How will Labour balance the books?

SilverSpurs

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From the waffle and spoofology we got from Pat Rabbite and Roisin Shorthall this week on Vincenzo its clear that Labour have no specifics on how they will balance the budget. This is symptomatic of a party thats been in opposition for too long and has become a hurler in the ditch.
Specifically what is Labours position on:
1- Public sector reform: more specifically pay, pensions, perks and redundancies.
2- HSE reform: more specifically cost of medical cards, consultants, expenses, use of taxi's etc.
3- Social Welfare reform: more specifically limiting benefits to the most needy and taxing social welfare.
4- Tax increases: Who pays and by how much, closing loopholes will only go so far.

I was leaning towards labour for the next election just because i thought they deserved a crack of the whip but now i fear they may do even more damage than FF.
 


an cat dubh

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I watched those programs too and agree with your sentiments entirely. I think a lot of people would agree with Labour's overall aspiration for a fairer society but their TDs are either not being forthcoming about how to achieve that for fear of alienating voters or genuinely don't have policies for doing so. Consequently they are losing potential votes all the time. It's telling that nobody has responded yet to the OP's questions...
 

Verhofstadt

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From the waffle and spoofology we got from Pat Rabbite and Roisin Shorthall this week on Vincenzo its clear that Labour have no specifics on how they will balance the budget. This is symptomatic of a party thats been in opposition for too long and has become a hurler in the ditch.
Specifically what is Labours position on:
1- Public sector reform: more specifically pay, pensions, perks and redundancies.
2- HSE reform: more specifically cost of medical cards, consultants, expenses, use of taxi's etc.
3- Social Welfare reform: more specifically limiting benefits to the most needy and taxing social welfare.
4- Tax increases: Who pays and by how much, closing loopholes will only go so far.

I was leaning towards labour for the next election just because i thought they deserved a crack of the whip but now i fear they may do even more damage than FF.
So if you don't get answers from Labour will you vote FF?
 

redhead101

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From the waffle and spoofology we got from Pat Rabbite and Roisin Shorthall this week on Vincenzo its clear that Labour have no specifics on how they will balance the budget. This is symptomatic of a party thats been in opposition for too long and has become a hurler in the ditch.
Specifically what is Labours position on:
1- Public sector reform: more specifically pay, pensions, perks and redundancies.
2- HSE reform: more specifically cost of medical cards, consultants, expenses, use of taxi's etc.
3- Social Welfare reform: more specifically limiting benefits to the most needy and taxing social welfare.
4- Tax increases: Who pays and by how much, closing loopholes will only go so far.

I was leaning towards labour for the next election just because i thought they deserved a crack of the whip but now i fear they may do even more damage than FF.
Labour have published detailed costed budget proposals, before every budget since 2008 and will doubtless do so again this year.

Public finances are a massive problem, but to be honest, the overall economy is an even greater concern. You can balance the books, all you like, but that does not necessarily mean that you are in any way helping economic recovery. In fact cutting public spending can have a seriously detrimental impact on the economy (see today's GDP and GNP figures).

I'd rather have a healthy economy with a short term public spending deficit, than a basket-case economy where the govt is focussed only on book-keeping niceties.
 

Samell

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I thought Joan was going to spill the beans the other night after the bond sale, but no she was cut off so we could hear about how the millennium goals weren't being met!
I appreciate our moral obligation to help those worse off than ourselves but what is the point of giving aid to the starving and homeless in other countries then having to borrow it back to help our own?
 

DeputyEdo

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I appreciate our moral obligation to help those worse off than ourselves but what is the point of giving aid to the starving and homeless in other countries then having to borrow it back to help our own?
110% agree with you.
We've no money for ourselves, but loads for Africa (where we're been pumping money for over 50 years) and Pakistan and even America after Hurricane Katriona!!!
 

TradCat

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Labour's answer to that charge should be, "If you want to see our manifesto, call an election."

FF would love to have their media dogs make anything the issue except the incompetence and stupidity of the current government. I'm no fan of the Labour Party but why should they show their hand now? They can't implement anything.
 

