made significant reforms in an attempt to deliver services with reduced budgets and staff. This includes voluntary extra unpaid working hours, forgoing some annual leave, taking on the work or staff that have been laid off and renegotiating and reviewing all contracts for services that are coming up for renewal. It would not be possible for us to continue to deliver services without reform. And all this was agreed without fuss or whinging and without a union in sight, but of course these kind of examples are never reported in the anti-PS media.

At the end of the day, I don't know of any concrete examples because all I have to go on really is stories from the rag (sorry, independent), and I'm not dumb enough to believe everything I'm told.
Again, glad to hear it. Unfortunately though many do believe what they read in the anti-PS media and often make outrageous generalisations about the PS.

Im basically working off the belief that the state tied itself into inflated contracts all over the place (often just the way it was and not slating ps) and that those should be re-examined in the light of our current situation.
Maybe some parts of the PS did (the public service comprises numerous agencies and departments and does not all act as one) but, from my experience, given the very tight public procurement rules that I am obliged to follow and the various audits it is very difficult to find examples of such inflated contracts. However businesses are generally falling overthemselves to get our business now so costs are coming down (although some are going up).


I have not called for cutting necessary staff so, while I appreciate that I am adding a substantial workload, I firmly believe that if its worth doing that it should be done by hook or by crook.
If you cut across the board rather than targetted cuts, essential staff are lost. I know from experience.

You'll note that I haven't pretended to be some sort of wizard with all the answers as again I am working off the premise that the social welfare system could be made more fit for purpose (get people over a bad, temporary spell - not a way of life, expect in exceptional circumstances).
Yes, the estimated 5-10bn paid to welfare fraudsters could be tackled.


The Eu aren't going to pay the bills so sod EU law - there's nothing they can do to stop it without looking like fools.
Eh, yes the can. Substantial fines for a start. Could also lead to countries deciding not to trade with us or even trade sanctions.


Frankly, this is the golden question. It's have to be enough to have an impact but not so much as to create a void once its gone. If it were workable I'd cut all the VAT for first 6 months, 50% of the VAT for next 6 months.
Do it, promote it and get the tourists in while also getting Irish people spending and off the dole. (Maybe double the airport tax for the year to make up a few quid, given that we are now a "cheap" place to visit...)
I agree with impetus measures such as reducing VAT if can be reasonably determined that there would be a net gain to the economy. But it's a risk; the UK slashed VAT and it had little effect, apart from NI border areas. If people have little money and the future is uncertain, they won't necessarily start spending just because VAT is reduced.

If banks aren't lending then the market value will reflect what people have in their pockets. Could be 50 quid but so what if the house needs some work and it gets people employed.
And whats wrong with someone living mortgage free?
If banks won't lend, at worse businesses will collapse, at best growth will stagnate. Who is going to sell a house for 50 quid when they can hold on to in the hope prices will rise? Most people cannot afford to buy houses without mortgages.


Wage agreements. Nobody is insisting that you pay less or more but I am saying that the state should work itself into a position where it can pay less than the current rates.
With who? Not all private sector workers or companies are unionised. Do you seriously think you will get a wage agreement with private sector unions to reduce wages?

Don't France break up contracts where possible? Can't we do the same?
Yes, except we are more of an export driven economy. If all countries start doing that it will more adversly affect Irish companies and cause job loses. It would also affect our reputation and and the last thing we want to do is stifel foreign investment.

Moved house last month. Could hammer everybody on rent, right the way down to about 700/month. Reason being that the rent allowance in the area is 700/month. Its not fair to have RA driving MY rent up.
So long as rent allowance covers the rent, then of course. My worry would be that they would reduce rent allowance to say 500 and then (as we enter recovery) rent would start going up.

Correct. And every other company doing electricity sells themselves as x% cheaper than the ESB. A con by the way as I believe some charge different standing charges.
As I understand it its a temporary measure to encourage and foster competition and is a normal practice when deregulation is introduced.
 
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afns1

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
736
How many posts do you have to have?
100. It's not the end of the world. I used to have a different username with lots of posts but for some reason it wouldn't let me log in to it - tried at various times for a few months (despite not being in trouble - it used to nearly log me in but then log me out again). "afns" stands for "a fresh new start". Anyway, I can see why they have the rule so not complaining.
 
B

Boggle

So then why make a blaket statement to abolish them all without knowing the facts?
Because I remember what Bertie was like and I clearly remember that his anser to every problem was a new Quango - whether it was required or not. I also know that 90% of the time you hear about Quango's, it's in a bad light - whether it's not having enough money to actually fulfil their role, not having a clear role or beinga "wtf do we need that for?" agency...

