Days Of Future Passed


Brendan Howlin

This afternoon.

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin outlines his party’s alternative proposals for Budget 2018.

“The future facing our country today is very different than it was five years ago. Our economy has recovered, strong growth continues and unemployment is falling.

But there are also many people around the country who are still hurting, and struggling to put food on the table for their families.

With our country now at a crossroads, Labour’s Alternative Budget seeks to cut poverty, not taxes.

We want to improve public services, build homes and hospitals, employ teachers and healthcare workers, and reduce the cost of living for our future Ireland.

One of the most pressing issues facing us as a nation is the housing and homelessness crisis, and Labour’s Budget includes a fully costed plan to invest nearly one billion euro into building an extra five thousand public houses in 2018.

In the key area of health, we are also committing to funding Sláintecare [a 10 year plan to revolutionise the health service  with cross-party political support]. – a plan that must be delivered upon by Government.

“This document [at link below] presents a vision for our future and shows that Budgets can be drawn up in a way that will promote decency, justice and equality in our society.”


Our Future- Labour’s Alternative Budget 2018 (Labour)


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74 thoughts on “Days Of Future Passed

  1. Andrew

    I was just thinking about the Labour Party the other day. It’s amazing how marginalised they’ve become really isn’t it?
    They need to ask themselves some serious questions.

    1. realPolithicks

      When you claim to be a party of the “left” and yet constantly facilitate right wing governments to implement their policies then you should expect to remain largely irrelevant.

      1. Rob_G

        Yes – much easier to stand on the sidelines and criticise, rather than actually going into government and get some of your party’s policies implemented and risk unpopularity in the process.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Except that didn’t happen. They just implemented right wing policies. What planet are you on? Lol.

        2. ahjayzis

          We’d have had a good chance of having Ireland’s first Labour government now if they hadn’t jumped into bed with FG.

          People increasingly see no point in rallying to a party that will only strengthen enough to give it’s leaders ministerial tenure, and then blow it all away, to start over again. It’s a constant cycle of supporting a party that rails against Fine Gael and then morphs into a Fine Gael government, it’s humiliating.

  2. Pádraig Ó Raghaill

    I have already read the incredibly boring [alt-budget] a same same but different foot in standard politics. The Labour party is irrelevant, yet, they are fully willing to accept business as usual. That is an entire Government system that is ineffective, wasteful, inefficient, overstaffed, overfunded, fat and lazy.

    We don’t need alt-budget Labour, alt-budget Social Democrats we need a stripping down of the entire countries departments and expenditures. Recost, strategic and with set performance goals, not just a status quo, pinching for pocket money and band-aid measures.

    1. Steve

      / / .exe / /

      Warning warning shinnerbot identified.

      Warning warning shinnerbots need to be made aware that their party cannot breach 15% in the polls until terrorists are removed from party.

        1. Pádraig Ó Raghaill

          What is this? Thought it was meant to be elevated from TheJournal – seems about the same level of intellect or lack thereof.

          Try again champ

          1. Steve

            You say current gov is fat, lazy etc so I’m guessing you’re not FG or FF. And you attack the parties , labour and Soccies, that compete for your votes. Smells like a shinnerbot to me.

            Then again – yes – could be a libertarian!

          2. scottser

            Ah lookit we’re only playing guess how paddy reilly votes. I have you pegged as a ganley renua type.

          3. Pádraig Ó Raghaill

            If any of you had a brain, well, you know the rest (maybe) would not surprise me if you did not.

            Please don’t vote, or breed for that matter.

    2. edalicious

      I absolutely agree but I reckon it would be political suicide for anyone that proposed it. With the amount of unnecessary public service middle managers in this country, who know they’ve spent a little bit too long, not doing enough work and getting paid a bit too much for the job that they’re doing, you wouldn’t have a chance of getting elected.

  3. FortyCoats

    If only he had a Neuralyzer, like in Men In Black, so we all forget what this lot were like last time. We could call it the Labouryzer.

  4. Liam Deliverance

    Make promises, renege on promises, make promises, renege on promises, make promises. . . .

