(Originally Published on Corkstudentnews.com in October 2010)
The next month is make or break time for Ireland; most likely break. We are on the verge of the harshest budget in the history of the state. This is the first of a “four year plan” in order to get the country’s finances back into shape and back on track. The problem is that the government plan won’t work and they most likely know it won’t work. What will happen is that the country is going to be dead in the water for the next decade or more. If you can imagine all of the horror stories of emigration, mass unemployment and general stagnation from the fifties and eighties, then you might come close to what is going to happen in Ireland. All of this is being done in order to keep the status quo in power; the “haves” versus the “have nots”, and next month is when we will finally know just how far the government will go in order to save themselves and their friends by selling us and the entire country down the drain.
Over the next four years €15 billion needs to be cut from government expenditure with up to €7 billion of that being cut in this year’s budget. This is going to have huge repercussions across all of Irish society. No one person or group will be spared by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan and the Department of Finance; welfare, education, health and on and on. The only people who will come out relatively unscathed are the people that I like to refer to as the PODS. I refer to the politicians, developers and bankers as PODS. They are one homogenous entity which for all intents and purposes is sucking the life blood out of the country in order to prolong their own financial gain and power. In all of my previous writings about the economy I have used this analogy. We have already been told just how much the bailout of Anglo Irish and the cost of NAMA will be. Now however, we are finally getting the bill which is coming in the form of next month’s budget and we truly get to see just how psychopathic and psychotic those in the Department of Finance really are.
The entire basis of the cuts is on the premise of a 2.75% growth over the next four years. This is simply wrong and, to use a quote of Lenihan’s, it’s “dangerous talk”. With growth figures having already been downgraded by the ESRI and the Central Bank, with Lenihan being either wrong a great deal of the time, simply lying, or both when it comes to the economy, it is fair to say that one can almost disregard the figures of 2.75% and €15 billion. What is fair to assume it that growth will be much lower and as a result, the “adjustments” over the next four years will have to be more than the €15 billion that has been trotted out thus far. It just simply won’t happen. The main reason that this rather optimistic growth outlook of 2.75% is unlikely to be reached is because economic growth cannot be achieved by cutting across the board. In fact the economy contracts as more and more people save what money they have due to government cuts. As a result of this lack of expenditure within the greater economy, the government has to cut its own expenditure even more. It is a self reinforcing cyclical system. The government has to cut because there isn’t enough money but people aren’t spending because they don’t have the money due to cuts and taxes. This elementary lesson of economics is going right over the heads of those in the Department of Finance.
These cuts, we are told, are needed in order to show to the markets, and the EU, that as a country, Ireland is capable of managing its finances and will not default on its debt. There is a modicum of truth to this as I have already mentioned, here, the bond markets are watching Ireland very closely. The problem is that they know that everything is going to come crashing down very soon due to the actions of the current government which is why interest rates on Irish bonds are so high. The government can do all it wants to try to fool the bond markets but it won’t work. This is because the markets know that the government are so intent on helping their fellow PODS and as a result, themselves. The government can cut all it wants and it fully intends to. The problem is that they are no longer fooling anyone. It will all result in a decade or more of hardship and distress for the people of this country and by then, the sale of Ireland to the wealthy elite will be well and truly completed.