That being said, I don't know who is reading here and I'm not arrogant enought to sit here telling people I don't know, doing a job I don't really understand that they should be fired. Couple that with the fact that any information I have comes mainly from the independent and RTE and, as I said earlier, I have to recognise that there is a chance that I'm completely wrong.
(Put it this way - I have more time for a random posters opinion than for an
Eminently sensible suggestion that I've been making for some time. However the Government refuse to do this. The McCarthy report makes a start... but it's only a start.


Glad to hear it.
Thanks.

Possibly and yes. I thought you were talking about rent allowance for those on social welfare.
I did also mention rent allowance for those on SW and I do believe it should be cut drastically as it is propping up rental prices.
However that is seperate from re-negotiating commercial leases held with FF's buddies.


This is already being done. Every sector of the public service have had cuts in their budgets and redundancies. There is a perception that "nothing is being done" but obviously in order to maintain services reform and effieiencies such as the above are already being made. However cuts across the board often lead to essential staff being cut and more services having to be outsourced, often at greater cost.

My agency has made significant reforms in an attempt to deliver services with reduced budgets and staff. This includes voluntary extra unpaid working hours, forgoing some annual leave, taking on the work or staff that have been laid off and renegotiating and reviewing all contracts for services that are coming up for renewal. It would not be possible for us to continue to deliver services without reform. And all this was agreed without fuss or whinging and without a union in sight, but of course these kind of examples are never reported in the anti-PS media.
This is why I like posting here as you never hear any balanced (or honest) viewpoints from the media. Good to hear.

As I said, I have no interest in carrying out a crusade against anyone (well, maybe FF if I'm honest) but that doesn not take away from the fact that I want essential roles carried out efficiently ad effectively.



Maybe some parts of the PS did (the public service comprises numerous agencies and departments and does not all act as one) but, from my experience, given the very tight public procurement rules that I am obliged to follow and the various audits it is very difficult to find examples of such inflated contracts. However businesses are generally falling overthemselves to get our business now so costs are coming down (although some are going up).
I'll take you on your word on this.

If you cut across the board rather than targetted cuts, essential staff are lost. I know from experience.
Cuts across the board are the devil! :evil:
When I say deliver services more efficiently I am not writing code for "cut the b@stards" - I am saying identify redundant roles or excessive pay levels. I don't see the point in spending a lot of money for something that doesn't work.

Yes, the estimated 5-10bn paid to welfare fraudsters could be tackled.
Would it be that much fraud?


Eh, yes the can. Substantial fines for a start. Could also lead to countries deciding not to trade with us or even trade sanctions.
I don't get this - you can go to other EU countries and buy lethal firearms. You can go to Holland and buy drugs (legal status being a cop out there).

It strikes me of double standards, weakness and fear. Personally I'd do it and argue about it later (assuming it represents the will of the Irish that is).



I agree with impetus measures such as reducing VAT if can be reasonably determined that there would be a net gain to the economy. But it's a risk; the UK slashed VAT and it had little effect, apart from NI border areas. If people have little money and the future is uncertain, they won't necessarily start spending just because VAT is reduced.
The UK dropped their VAT to 17%, didn't it?
What I'm suggesting is a complete cut in VAT to make enough of a difference to make it worth moving purchases forward and to draw money abroad (shopping trips to Ireland) - not just a token gesture.


If banks won't lend, at worse businesses will collapse, at best growth will stagnate. Who is going to sell a house for 50 quid when they can hold on to in the hope prices will rise? Most people cannot afford to buy houses without mortgages.
You miss my point. I mean to literally sell them for what people will pay. If that's e50 then it's e50.



With who? Not all private sector workers or companies are unionised. Do you seriously think you will get a wage agreement with private sector unions to reduce wages?
Sorry, I think wer have our wires a little crossed here. What I am talking about in this specific instance is construction and the construction wage agreements which set a floor to how much a construction may be paid.
This isn't a begrudgery thing - it's a recognition that it the contruction industry needs a bailout then they will have to accept that we are not bailing them out just to prop up prices - we are bailing them out to generate jobs.



Yes, except we are more of an export driven economy. If all countries start doing that it will more adversly affect Irish companies and cause job loses. It would also affect our reputation and and the last thing we want to do is stifel foreign investment.
Don't believe that is an issue.


So long as rent allowance covers the rent, then of course. My worry would be that they would reduce rent allowance to say 500 and then (as we enter recovery) rent would start going up.
I'm sorry to be so cruel in saying this but someone who is longterm unemployed should not be able to compete with a working couple in the rental market and should not be responsible for driving up rents. You will always find houses for less than market rate and if you are in a house you can negotiate with your landlord.
We just don't have the money to go around pretending that someone can live as well on the dole as a person working. I'd rather concentrate on getting our costs down to foster employment and minimise time on the dole.