Harmonica

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Labours problem is the public sector unions. In their policies they say there must be pay reduction through reform while at the same time they failed to take a position on the Croke Park negotiations. Are we really to believe that Labour would cut the pay or numbers in the PS as that is the only way to cut pay.
 

LeDroit

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Labour have published detailed costed budget proposals, before every budget since 2008 and will doubtless do so again this year.

Public finances are a massive problem, but to be honest, the overall economy is an even greater concern. You can balance the books, all you like, but that does not necessarily mean that you are in any way helping economic recovery. In fact cutting public spending can have a seriously detrimental impact on the economy (see today's GDP and GNP figures).

I'd rather have a healthy economy with a short term public spending deficit, than a basket-case economy where the govt is focussed only on book-keeping niceties.
Et voilà! The true face of Labour. Running a €25 Billion deficit year after year means nothing. Just make sure the PS union members get paid. Our national debt will be €100 Billion by Dec 2012, the rate we pay on debt is now 6.5%. So it'll be €6.5Billion per year just to pay the INTEREST on that debt even if we don't borrow another cent. Labour in govt will be like a shopaholic drunk running around BTs with someone elses credit card.
 

firefly123

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Et voilà! The true face of Labour. Running a €25 Billion deficit year after year means nothing. Just make sure the PS union members get paid. Our national debt will be €100 Billion by Dec 2012, the rate we pay on debt is now 6.5%. So it'll be €6.5Billion per year just to pay the INTEREST on that debt even if we don't borrow another cent. Labour in govt will be like a shopaholic drunk running around BTs with someone elses credit card.
So who would you stick an X beside LeDroit?
 

redger

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In the past week, I clearly heard Joan Burton explain how difficult is is to come up with concrete Budget proposals, given that they do not have proper access to the actual figures. She was clear that the opposition parties are not being properly informed by Lenny or the Dept of Finance, on what is going on, or what the books really look like.
She explained that every time this is brought up, Lenny makes a big show of inviting them in to the Dept of Finance, where they are then ( I paraphrase from here on - this is how I understand it, if I got it wrong then I apologise) condescended to by a few senior individuals who show them a powerpoint presentation and answer few of their questions. They then are given a cuppa by the Minister who says, "there you are now". They leave as wise as when they arrive.
 

TradCat

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so the people of Ireland will see that Labour at least have a hand!!
They will have the hand that FF dealt to us all. A pair of nothings and no good news. They will inherit the economy that FF created. What are they going to do? Slash and burn to keep the markets happy for as long as that is a viable proposition.

I'm ready to vote for anyone who will default now but is anyone seriously going to propose that until there is simply no choice. Meanwhile how would you like your pointless pain? Does it matter?
 

LeDroit

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So who would you stick an X beside LeDroit?
It is a real dilemma.

Labour are the Trades Unions party, they care nothing for the rest of the country so they're out.

SF: nuff said.

FG are right of centre but populist and have to go into govt with Labour so it's a real Hobson's choice when looking to them.

FF are ignorant and populist; the most dangerous combination, although Lenihan seems to be the only one with a touch of realism about him. It may be that facing his own mortality has brought him closer to recognising our collective economic mortality. Regardless, it's a pity we have Conservative Cowen who is literally scared still. He doesn't know what to do and is petrified to make a decision. With Lenihan unlikely to see out the next Dail FF are out of consideration.

Another Party? I'd love to see a genuine fiscally conservative party come about offering a free Market in Labour (abolishing all price fixing in public and private wages), Commercial Rents (abolishing upward only reviews), and let's get our costs of production and cost of living down. It'd be the stimulus we need.

I'm not optimistic though. :(
 

typical

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From the waffle and spoofology we got from Pat Rabbite and Roisin Shorthall this week on Vincenzo its clear that Labour have no specifics on how they will balance the budget.
Sorry, but as far as I can see, no-one is very forthcoming on the specifics of how they'd balance the budget. It's hardly surprising, FF aren't even being specific on exactly how imbalanced the books are, who can say anything specific?