  5. Gringo

    do not discount Brendan. He is a very clever fellow. Like all snakeoil salesmen he points to a glorious future while flogging lies to all and sundry. And if that strategy fails to work, plan B is to ride off into the sunset with a pocketful of pensions, where his glorious future awaits.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Hacked our wages by 17%, increased our hours to 39 clocked hours (not including lunchtime – that’s your own), halved paid sick leave entitlements meaning there are people recovering from illness who either have to come back to work before they’re ready, or they recieve no pay and if they’re pre 95 entrants, they’ve no entitlement to Social Welfare. Despite the big campaigns, nobody ever admits to suffering from mental illness because Peoplepoint, the outsourced, moneypit staffed by part time, inept amateurs who deal with these things don’t give a flying figary once they’ve ticked their boxes and nobody trusts someone on a six month contract not to completely screw things up and send your private info to the wrong person, or personnel departments.

      And breathe…

      Anyway, I get the pleasure to never give the Poison Dwarf any of my voting preferences in Wexford ever again.

      1. Rob_G

        During the boom, public sector workers were getting paid funny money – the fact that your wages were reduced by one-fifth and yet you still think it worthwhile to continue working would indicate that you were previously overpaid, tbh.

        “halved paid sick leave entitlements” – they are still very generous compared to what anyone could avail of in the private sector. Three months on full pay followed by three months on half pay – things like this don’t exist in the private sector.

        1. Fact Checker

          Weekly wages were not reduced by 17% in net terms for very many – more like between 5% and 10% depending on your grade. Only public service workers on >€100k (who are a tiny minority) saw double-digit cuts.

          People get confused because there were a lot of simultaneous increase in taxation, as well as cuts in overtime in many places.

          1. Daisy Chainsaw

            Really, Fact Checker!?! Are you telling me I don’t know the difference between what I was getting and what I’m earning now?

            And Rob G, my alternative would be a zero hours “contract” in a fast food outlet or retail. As stated previously, I get no social welfare entitlement, despite 30 years of tax and PRSI. Leaving this job because of Labour’s swingeing cuts would see me homeless within months.

          2. Rob_G

            If a person’s only alternative to working in the PS with the set of skills and experience that they have is working in a job in the private sector with much lower pay and conditions, this is more making an argument for paying this person less rather than paying them more, tbh…

          3. Rob_G

            Why would you describe it as ‘lunacy’?

            If you can find loads of jobs similar to yours that are better paid – you are underpaid.

            If all the jobs similar to yours are less well-paid – you are overpaid.

            If the other jobs are paid about the same – your pay is about right for the job.

          4. Fact Checker

            Hi Daisy

            You seem to be comparing net take home at some unspecified previous point and a later unspecified point.

            Lots of things could be influencing this, including reductions in overtime, increases in taxation, as well as of course cuts to gross public service pay.

          5. Daisy Chainsaw

            Rob G, the jobs I have done throughout my career in the PS have no private sector application. Because I came into this job shortly after leaving cert, I have no third level qualifications. I can do admin, run an office and process multiple applications for various schemes without breaking a sweat, but without a peice of paper telling a potential employer I have a diploma or degree in it, I wouldn’t even be entertained.

          6. MoyestWithExcitement

            That doesn’t matter, Daisy. Business owners, for they are the Most Important People, get to decide what your pay should be because that’s how it works in Right Wing Fantasy Land. Also, when they decide your pay rate, they have your best interests at heart and won’t be trying to cut costs and pay you as little as they can get away with. All hail The Free Market.

          7. Rob_G

            “I can do admin, run an office and process multiple applications for various schemes”

            – a lot of these skills would crossover into the private sector(?)

            The fact that equivalent jobs in the private sector are worse-paid would seem to indicate that, even with the cuts, you are still quite well-paid. If you were underpaid, you would easily find a better-paid job matching your skillset.

          8. Rob_G

            Isn’t it great?

            The jobs market is also a ‘free market’ – people are free to go out and get the highest-paying job they can get.

          9. MoyestWithExcitement

            Yes pal. The free market is an sentient force completely immune to human manipulation. :D

        2. MoyestWithExcitement

          “the fact that your wages were reduced by one-”

          Oh my god! Amazing to see their brains in action.