As I understand it its a temporary measure to encourage and foster competition and is a normal practice when deregulation is introduced.
It is supposed to be but it's a bit thick and the only people it benefits are large companies. Put it this way, if I want cheap electricity, I drop prices - I don't increase them in the hope that someone else will drop them later.
 

johndodger

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
1,845
Because I remember what Bertie was like and I clearly remember that his anser to every problem was a new Quango - whether it was required or not. I also know that 90% of the time you hear about Quango's, it's in a bad light - whether it's not having enough money to actually fulfil their role, not having a clear role or beinga "wtf do we need that for?" agency...

That being said, I don't know who is reading here and I'm not arrogant enought to sit here telling people I don't know, doing a job I don't really understand that they should be fired. Couple that with the fact that any information I have comes mainly from the independent and RTE and, as I said earlier, I have to recognise that there is a chance that I'm completely wrong.
(Put it this way - I have more time for a random posters opinion than for an
Thanks.
I'm glad you realise that. So called "quangos" have been scapegoated by the media and netariti for some time, often without any evidence to back-up some of the ludicrous claims and generalisations made about them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all of them are carrying out necessary tasks. Some may well not be, or those services may be less essential in the current climate, or some may be duplicating services, some may be inefficiently run and wasteful and it may be possible to transfer some of the services back to their parent departments. However my point is that not all of them are. It is illogical to suggest that they are. They do not all exist to provides homes on boards for Friends of Fianna Fail. Many are well run, efficient and provide value for money (determined via ndependently carried out audits). Some, if not many, in fact have a positive ROI meaning that they make more money for the state (or save more money) than they cost to run.

It is very populist to suggest that these be culled en mass, often without examining the facts. The fact is the a small number of these quangos account for the vast majority of the budget so eliminating many of the smaller agencies will lead to very few savings, and in fact when you count in transfer or services, retraining, redundancy (where applicable), loss of tax, loss of VAT, associated private sector redundancies etc. it could actually cost more, cetainly in the short term and possibly also in the long term (especially if not well planned).

In the UK, where they are culling large amoungs of such quangos, they have admitted that there will be few cost savings and in fact that it may in fact cost more to abolish them. It is generally accepted that the cull is no more than a populist publicity stunt.

Many of these agencies were created because it was more cost effective than running these services with a department. For example, many of the staff are contract, with no pension entitlements. Were such staff to be transferred into departments, it would possibly cost more to employ them. A point that is also overlooked is that the population of Ireland grew enormously over the last decade or so, necessitating an increase in public services.

The main point I'm making is that it is easy to make generalisations but without a full audit it is impossible to calculate the possible savings or costs.


This is why I like posting here as you never hear any balanced (or honest) viewpoints from the media. Good to hear.
Indeed.

As I said, I have no interest in carrying out a crusade against anyone (well, maybe FF if I'm honest) but that doesn not take away from the fact that I want essential roles carried out efficiently ad effectively.
So do I (on both accounts) and so do most people in the public service.
As I have said many times before on this board, I work for an agency that is deemed (independently) to be essential to compeditivness. However my budget was cut along with all others. My agency has lost 1/3 of it's staff. I've lost most of the staff in my department. Yet we are expected to deliver the same service, and even take on extra work, which we do by implementing changes in work practices, cutting out waste etc. However I resent my budget being cut when other (less or non-esential) agencis have surplus staff or staff sitting around doing nothing. I don't blame the staff or the agencies but our employers (the Government) for allowing this to continue. Does it make sence to cut funding equally to The Library Council (which promotes the use of libraries - it does not run or even fund them) and the HSE (which will lead to essential operations being cancelled)? It's short sighted thinking.


Cuts across the board are the devil! :evil:
When I say deliver services more efficiently I am not writing code for "cut the b@stards" - I am saying identify redundant roles or excessive pay levels. I don't see the point in spending a lot of money for something that doesn't work.
Exactly.


Would it be that much fraud?
Well I've heard and read reports of "up to" €10bn. Not believing everything I hear or read, I'd say it's more like €5bn but whatever it is, its clear that there is a lot of welfare fraud and it's not being tacked to the extent it should be. I know of several examples personally and most people I know know of examples. If I were minister, I would put significant resources into eliminating such fraud.

I don't get this - you can go to other EU countries and buy lethal firearms. You can go to Holland and buy drugs (legal status being a cop out there).
Drugs are not actually legal in Holland; the law is just not enforced when certain drugs are purchased and consumed in certain establishments. Apart from this, Holland vigoursly enforces the law and I think it has one of the rest records in the EU for cracking down on the illegal drugs trade.


The UK dropped their VAT to 17%, didn't it?
What I'm suggesting is a complete cut in VAT to make enough of a difference to make it worth moving purchases forward and to draw money abroad (shopping trips to Ireland) - not just a token gesture.
I think it was 16% but I could be wrong. As I said I agree with stimulous measures but I think 2008 was the time to do it. There is a major risk with dropping VAT. The UK cut it by around 4% and didnt get a return. You'd have to be reasonably sure that the lost income would be made up by increased sales. Otherwise it would be a disaster. Also, you'd have to be sure that retail would co-operate by further reducing prices (some would actually raise prices as happened when the VAT rate dropped from 21.5% to 21% - UPC being one example).

