Croke Park Agreement prevents €3 billion in budget cuts without tax increases?

HarshBuzz

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in any case, with bond yields hovering at 7% and the EFSF about to be tapped, this thread is surely now an irrelevancy

just like the Croke Park Agreement
 


Expatriot

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Disingenous nonsense. For a start the proper use of GNP bumps it up to close to average. Secondly we get far less public services than your average european so why should we pay average or above average tax rates.
Try again pal.
So you support benchmarking only wages, not prices or taxes?

Explain that to me please.

Tax income has dropped thru the floor, spending has also dropped. We dont have a spending crisis, we have an income crisis. If you lose your job you dont have a spending crisis, you have an income crisis.

If I am to work for English wages or French wages I want a few more things from those countries. A stable state that does not lurch from year to year into funding crisis after funding crisis would be a start. There is a reason that anyone with a degree and no mortgage is leaving this country. It has nothing to offer them.

My purpose in life is not to ensure I work hard enough to ensure the majority of the rest of the population do not need to pay taxes at anything near EU normal levels. Most people in this country pay no Net tax. They are not carrying their fair share. They then crib, like you that they are not getting value for money. You are borrowing the money, you are not paying for anything. The tax raised in this country barely covers social welfare provisions at this stage. We are living on a credit line that is running out. If we dont face that we will be forced to face it.

Explain to me why anyone of any quality would want to work in Ireland for the same money as say France? As you say there is very little public services available here and poor safety nets for old age etc.

We are spoiled rotten by living off the riches that were borrowed on our behalf by the likes of Anglo. People still actually believe that the tiger was real. It was a credit binge and its over. All the tax cuts of recent years were simply done on credit.

To cut 20 billion out of spending in this country would be virtually impossible. And that is not to even mention the massive interest bill we face on the bank crisis. The truth is we need to massively slash spending and massively increase taxes. And both are going to knock us for six. It is unlikely we are capable of even doing this and we may welcome outsiders doing it for us.

Cowen since he came to office has talked about reform of the PS. What has he done about it? Zero. Slashed spending in very crude and inefficient ways. That is all.

The idea that the German tax payer will bail us out while we pay far less tax than them is frankly funny.

It is not beyond possible that tax raised will not cover social welfare payments within a couple of years. Never mind wages or anything else. And we are still pretending we are building a Metro. Its time to wake-up.
 
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bobbysands81

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An old lawyer's character assassination trick is to ask leading questions insinuating that the accused or the opponent may be a criminal,"have you beaten your wife","were you on heroin" kind of questions.I didn't want to respond to that trick of the above poster and your dogged pursuit of it outside the context of threads. However,to close the matter, let me assure you that I don't have any tax judgements against me and I am always fully paid up. And you don't have to answer whether you were a member of an illegal physical force organisation,Mr Bobby Sands!
So you've never had any problems with the taxman? Never Pat eh???

Answer this one honestly as leading questions go both ways remember!!!
 

patslatt

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Tax increases for shoddy services and unreformed government?

"Ireland’s total tax-take is far below the EU average according to statistics published June 28, 2010 by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency. This publication shows that across the EU the total tax-take averaged 39.3% of GDP in 2008. For Ireland the comparable figure is 29.3%"http://www.socialjustice.ie/content/irelands-total-tax-take-among-lowest-eu


The truth is we borrowed our tax take a couple of years ago. We got the private sector to borrow huge amounts of money abroad and we taxed it via property related taxes. That is gone now forever.


"In a statement Mr Lenihan says this was anticipated and he’s hopeful that for 2010 as a whole to collect €31 billion in taxes – a 6% drop on last year."Tax take suffers further drop - Newstalk.ie


Our total tax take in 2007 was €59.63b.Total tax-take needs to change - article in Irish Examiner by Director of Social Justice Ireland | Working to build a just society
To imagine that the solution to a massive collapse in tax collection in a country already collecting very little tax is not going to be in large part found in the tax system is a joke.

If we stopped literally paying all PS workers and pensioners next year we still would be way way short of money to run the country. There is not the remotest chance that PS workers will escape further income and jobs loses. There is also not the remotest chance that anyone else except the cream of the elite will escape paying.

By all mean benchmark France or Germany or anywhere for wages, even bench mark 10% lower than them. But the benchmarking cannot end with PS wages and welfare. It will have to apply to taxes and state support for private business. Effectively now the private sector is not paying anything to the running of the state, we are borrowing hand over fist to maintain very very low tax rates and a poorly organised public administration of the country. Reorganise the way people work etc, but dont fool yourself that this is doing anything other than tinkering at the edges.