The only difference between the three parties is who they claim they want to look after when balancing the books, FF are clearly inclined toward the banks etc., FG say "small and medium business" and Labour say "the vulnerable", wtf they are.

The sad thing about this country is that the right wing is so entrenched in the media, the body politic and academia that they are allowed to dictate the terms of discussion. The left don't actually do a thing to challenge this as they are all so narrow in their definition of their roots that they invariably mean either trade unionists or scumbags.

I've no interest in what Labour are going to do about 1, 2, 3 or 4, nor FF or FG, I want to know if they're going to sort out the corrupt cute hoor crap we've been living with for the past 50 years.

Once that's sorted we'll have loads of money because we won't be looking after bond holders, paying 5 times the odds for land, keeping rich boy tax breaks going and pouring money down the drain on over bloated saleries and pensions for the boys.

Restricting the cuts to people who aren't able to squirm out of paying is the lazy option, I want politicians who'll make it impossible for people to squirm out of paying. Once they start down that road they can pile it on to the rest of us, they'll have to, but at least we won't feel it's going to happen again in 10 years time.
 

firefly123

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It is a real dilemma.

Labour are the Trades Unions party, they care nothing for the rest of the country so they're out.

SF: nuff said.

FG are right of centre but populist and have to go into govt with Labour so it's a real Hobson's choice when looking to them.

FF are ignorant and populist; the most dangerous combination, although Lenihan seems to be the only one with a touch of realism about him. It may be that facing his own mortality has brought him closer to recognising our collective economic mortality. Regardless, it's a pity we have Conservative Cowen who is literally scared still. He doesn't know what to do and is petrified to make a decision. With Lenihan unlikely to see out the next Dail FF are out of consideration.

Another Party? I'd love to see a genuine fiscally conservative party come about offering a free Market in Labour (abolishing all price fixing in public and private wages), Commercial Rents (abolishing upward only reviews), and let's get our costs of production and cost of living down. It'd be the stimulus we need.

I'm not optimistic though. :(
So that would be noone then? :D

I am genuinely curious as to exactly how much power the unions weld in labour anymore. I think they have been exposed as paper tigers and Labour have evolved a bit from beardy economics. My main reason for voting for them (other than being one of the hateful public service) is that they dont stink as much of corruption and gombeenism as the other two. Also if they do bring in swingeing cuts then I think they will apply them to all rather than just aim at a specific group.
 

redhead101

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Running a €25 Billion deficit year after year means nothing.
That's not what I said, nor is it anything like what I said.

My point is that it is preferable to shoulder the burden of a short term budget deficit, if in so doing, we can generate overall growth in the economy.

BTW, a healthy, vibrant economy makes it much easier to balance the books.
 

goosebump

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In the past week, I clearly heard Joan Burton explain how difficult is is to come up with concrete Budget proposals, given that they do not have proper access to the actual figures. She was clear that the opposition parties are not being properly informed by Lenny or the Dept of Finance, on what is going on, or what the books really look like.
She explained that every time this is brought up, Lenny makes a big show of inviting them in to the Dept of Finance, where they are then ( I paraphrase from here on - this is how I understand it, if I got it wrong then I apologise) condescended to by a few senior individuals who show them a powerpoint presentation and answer few of their questions. They then are given a cuppa by the Minister who says, "there you are now". They leave as wise as when they arrive.
That's a complete cop out, and regularly floated as reason why Labour can't provide any specific budgetary policies.

The DOF has a dedicated unit which costs policy proposals from the various parties. All of the parties use this in the run up to budget.

Even if it didn't, all we want from Labour are a few headline items, not line by line budgetary projections.
 

goosebump

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Labour's answer to that charge should be, "If you want to see our manifesto, call an election."

FF would love to have their media dogs make anything the issue except the incompetence and stupidity of the current government. I'm no fan of the Labour Party but why should they show their hand now? They can't implement anything.
You don't need a manifesto to tell people you position on public sector pay and headline tax rates.
 


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