You miss my point. I mean to literally sell them for what people will pay. If that's e50 then it's e50.
Oh I see. But who's going to sell a house for €50? And if so, there are all the other costs: surveyers, solicitors, stamp duty etc.


Sorry, I think wer have our wires a little crossed here. What I am talking about in this specific instance is construction and the construction wage agreements which set a floor to how much a construction may be paid.
This isn't a begrudgery thing - it's a recognition that it the contruction industry needs a bailout then they will have to accept that we are not bailing them out just to prop up prices - we are bailing them out to generate jobs.
Yes thats a good point, and a good idea. Private sector wages are still too high and are affecting our compeditvness. I think other industry groups should follow suit - we need to get to a low wage economy - but the Government also needs to ensure that the cost of living is lowered too (not just fiddle the figures as they currently do).


Don't believe that is an issue.
How so?

I'm sorry to be so cruel in saying this but someone who is longterm unemployed should not be able to compete with a working couple in the rental market and should not be responsible for driving up rents. You will always find houses for less than market rate and if you are in a house you can negotiate with your landlord.
We just don't have the money to go around pretending that someone can live as well on the dole as a person working. I'd rather concentrate on getting our costs down to foster employment and minimise time on the dole.
I don't think we can do one withiout the other. I believe all costs have to fall, as PS wages have, including welfare and minimum wage and Government needs to ensure that those people on welfare are protected form say rent hikes (they could say freeze all rents supplemeted by rent-allowance).


It is supposed to be but it's a bit thick and the only people it benefits are large companies. Put it this way, if I want cheap electricity, I drop prices - I don't increase them in the hope that someone else will drop them later.
Yes it doesnt seem fair but at least we can now shop around andchange our electricty supplier.
 
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B

Boggle

I'm glad you realise that. So called "quangos" have been scapegoated by the media and netariti for some time, often without any evidence to back-up some of the ludicrous claims and generalisations made about them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all of them are carrying out necessary tasks. Some may well not be, or those services may be less essential in the current climate, or some may be duplicating services, some may be inefficiently run and wasteful and it may be possible to transfer some of the services back to their parent departments. However my point is that not all of them are. It is illogical to suggest that they are. They do not all exist to provides homes on boards for Friends of Fianna Fail. Many are well run, efficient and provide value for money (determined via ndependently carried out audits). Some, if not many, in fact have a positive ROI meaning that they make more money for the state (or save more money) than they cost to run.

It is very populist to suggest that these be culled en mass, often without examining the facts. The fact is the a small number of these quangos account for the vast majority of the budget so eliminating many of the smaller agencies will lead to very few savings, and in fact when you count in transfer or services, retraining, redundancy (where applicable), loss of tax, loss of VAT, associated private sector redundancies etc. it could actually cost more, cetainly in the short term and possibly also in the long term (especially if not well planned).

In the UK, where they are culling large amoungs of such quangos, they have admitted that there will be few cost savings and in fact that it may in fact cost more to abolish them. It is generally accepted that the cull is no more than a populist publicity stunt.

Many of these agencies were created because it was more cost effective than running these services with a department. For example, many of the staff are contract, with no pension entitlements. Were such staff to be transferred into departments, it would possibly cost more to employ them. A point that is also overlooked is that the population of Ireland grew enormously over the last decade or so, necessitating an increase in public services.

The main point I'm making is that it is easy to make generalisations but without a full audit it is impossible to calculate the possible savings or costs.
Hard to find anything to disagree with in any of this as you come across quite balanced and very clued in.
One thing I would ike to stress is that I am not just calling for cutting for cutting's sake - what I'm calling for is a top down review of everything that Quango's do to see if they are necessary and being carried out appropriately.

I suppose, at the end of the day, while I posted this suggestion under money saving that was based solely on what I believe to be a reasonably held assumptioon that many of these quango's are pointless.
They could be pointless because they carry out an unnecessary function, because they are so underfuned as to make them ineffective, because they are not actually empowered to do their job effectively, because their reports are shelved and ignored or because they replicate functions carried out elsewhere.

Please bear in mind that, while I would be in favour of culling pointless quago's, I am also in favour of properly funding those quango's which carry out necessary functions. It's not just about bottom line spending (though I believe that the end result would be a significant net saving), it's also about bang for your buck.