We may need to almost double tax levels yet. That is the price of the mess we are in. You may not care about trolleys in AE, but you will care about the bill landed from the tax man.

We do not have a spending crisis, we have a low tax crisis.
Tax increases you advocate would bring taxes to the level of advanced welfare states in the northwest EU without providing the advanced social welfare of those states in health care,public transport,day care, social housing etc. Those advanced services won't happen until many government departments are radically reformed and the wings clipped of reactionery public sector trade unions and professional associations,reforms that won't happen barring a massive economic shock such as an IMF rescue.
 

patslatt

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Tax take should be based on GNP,not phoney inflated Irish GDP figures.

Its about time the usual suspects here realised that. The ones who go on about "loving it" when we get made redundant or 30% off our wages will also be getting hit with massive increases. I wonder will they be "loving it" then?
 

Expatriot

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Tax increases you advocate would bring taxes to the level of advanced welfare states in the northwest EU without providing the advanced social welfare of those states in health care,public transport,day care, social housing etc. Those advanced services won't happen until many government departments are radically reformed and the wings clipped of reactionery public sector trade unions and professional associations,reforms that won't happen barring a massive economic shock such as an IMF rescue.
That may all be true, I am sure there will be a very strong focus on why services are getting worse as taxes increase. But that is exactly what we face.
 

patslatt

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On stacks of bibles and stacks of Das Capitals

So you've never had any problems with the taxman? Never Pat eh???

Answer this one honestly as leading questions go both ways remember!!!
I swear I've never had such problems on stacks of bibles and even on stacks of Das Kapitals which would be more suited to your taste given your pseudonym symbolising physical force revolution!
 

patslatt

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A good start would be a 25% public sector pay cut to reflect welfare services quality

That may all be true, I am sure there will be a very strong focus on why services are getting worse as taxes increase. But that is exactly what we face.
 

ChickenBiryani

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Expatriot

Some excellent posts there, but as I think you acknowledge yourself, (and this is something that Labour, Unions etc do not convey to their members when claiming this can be sorted out through tax raises), the issue in Ireland if we are taking comparisons is all at the lower end and not at the higher end.

I think therefore there are a lot of people in the country who at a glance would tend to agree with your view, but who would be horrified at the implications of moving to European tax benchmarking if they knew what was really involved.

I earn more than any public servant, but would welcome European tax benchmarking with sheer unabashed glee as my take home pay would rise dramatically.

For starters, I think it is a valid point that GNP is a more valid comparison for Ireland as we have the largest GDP/GNP gap in Euroep.

Secondly, our tax take is abnormally low due to very low corporate taxes, no property taxes, no water taxes, no local taxes etc etc. Not because the rates are low on the income tax side.

On the income tax side itself, look at this comparison after the 2010 budget.

Budget 2010 overseas comparison

The skew in our tax system relative to European countries puts us near the lowest at the bottom end, but towards the highest (second only to Sweden) at the high end.

And thats where Pats and others value for money argument comes in to play. Because in Sweden I would have outstanding healthcare, no need for expensive medical insurance, all kinds of other benefits and outstanding public services for what I pay.

So in a sense you are correct; people at the low end here have no reason to gripe.

You fully acknowledge (and I happen to agree) that for a number of years there our tax take was borrowed money. You seem to be suggesting the burden of rectifying this should lie fairly and squarely on the tax side ("we do not have a spending problem, we have a tax problem") , without acknowledging that a lot of those spending commitments that were made on the back of those ficticious tax revenues must also be unwound.

Can I therefore suggest that we have both a tax problem AND a spending problem, and both sides need to be addressed.
 

johndodger

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The Croke Park Agreement on public sector pay has spared us the whingeing and victimhood claims of public sector union reps on the airwaves but that will come at a high price in the coming budget-big tax increases and a total gutting of capital spending on infrastructure.

Recognising belatedly that the frenzy of tax increases in his budgets have crippled the economy, Finance Minister Lenihan promised no more tax increases. But how can he possibly find €3 billion plus in cuts?

Can he increase pension funding levies on gold plated public sector pensions to levels determined by pension actuaries? That would go a long way towards balancing the budget but take home pay would take a beating if the employees had to contribute fully.