        3. Pat Kenny's wife

          I agree with Rob in this. During my experience in the semi state sector I saw numerous people who couldn’t even draw a simple graph in excel yet were responsible for managing a multi million euro budget. I doubt very much you’re as competent or as busy as you claim Daisy, given the sheer amount of reactionary nonsense you type on this daily.

        1. Fact Checker

          The pension levy took less in net terms than it appeared.

          It is deducted before PAYE and PRSI so the net effect is much less than the gross.

      2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Heh. You should get Mr Andy going on Peoplepoint. Actually, don’t: I hear enough about them day in, day out.

          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            HR section of civil/public service.
            Absolute shambles.
            Though I have never been massively impressed with HR in any company I’ve ever worked for, no matter where I’ve been.

    2. Fact Checker

      Given that you ask, this is a list of certain public service reforms that took place while Brendan Howlin was in office:

      Regulation of lobbyists

      Abolition of town councils

      Greater open recruitment to public service

      Whistleblower legislation

      More hours worked by public servants for less pay

      Roll-out of public services cards

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        “More hours worked by public servants for less pay”
        Hurray! Over worked and underpaid medical staff and gardai! Turning our medical and security services to Yellowpackers.

        Roll-out of public services cards
        Have they got their 3 million mandatory/compulsory cards issued yet? Who gets the backhander when they do?

        1. Fact Checker

          He asked for a list of reforms, and he got one.

          I never commented on their efficacy or desirability.

          1. Pat Kenny's wife

            Neither did Daisy present any facts to support the statement that medical staff and gardai are overworked

  6. Barry the Hatchet

    God I wish the Labour party would just get the message and fupp off. They are utterly irrelevant.

    Would that it weren’t so and we had some kind of viable left alternative.

    1. Rob_G

      There are several ‘left alternatives’; they just refuse to work together, and people refuse to vote for them.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        And if you think people vote for right wing parties because of ideology and not inertia, you’re even more deluded than I thought. :D

        1. Rob_G

          So the majority of people don’t have different voting choices because they actually disagree with you; they only vote differently because they are not clever enough to think the same way you do?

          Fair enough

      2. Fact Checker

        There were plenty of votes for the left at the last election.

        If you assemble Sinn Féin, Labour, Solidarity-PBP, I4C, Social Democrats and WUAG you get 44 seats from parties who are generally comfortable being described as ‘of the left’. Another six independents would be comfortable with that tag too.

        That makes 50, which is close to a third of the Dáil.

        1. bisted

          …whatever about parties and independents being comfortable with the tag of ‘of the left’, I don’t think any of them would be comfortable being lumped into a grouping that included a party like labour who so blatently betrayed their supporters…

          1. Fact Checker

            As with many things in life I generally describe people with the terms they choose to describe themselves.

  7. phil

    Maybe their budget is reasonable, but one thing is for sure , if they gor into power again , they would do the opposite …

    1. bisted

      …of course they have a reasonable budget proposal…they’ll have loads of reasonable stuff to say…but isn’t that the kind of stuff you tend to say before an election…

  8. painkiller

    “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”
    – Winston Churchill (adapted)

    The Labour party in the UK and Ireland and to an extent the Democratic party in the US survive on the plight of the weak and nativity of the sheltered. There is no party as attractive in opposition – and mindless sheep are quick to forgive and forget.

    This looks like a PR reinvention (survival) tactic, in line with their counterparts in the UK and US – all of whom are going through something similar to what the happened on the right in the US with the Tea Party movement after Obama’s election – like the Tea Party, they have no policy, they left office in disgrace and they chose utter rejection of reality, populism and capitalising on public outrage over taking a long hard look in the mirror and finding a road to recovery. Maybe they should stick to their traditional values but social justice is too lucrative these days. If they were so interested in social justice, would they not have contested the Troika agreement before accepting the program for government in 2011?

    1. ahjayzis

      Hard to do when they’ve that noxious little bank manager running them, and Alan Kelly chewing on his restraints to replace him.

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