So do I (on both accounts) and so do most people in the public service.
As I have said many times before on this board, I work for an agency that is deemed (independently) to be essential to compeditivness. However my budget was cut along with all others. My agency has lost 1/3 of it's staff. I've lost most of the staff in my department. Yet we are expected to deliver the same service, and even take on extra work, which we do by implementing changes in work practices, cutting out waste etc. However I resent my budget being cut when other (less or non-esential) agencis have surplus staff or staff sitting around doing nothing. I don't blame the staff or the agencies but our employers (the Government) for allowing this to continue. Does it make sence to cut funding equally to The Library Council (which promotes the use of libraries - it does not run or even fund them) and the HSE (which will lead to essential operations being cancelled)? It's short sighted thinking.
This basically sums up what I'm getting at. Taking you on your word, we have now got an overworked necessary group with diminished effectiveness taking cuts while we continue to flitter money away on getting people to go to libraries. Which is more important?

Why can't we just accept what we can and cannot do (or what we should and should not be doing) at this stage and concentrate on doing those things effectively.

Well I've heard and read reports of "up to" €10bn. Not believing everything I hear or read, I'd say it's more like €5bn but whatever it is, its clear that there is a lot of welfare fraud and it's not being tacked to the extent it should be. I know of several examples personally and most people I know know of examples. If I were minister, I would put significant resources into eliminating such fraud.
Yes we all know of examples but I keep wondering how we could have such waste or whether it's significantly exaggerated and used as a tool to beat dole recipients with.
I'd like to think it's clear from my posts that I'm not out to 'get' anyone but i do want to see systems which are designed as fit for purpose. Again, I don't have the time nor the resources to design such a system but I reckon we could, with a little ingenuity, make life far easier for those unfortunate enough to lose their jobs which costs us less to run.

Drugs are not actually legal in Holland; the law is just not enforced when certain drugs are purchased and consumed in certain establishments. Apart from this, Holland vigoursly enforces the law and I think it has one of the rest records in the EU for cracking down on the illegal drugs trade.
This is what I meant about their legal status being a cop out. basically what appens there is that drugs are grown and delivered in the 'back door' system so no tax or regulation is applied at this stage (lost opportunity and great for dealers). Neither is there tax on the sale of the drug. There is just a tax on the profits of the coffee shop - hard to value when you don't have invoices saying how much the drugs cost.
Holland are actually considering taxing the growing and sales of the drugs to curb the budget deficit, which would have to mean full legalisation.
(I'll see if I can dig up the article I read this in later on if you wish. )

It's clear that the EU may not be best pleased but I'd doubt they do anything about it as it would be a clear example of the EU curtailing a country's freedom of self governance.

Asides from that however ( and I realise that the legal difficulties of legalisation are not quite so straightforward), we could clean up through legalisation. Having been in Amsterdam a few weeks ago, the place is still buzzing (with activity), even though i find it the dullest place I have ever visited. Beat them at their own game. Make this a cheap place to visit, legalise cannabis, take advantage of the international media coverage to draw people into the place and get people back working.
Even in Holland they found that the increased uptake after (effective) legalisation was minimal. Surely it's better in terms of health to have slightly more people smoking clean regulated product than haveing slightly less people smoking god knows what.


I think it was 16% but I could be wrong. As I said I agree with stimulous measures but I think 2008 was the time to do it. There is a major risk with dropping VAT. The UK cut it by around 4% and didnt get a return. You'd have to be reasonably sure that the lost income would be made up by increased sales. Otherwise it would be a disaster. Also, you'd have to be sure that retail would co-operate by further reducing prices (some would actually raise prices as happened when the VAT rate dropped from 21.5% to 21% - UPC being one example).
I believe a stimulus like this needs to be timed well or it would yield a minimal return. Right now, we see international econmies stabilising and beginning theri recovery, meaning their is international money to be got in terms of shopping trips (the benefit to us being in tourism and retail jobs - less sw ad more paye taxes- instead of VAT). Even domestically, we appear to have bottomed out to a degree, and there are clearly people out there with money. Get them to quit putting off spending and to get retail moving with a big enough incentive you could put people back to work.

Oh I see. But who's going to sell a house for €50? And if so, there are all the other costs: surveyers, solicitors, stamp duty etc.
This isn't about money, it's about jobs so lets set the SD aside for now. As for surveyors, if you are paying so little for a house then you wold assume its one which needs to be floored and rebuilt so you can take it for granted that the surveyor is not required. Solicitor granted, but this would be reflected in the retail price.

If a company is bankrupt, it typically has a firesale. The govt is stepping in to prevent this so all I am asking for is that they stop trying to prop up the price of houses.

Also, I'd couple al this with reviewing the planning and spatial strategy within Dublin itself. Basically, allow high rise developments of GOOD appartments, based aroud a planned and usable public transport network. This, coupled with lower land costs, should have the effect of making developments viable again (jobs) and also the fringe effect of helping make dublin public transport fully self sufficient.



Yes thats a good point, and a good idea. Private sector wages are still too high and are affecting our compeditvness. I think other industry groups should follow suit - we need to get to a low wage economy - but the Government also needs to ensure that the cost of living is lowered too (not just fiddle the figures as they currently do).
Agree with your comment re cost of living.