I hope Lenihan isn't swayed by taxers like Garret Fitzgerald who claim that Irish taxes are relatively low by the standards of EU advanced welfare states. They fail to recognise that inferior Irish government services in health care,public transport,social housing and subsidised day care aren't worth paying for. Higher taxes should only be considered if the public sector is radically reformed over a decade and its recruitment system opened up to business talents in order to permit efficient delivery of services.
The Public Service has been hit enough. If the government reneges on the (albeit very poor) Croke Park agreement, then there will be major trouble. Public Service workers just won't stand for it. Nor will they continue to be FF's scapegoat. There have been enough redundancies and pay cuts in the public sector. Services are already being affected badly. To paraphrase Luigi, the people are not stupid and are beginning to wise up to FF's vicious campaign to demonise and vilify public sector workers in an attempt to distract attention from the real crooks.

Instead the government need to begin serious reform of the Public Service. Cut out waste. Target cuts where they are needed, not across the board. Abolish or merge agencies that are not performing, or are not essential, or who's functions can be easily transferred to existing government departments (although with the existing overstretched staff in many departments due to redundancies this may not be possible). Cut the salaries of the top earners in the Public Service. No one should be earning more than 100k.

And while they’re at it why not target the rich especially the bankers? Get Seanie to give his pension back. Cut the still inflated welfare payments... particularly those given to the rich. Bring in a property tax. Tax the likes of U2. There are many options available.
 

johndodger

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Well, if Labour are the largest party not only will the Croke Park cop-out not save €3 Billion, but, there is a chance it will be reversed.

Mark my words! Gilmore can't commit to anything, and if Labour receive a huge vote he will attribute it solely to not rocking the electoral boat with cuts. Consequently, having just delivered many new Labour seats he won't want to risk losing them!!

Added to which Jack O'Connor will probably have a desk in the corner of the Taoiseachs office!

C



The Labour Party voted at their most recent conference to reverse the pay cuts and recruitment embargo when in govt. I wonder how they'd pay for that now? Oh yeah, a 65% income tax rate on the 'rich', ie anyone earning more than 75k.
Here's hoping.
 

ChickenBiryani

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The Public Service has been hit enough. If the government reneges on the (albeit very poor) Croke Park agreement, then there will be major trouble. Public Service workers just won't stand for it. Nor will they continue to be FF's scapegoat. There have been enough redundancies and pay cuts in the public sector. Services are already being affected badly. To paraphrase Luigi, the people are not stupid and are beginning to wise up to FF's vicious campaign to demonise and vilify public sector workers in an attempt to distract attention from the real crooks.

Instead the government need to begin serious reform of the Public Service. Cut out waste. Target cuts where they are needed, not across the board. Abolish or merge agencies that are not performing, or are not essential, or who's functions can be easily transferred to existing government departments (although with the existing overstretched staff in many departments due to redundancies this may not be possible). Cut the salaries of the top earners in the Public Service. No one should be earning more than 100k.

And while they’re at it why not target the rich especially the bankers? Get Seanie to give his pension back. Cut the still inflated welfare payments... particularly those given to the rich. Bring in a property tax. Tax the likes of U2. There are many options available.

So on the basis of the above, if say 10,000 absolutely redundant and therefore wasteful administrative workers in the HSE were identified, you would absolutely support making them redundant?

If an OECD analysis of our health service showed we have more than double the OECD average of nurses per capita, you would support trimming down that "waste" too?
 
B

birthday

Funny to hear that the TUI are now willing to discuss Croke Park deal but will not halt their industrial action.
Still the Ceard teastas allowance (c €5,000)
enjoyed by many TUI for no reason whatsoever must be a target for immediate abolition in dealing with this group.
 

Expatriot

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Expatriot

Some excellent posts there, but as I think you acknowledge yourself, (and this is something that Labour, Unions etc do not convey to their members when claiming this can be sorted out through tax raises), the issue in Ireland if we are taking comparisons is all at the lower end and not at the higher end.

I think therefore there are a lot of people in the country who at a glance would tend to agree with your view, but who would be horrified at the implications of moving to European tax benchmarking if they knew what was really involved.

I earn more than any public servant, but would welcome European tax benchmarking with sheer unabashed glee as my take home pay would rise dramatically.

For starters, I think it is a valid point that GNP is a more valid comparison for Ireland as we have the largest GDP/GNP gap in Euroep.

