I Have Nothing To Offer But Austerity


Last night/this morning.

Via The Irish Times:

Both Mr Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney said that any programme for government must reflect Fine Gael values, citing fiscal responsibility and the deficit.

The Taoiseach suggested that if the deficit is not tackled – with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil favouring plans to reduce the deficit in the latter half of a five-year term – this would send out a signal to the markets that Ireland is not serious, as would the postponement of the increase in the State pension age, another sticking point in the talks.

Mr Varadkar is said to have told his TDs: “It won’t be government at all costs.”

Programme for government must include ‘fiscal responsibility’ – Varadkar (Irish Times)


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41 thoughts on “I Have Nothing To Offer But Austerity

  1. Clampers Outside

    When rejecting an idea, it is good practice to make your alternative idea known. What’s Eoin’s solution to the debt then?

    1. Ron

      There is no solution being put forward by Varadkar to deal with the debt other than arrogant words about the timing it will be done. There is no document with detailed proposals to counteract. Leo decided that he wants to continue the sick twisted game he plays with the poor and vulnerable and the talk you heard about was Leo being the usual arrogant, self serving, narcissistic person he really is. He did have a meeting with himself and he did decide that the pension age was being increased because that would send the wrong signal to the markets if we didn’t proceed. The markets will tell you when you can retire and get the pension you paid for all your life. What the hell are you talking about with what’s his counteractive proposal??

        1. Ron

          Caretaker Taoisaich Varadkar doesnt have all the facts yet. No one does. We don’t fully know the size of the ‘bill’ we are faced with to pay for Covid-19. The great EU has made some measures available but the caretaker Government don’t want to access the cash being made available from the ESM. We could borrow about €6.8 billion in cheap loans to pay for healthcare and COVID measures, but Leo and Paschal have determined that the optics of being seen to do this would be poor, unless a large group of EU states did likewise. Again, it is all about the spin. It’s all about not drawing attention to ourselves and not being seen to be part of a troubled cohort of countries. Politicians aren’t affected by things like the increase in pension age or most other austerity measures so they don’t care, but they have determined that the rest of the people who aren’t so privileged need to continue until were almost 70 because that would look bad to the markets if we didn’t do that. It’s disgusting hypocrisy. Irish people will face another 10 years of austerity because that’s what the markets have determined. Leo makes statements and assertions that don’t take account of the facts, don’t look at alternatives and reinforces the Fine Gael ideology that the markets will determine what happens the poor and vulnerable in this country. Its all about the markets and none of it is about people.

          I hope that Irish people come out on the streets in their hundreds of thousands as they finally realise that they have been sold the greatest dud ever by this caretaker freakshow Govt.

          The writing was on the wall as I watched middle class Ireland lose their minds as they suddenly realised that there private health insurance policies are now worthless with bisto gravy deal given to the private hospitals and they are not happy that they now have to languish in the same rotten health system that they were quite happy for the poor majority of people to rot in for years. The hypocrisy is disgusting.

          By all means lets look at the finances and do what’s prudent but also what’s the right thing to do for the people? That’s the true North. The same political thinking that created our countries problems is not the thinking we need to get us out of it.

          it’s not about whether sitting on the debt is right or wrong thing to do. It’s about the Fine Gael ideology that we will always sacrifice the poor and vulnerable in favour of the markets.

          1. Ron

            Keep trying to convince yourself of that. your fooling no one only yourself and in fairness it’s quite easy when it comes to fooling you.

            There will be an election and Sinn Féin are going to dominate the Dáil next time round the merry go round along with SD and a smaller group of Independents. I was going to say but you already know that, but I actually don’t think you do. I think your just happy to clap when the others are clapping.

            General Election now! Let’s finish burying FF and reduce FG to even smaller numbers

            They know it’s, coming!

    2. Tommy

      A money tree
      As a student he was very idealistic
      Like all lefties they think it’s a unending pit of money

  2. bisted

    …looking more like government formed on d’hondt…real test for shinners would be to bypass tanaiste to take finance portfolio…take that blueshirts…

  3. Ron

    We need a General Election now. The Constitutional clause they use to cling on to power was written on the assumption that elections produce results. Their charade of talks of indefinite duration are an affront to the very notion of democracy and they urinate on the Constitution to achieve it.

    The very fact that you could have an election and then TD”s could spend up to 6 months or notionally a year if they wanted talking about how they will pull the Dáil votes to stitch their freakshow Govt that nobody asked for together. The fact there is no legal remedy for anyone opposed to this, no way to intervene shows the deficit that exists in the constitution. They use the constitution like a tool in their box to manipulate the system and ensure their noses are well entrenched in the trough.

    1. ReproBertie

      Do you really think an election will make a difference? Let me be more specific. Do you think an election will result in one party returning with enough seats to form a government? Otherwise the current caretaker government just gets an even longer run while the dust from a fresh election settles and parties try to form a government.

  4. GiggidyGoo

    Abundantly clear that at the moment FFG are looking for excuses NOT to form a government. And these were the boyos who were having a go at SF and the Assembly.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        Doubt it – remember this is the party that had to teach Michael Noonan (Finance Minister at the time) about fiscal space.
        Didn’t they also pull Coveney up about something financial, before he put his two feet in it?

    1. Ronan

      Slight difference to be fair. The assembly was not sitting, the Dail is. Power sharing wasn’t doing anything, we have a caretaker government.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        We have a Dail. There are ministers in this Dail that weren’t elected in the last election, still controlling people’s lives.
        But I digress. We have two parties – FFG- telling us that they want to form a government (having said previously that they wouldn’t go into government with each other), and are doing everything they can to avoid going into government.
        The slight difference is that SF did want to go into power sharing with the DUP, but we have the cash for ash debacle which was the problem. Created by the DUP. Once that was eventually sorted, the power sharing was restored.