Becuase i don't see how breaking up contracts would have the result of stopping people from buying our goods. Generally when I'm sourcing components its based on price and quality and this wouldn't be affected.


I don't think we can do one withiout the other. I believe all costs have to fall, as PS wages have, including welfare and minimum wage and Government needs to ensure that those people on welfare are protected form say rent hikes (they could say freeze all rents supplemeted by rent-allowance).
Anecdotal evidence suggests that wages are and have fallen where possible. Even withing the PS, they have had quite savage hits already. Are we, within reason, agreed on that?

Now, the better housing on the market tends to be the newer housing, which cost the owner significantly more to purchase than older housing stock. Are we again, within reason agreed on that?

Now, some of these aformentioned workers would be renting much the same as i am. Like me they are faced with the undeniable fact that when it comes to shopping around there is an artificial floor to which they can drive good houses down to - the level that sw is offering for rent relief.

You could find cheaper housing as i could have but generally it is because it is an older, less efficient, tattier house. Reason being that most of those with new housing paid high prices for them and need high rents and those with older housing can afford to drop rents to avoid the perceived risk of a sw tenant. So we now have the phenomenon whereby those on sw can better afford better housing than those who are actually working. It's just not fair and unless we start making this a fair county to be in again then we are at nothing as a nation.


Yes it doesnt seem fair but at least we can now shop around andchange our electricty supplier.
I'm a results man, not an image man. I don't care if we can shop around so much as i care about the price we ultimately have to pay. The reglator could step in tomorrow and drop the price the ESB charges by 10%. This would result in all the others (who claim they are x% cheaper than the ESB - should be illegal advertising as they dont mention standing charges or actual rates) dropping their prices, at least in the short term by the same %-age. If they wish to survive as companies then they will have to ensure that they uptheir game and maintain a differential.
If at the end of the day they go to the wall, it's because they could not compete with the ESB, in which case,. so what as long as we control the ESB ruthlessly.


Edit: apologies for delay in replying to this as your post merited a proper response.
 
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Grumpy Jack

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Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
6,073
telemachus
There is no definite,, all options are still on the table,,,, if any at all,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and if they don't get the footfall who will have to fork out?
There is no magical €5billion or €3bn or even €1bn to be saved in this Budget by cancelling Metro North.

Cancelling Metro North will cost the State considerably more in lost tax revenues and welfare payments in the 2012-2017 period than will be saved next year.

It is a fixed price contract PPP for between €2bn and €2.5bn where the majority of the risk is on the winning consortium and fixed repayments will be made over a 25 or 30-year period with first repayment due in 2017.

The operating costs fall on the PPP operator but based on the success of the Luas to date, usage will not be a problem. The areas served by Metro North are crying out for decent public transport and the line will have 400,000 people living with in 1km either side of it. The existing Dart line alonf the coast has less than that. The numbers stack up and are in the July 2010 Updated Business Case for Metro North (redacted).

The investment by the State on enabling works in 2011 will be €75m followed by €175m in 2012. That is what will be saved if Metro cancelled in this Budget. There will also be some payments (yet to be defined) due in 2013. This additional cost will become known when the final PPP offers are in and the Cost-Benefit Analysis is updated.

http://nationaltransport.ie/Metro_North_Redacted_BC.pdf

The RPA, ie the taxpayer, has already spent €140million on the project. That cannot be recouped. The State will also have to repay around €26m in development levies paid to Fingal and Dublin City CCs for planning permissions close to the planned route.

The losses to the State in the following years would be around four times the initial investment of €250m.

The number employed directly on construction for around four and a half years will be 4,000 (19,000 man years to be precise), with another 2,000 in support work and a further 2,000 (estimated) in spin-off jobs. The net benefit (PAYE/PRSI, spending taxes, welfare saved) of that to the exchequer over late-2012 to early-2017 will be in the region of €1billion based on current wage, tax and welfare rates. That will increase with the taxes rises due in this Budget and the following three budgets.

There is also the danger that if cancelled now, then the State could be sued by the two final bidders and the compensation they could get could be considerable. A PPP motorway project in Slovakia that was cancelled at the same stage earlier this year saw the Slovakian govt pay out €86m in compensation to the PPP bidders. This State is now investigating if it faces such a risk. When I asked the question of someone familiar with the project, the answer was 'We don't think so but we're checking it out'. Not very reassuring.

Cancellation will also wreck Ireland's ability to secure PPP investment in other existing and future infrastructure projects and kill off major, critical scheme such as Dart Underground and the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway. The government has also been warned about this and is aware of the consequences. If FF cancel Metro they tie the hands of the next FG-Lab government on infrastructure development as both parties' plans involve significant private sector investment.

Dublin already has a Metro - it's called the Dart. All the current plans for Metro North and Dart Underground are doing is implementing the 1975 Dublin Rail Rapid Transit Study which gave us the existing Dart line but was abandoned in mid-80s by FG-Lab coalition before the remaing two cross-city lines and various spurs were built. A version of the same system was recommended in 2001 by the DTO Platform for Change study.

