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Reply #24: Ireland One year after bailout, a bitter budget [View All]

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Ireland One year after bailout, a bitter budget

Health, social welfare and education face bulk of cuts, headlines the Irish Times, as the government unveils another austerity budget, the fourth since the Irish economy collapsed in 2008. The Department of Health is taking the biggest cut of 543 million, followed by social protection with an adjustment of 475 million and education with 132 million, the Dublin daily writes. In addition to an anticipated 6,000 jobs lost in the public sector, the government has slashed child benefits, winter fuel, disability and back-to-school allowances, notes the Irish Independent.

The announcements come a little over a fortnight after it emerged that the Irish budget was subject to an initial review in the German Bundestag, an indicator of Irelands loss of economic sovereignty after it accepted an 85 billion bailout from the EU/EC/ECB troika in November 2010.

On December 4, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny in a televised address announced that Difficult choices are never easy. His address has drawn a bitter attack from veteran columnist Fintan OToole

"Difficult choices are never easy. Savour the phrase. Hold it to the light. Swirl it round the glass. Stick your nose in deep and inhale the rich aromas of full-bodied absurdity. Get the pungent whiff of carmelised cliche and curdled smugness.

<> The truly difficult decisions are not being made. <> If the pain was being shared fairly, this State would be a more equal society than it was before the crash, because the well-off would be bearing more of the burden. <> Inequality is rising rapidly. In 2009, the top 20 per cent had 4.3 times the income of the bottom 20 per cent. In 2010, the ratio was 5.5.
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