Secondly, our tax take is abnormally low due to very low corporate taxes, no property taxes, no water taxes, no local taxes etc etc. Not because the rates are low on the income tax side.

On the income tax side itself, look at this comparison after the 2010 budget.

Budget 2010 overseas comparison

The skew in our tax system relative to European countries puts us near the lowest at the bottom end, but towards the highest (second only to Sweden) at the high end.

And thats where Pats and others value for money argument comes in to play. Because in Sweden I would have outstanding healthcare, no need for expensive medical insurance, all kinds of other benefits and outstanding public services for what I pay.

So in a sense you are correct; people at the low end here have no reason to gripe.

You fully acknowledge (and I happen to agree) that for a number of years there our tax take was borrowed money. You seem to be suggesting the burden of rectifying this should lie fairly and squarely on the tax side ("we do not have a spending problem, we have a tax problem") , without acknowledging that a lot of those spending commitments that were made on the back of those ficticious tax revenues must also be unwound.

Can I therefore suggest that we have both a tax problem AND a spending problem, and both sides need to be addressed.
Basically I agree with you, but there is a very popular strain of opinion that basically things that all of the problems in this country stem from an inefficient and over funded public service. That is a very dangerous opinion because if we do not correctly idenify the problem we have no chance.

Certainly spending was allowed to grow on political ego trips during the boom, but we were still run on a very right right neoliberal low tax agenda. Our services are very poor still so we are now faced with a double nightmare of having to slashing spending but not having the social buffer to absorb it.

So as I said we are going to end up paying alot more and getting alot less for it. There is no other logical conclusion from turning off a massive credit infusion into the economy.

What makes me laugh is the people that think that someone public servants will still flock to work in this country while we pay the same wages as other countries. The crack and scenery is not that good. Look at penions, maternity leave, holidays, training and education grants, social welfare, social housing, healthcare etc in other countries. They are massively better than here. It will be impossible to get quality people to work here unless the money is good. That goes for private and public sector jobs.

The idea that the dole here will continue at above minimum wages levels of other countries is also a joke. We have made a real mess of this country and need to reset the whole system from the ground up.

Sure marginal income tax is high here for middle income people, but nothing else is. In fact many people that could pay, pay nothing. How can that be? It is a three card bertie trick and no more. We did not discover oil, we discovered borrowing.
 

johndodger

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So on the basis of the above, if say 10,000 absolutely redundant and therefore wasteful administrative workers in the HSE were identified, you would absolutely support making them redundant?

If an OECD analysis of our health service showed we have more than double the OECD average of nurses per capita, you would support trimming down that "waste" too?
Under CPA they would be redeployed first. There have already been around 10,000 PS redundancies across the board so there are plenty of agencies and gov. deps who are desperately short of staff. But redeployment and retraining takes time so it's a long term plan. When you factor in long term nautral wastage and voluntary redundancy programs it should be possible for no compulsary redundancies.

There is waste and inefficiency in the PS... but not across the board. Therefore making across the board cuts makes no sence, nor does p1ss1ng off hard working PS workers, often working well above and beyond the call of duty for less pay than private sector counterparts, but if there are people in the PS doing **** all (and there are plenty of rubber rooms) when I'm working my a*s off then that needs to be rectified.
 

patslatt

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Taxes backg

The Public Service has been hit enough. If the government reneges on the (albeit very poor) Croke Park agreement, then there will be major trouble. Public Service workers just won't stand for it. Nor will they continue to be FF's scapegoat. There have been enough redundancies and pay cuts in the public sector. Services are already being affected badly. To paraphrase Luigi, the people are not stupid and are beginning to wise up to FF's vicious campaign to demonise and vilify public sector workers in an attempt to distract attention from the real crooks.

Instead the government need to begin serious reform of the Public Service. Cut out waste. Target cuts where they are needed, not across the board. Abolish or merge agencies that are not performing, or are not essential, or who's functions can be easily transferred to existing government departments (although with the existing overstretched staff in many departments due to redundancies this may not be possible). Cut the salaries of the top earners in the Public Service. No one should be earning more than 100k.

And while they’re at it why not target the rich especially the bankers? Get Seanie to give his pension back. Cut the still inflated welfare payments... particularly those given to the rich. Bring in a property tax. Tax the likes of U2. There are many options available.
 

patslatt

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Comfortably off public sector workers on strike hardly in the spirit of Jim Larkin!

Hardly in the spirit of Jim Larkin's 1913 General Strike in which the workers went hungry.
 


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