Dublin does need a Metro/Dart system - all studies in the last 40 years have shown that. There are 1.6million people living and working in the greater Dublin area and the CSO expects that to grow to 2.1m in 2020 - despite the current recession. Dublin has a higher density than many similar cities in Britain and Europe which also possess a metro system - these are the cities we are competing with for jobs and investment.

All job creation and development plans by local and national government for Dublin city and county are predicated on construction of both Metro projects and Dart underground. Fingal and Dublin City county councils plan for 37,000 jobs along the Metro corridor between Ballymun and Swords and around Dublin Airport.

Once built, Metro and DartU will be paid off by at leats two generations of taxpayers who will use the system and will be with us for another century - just like the rail lines put in by the British in the 1860s and 1870s and which we are only now developing.

All this information is in the public domain for those who wish to look for it - instead of spouting ill-informed information you read in the paper, heard in a pub or where told by a taxi driver, please do some research before posting ignorant guff.

Our problem is not capital spending - that created jobs, generates spending and taxes and saves on welfare. Our problem is current spending is out of control and we are spending more than we are taking in. The only options for slashing that deficit are cutting spending and raising taxes, while at the same time creating jobs on capital infrastructure projects and creating the environment for the priavte sector to create jobs. Building Metro and DartU now under PPPs will create around 20,000 jobs across both projects and bring in some €500m a year in taxes and welfare savings. All for relatively small initial investments in the coming years.

Those who call for the cancellation of Metro North - and thus Dart as PPP will no longer be an option for it - should bear all that in mind.

Be careful what you wish for...
 
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johndodger

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May 5, 2010
Messages
1,845
Hard to find anything to disagree with in any of this as you come across quite balanced and very clued in.
Thank you - nice of you to say so.

One thing I would ike to stress is that I am not just calling for cutting for cutting's sake - what I'm calling for is a top down review of everything that Quango's do to see if they are necessary and being carried out appropriately.
I totally agree and I genuinly cannot fathom why the Government are so afraid of doing this.

I suppose, at the end of the day, while I posted this suggestion under money saving that was based solely on what I believe to be a reasonably held assumptioon that many of these quango's are pointless.
Unfortunately most people believe what they read in the media and at the moment quangos are more evil than hitler!

I don't know if any are pointless; I suspect some are (like the aforsaidmentioned Library Council but then again I may not know the full story - I'm going on what Prime Time said about them some time back), but many others perform necessary functions, some essential, though it may not be aparent to everyone why. One example I've used before (and apart from the agency name, this is made up): Take the "Crafts Council". From the outside looking in this seems pointless. However if it was determined by audit that its budget was 0.5m but, though it's work promoting Irish crafts abroad, it generated 5m for the economy, then it has a positive ROI. It doesn't look so pointless now, although that does not mean savings cannot be made by say, merging it with the Arts council (although there may well be legitimate reasons for not doing this).

They could be pointless because they carry out an unnecessary function, because they are so underfuned as to make them ineffective, because they are not actually empowered to do their job effectively, because their reports are shelved and ignored or because they replicate functions carried out elsewhere.
Again, agreed.

Please bear in mind that, while I would be in favour of culling pointless quago's, I am also in favour of properly funding those quango's which carry out necessary functions. It's not just about bottom line spending (though I believe that the end result would be a significant net saving), it's also about bang for your buck.
Also agreed. Though you have to balance the cost of closure and merger against any potential savings.

This basically sums up what I'm getting at. Taking you on your word, we have now got an overworked necessary group with diminished effectiveness taking cuts while we continue to flitter money away on getting people to go to libraries. Which is more important?
Yes it is very frustrating!

Why can't we just accept what we can and cannot do (or what we should and should not be doing) at this stage and concentrate on doing those things effectively.
Indeed. Apart from some possible quangos, there are also other services being provided which are useful but which we can do without (at least for now) due to the current economic crisis.

It's also worth mentioning that as our poplulation increased dramatically, and specifically as much of this was due to immigration, this necessitated an increase in PS staff (eg translators, special needs teachers), although I'm not claiming it was directly proportional.

Yes we all know of examples but I keep wondering how we could have such waste or whether it's significantly exaggerated and used as a tool to beat dole recipients with.
Yes that is a possibility but Prime Time investigates estimated up to 4-5bn and most people seem to know someone "doing a few nixers", so it's not unreasonable. I'm lucky enough never to have been on the dole and I honestly don't know how people manage, but I don't think it justifies welfare fraud.

I'd like to think it's clear from my posts that I'm not out to 'get' anyone but i do want to see systems which are designed as fit for purpose. Again, I don't have the time nor the resources to design such a system but I reckon we could, with a little ingenuity, make life far easier for those unfortunate enough to lose their jobs which costs us less to run.
Agreed.

This is what I meant about their legal status being a cop out. basically what appens there is that drugs are grown and delivered in the 'back door' system so no tax or regulation is applied at this stage (lost opportunity and great for dealers). Neither is there tax on the sale of the drug. There is just a tax on the profits of the coffee shop - hard to value when you don't have invoices saying how much the drugs cost.
Holland are actually considering taxing the growing and sales of the drugs to curb the budget deficit, which would have to mean full legalisation.
(I'll see if I can dig up the article I read this in later on if you wish. )
Indeed. So are California, which aparently most cannabis is already grown.

It's clear that the EU may not be best pleased but I'd doubt they do anything about it as it would be a clear example of the EU curtailing a country's freedom of self governance.
Perhaps.

Asides from that however ( and I realise that the legal difficulties of legalisation are not quite so straightforward), we could clean up through legalisation. Having been in Amsterdam a few weeks ago, the place is still buzzing (with activity), even though i find it the dullest place I have ever visited. Beat them at their own game. Make this a cheap place to visit, legalise cannabis, take advantage of the international media coverage to draw people into the place and get people back working.
Even in Holland they found that the increased uptake after (effective) legalisation was minimal. Surely it's better in terms of health to have slightly more people smoking clean regulated product than haveing slightly less people smoking god knows what.
I'm not actually against legalisation of cannabis (and perhaps other drugs) in theory, simply because no government anywhere in the world has ever been able to solve the drug problem and in the meantime criminals get all the profits! I would consider supporting some limited legalisation of cannabis and of hard drugs (for registered addicts).

I believe a stimulus like this needs to be timed well or it would yield a minimal return.
Agreed.

Right now, we see international econmies stabilising and beginning theri recovery, meaning their is international money to be got in terms of shopping trips (the benefit to us being in tourism and retail jobs - less sw ad more paye taxes- instead of VAT). Even domestically, we appear to have bottomed out to a degree, and there are clearly people out there with money. Get them to quit putting off spending and to get retail moving with a big enough incentive you could put people back to work.
Yes indeed there is money out there but the problem is that people are afraid to spend because of fear of unemployment, pay cuts, further taxes etc. So its a conundrum and I don't know what the answer is. Although the scrappage scheme got people buying cars, so there is merit in scheme like these.

This isn't about money, it's about jobs so lets set the SD aside for now. As for surveyors, if you are paying so little for a house then you wold assume its one which needs to be floored and rebuilt so you can take it for granted that the surveyor is not required. Solicitor granted, but this would be reflected in the retail price.
Perhaps.

If a company is bankrupt, it typically has a firesale. The govt is stepping in to prevent this so all I am asking for is that they stop trying to prop up the price of houses.
Yes well certainly I agree the houses should be sold ASAP (to owner occupiers only, not developers or landlords) at whatever price they can get ; otherwise they'll simply become unfit for purpose.


Becuase i don't see how breaking up contracts would have the result of stopping people from buying our goods. Generally when I'm sourcing components its based on price and quality and this wouldn't be affected.
Perhaps.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that wages are and have fallen where possible. Even withing the PS, they have had quite savage hits already. Are we, within reason, agreed on that?
Yes, though I don't know how much average private sector wages have fallen by. They need to be fairly even - i.e. equivalent grades, with an equal (real) drop in the cost of living.

Now, the better housing on the market tends to be the newer housing, which cost the owner significantly more to purchase than older housing stock. Are we again, within reason agreed on that?
Yes.

Now, some of these aformentioned workers would be renting much the same as i am. Like me they are faced with the undeniable fact that when it comes to shopping around there is an artificial floor to which they can drive good houses down to - the level that sw is offering for rent relief.
OK.

You could find cheaper housing as i could have but generally it is because it is an older, less efficient, tattier house. Reason being that most of those with new housing paid high prices for them and need high rents and those with older housing can afford to drop rents to avoid the perceived risk of a sw tenant. So we now have the phenomenon whereby those on sw can better afford better housing than those who are actually working. It's just not fair and unless we start making this a fair county to be in again then we are at nothing as a nation.
I see what you mean, and yes its unfair.


I'm a results man, not an image man. I don't care if we can shop around so much as i care about the price we ultimately have to pay. The reglator could step in tomorrow and drop the price the ESB charges by 10%. This would result in all the others (who claim they are x% cheaper than the ESB - should be illegal advertising as they dont mention standing charges or actual rates) dropping their prices, at least in the short term by the same %-age. If they wish to survive as companies then they will have to ensure that they uptheir game and maintain a differential.
If at the end of the day they go to the wall, it's because they could not compete with the ESB, in which case,. so what as long as we control the ESB ruthlessly.
Agreed.

Edit: apologies for delay in replying to this as your post merited a proper response.
No worries. Ditto :D
 


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