        1. Rob_G

          The Dáil is sitting, Ministers are in office, legislation is being passed. The four months that Ireland has been continuing on with a caretaker government is literally nothing like the three years the people of Northern Ireland had no assembly, and no representation, for.

          Of course, it played to SF’s strengths, as they were able to grandstand and issue statements without having to any of the difficult messy business of legislating.

          1. Rob_G

            also – you know that both SF as well as DUP members, lobbied to have the RHI scheme extended, right?

  5. Madam X

    Leo is playing the long game. As pls suggest FG rising. He will give impossible objectives with a view to stalling gov formation. He will then call another election. Fairly obvious one

    1. GiggidyGoo

      I hope he puts his trust in those polls, and calls the election. He did similar last time.

      1. Ron

        me too. it’s exactly the type of trap Varadkar will walk blindly into. And the political establishment are in for the rudest political awakening ever. SF won’t repeat the mistake of not running enough candidates this time around. Will they be any better? who knows, but there worth a punt and it can’t continue the way it has been going

  6. ReproBertie

    Back in late March/early April, as the cost of Covid-19 measures was being highlighted, Leo spoke about needing a government that would last 5 years because a lot of tough measures would be needed to get the economy back on its feet after this. I remember reading a report where he spoke about anyone entering into government having to be ready to receive nothing but bad news and abuse for the next couple of years and that there wasn’t going to be a lot of good news to spread around. That was one of the main reasons he was looking for a 5 year government. I’m surprised that this is suddenly being touted as new information.

      1. Mr .T

        Don’t know what Eoin proposes, but what most sane people would propose is that you invest big in public works and infrastructure during a recession. Repaying debt and increasing taxes should done when the economy is thriving, not when its in a downturn. Austerity doesn’t work because you’re trying to squeeze ever increasing amounts of money out of a decreasing number of workers.

        1. Clampers Outside

          I am in agreement with the principal of that, and I’m not looking for heavy details from Eoin, just what’s his principal idea on approaching the issue.

          I’m still none the wiser on what Eoin proposes.

        2. ReproBertie

          The only person who has mentioned austerity is Eoin. We don’t know what the financial plans of any new government will be yet, beyond a report that FG want fiscal responsibility to be one of the cornerstones.

          1. Ron

            I’d say if your brain was dynamite there wouldn’t be enough to blow your head off. lol. sit down clown lol

            Embrace your new SF future

          2. Cian

            Austerity is defined as a set of economic policies a government implements to control public sector debt.
            Which sounds a lot like fiscal responsibility.


          3. Johnny

            Hi Cian-why would the govt not consider a “green new deal’ type strategic investment in public housing, education, healthcare and infrastructure with Irish bonds (borrowing costs)at all time lows-they just left 3 billion at negative rates on the table.

            “21 May 2020 – The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) has today completed an auction of Irish Treasury Bills, selling the target amount of €750 million.

            Total bids received amounted to €3.71 billion which was 4.9 times the amount on offer. The Treasury Bills, which have a maturity of 5 months, were sold at a yield of -0.43%.”

          4. Cian

            While borrowing is at an all time low – you have to pay it back at some stage. It is only a good idea to borrow if the thing that you spend the money on will show a return on investment.

            It doesn’t matter if you are talking about a country or a household – borrowing for day-to-day spending is a really, really bad idea. While you can do it short-term, it shouldn’t (can’t) be done long term.

            I’m not sure what how a “green new deal’ is related to public housing, education, healthcare and infrastructure. I understand how you can have “green” housing or infrastructure… but I’m struggling to see how you can have “green” education or healthcare.

          5. Johnny

            The ROI from world class green housing, education and healthcare is incalculable!

            Sovereign debt is rarely if ever ‘paid back’ they roll or refinance it,Irl has Lane at ECB wearing the green jersey, grab some cheap money and reinvent the country for the next generation.

            The FG strategy is totally lacking in imagination and vision,so old fashioned and outdated,Irelands future is very bright, if it had a forward looking modern govt. as its neighbors are busy burning their house down.

            “A Green New Deal is a big, bold transformation of the economy to tackle the twin crises of inequality and climate change. It would mobilize vast public resources to help us transition from an economy built on exploitation and fossil fuels to one driven by dignified work and clean energy. ”


          6. Cian

            I agree that a green approach would benefit us in the long term. I’m just not sure what you mean by “green education” and “green healthcare”?

            I am aware that countries roll over debt – which is why we can’t just keep borrowing more and more. We should only borrow money if it either
            (a) saves government expenditure in the future (e.g. borrow now to build social housing so that once build we don’t have to pay private landlords to house people… but those savings should be used to repay the debt!)
            (b) has a long term return on investment that is (at minimum) enough to cover interest repayments – for ever.
            (c) very short term to cover a disaster e.g. COVID. but this is exceptional and not repeatable. This debt should be repaid – so you can dip into this on the next rainy day.

            Ireland borrowed billions in the 70s and 80s to build social housing… we then sold off 1000s of houses to the tenants in the 90s and 00s… the original billions are still on the national debt; we’ve paid interest on them for 40 years and will continue to pay interest on them forever. And we don’t have any assets because they were all sold off! Madness.

  7. Nigel

    Since we are carefully navigating our way through a dangerous natural crisis using, imperfect as it and we are, the best scientific evidence and advice available to us, is there anything to be said for applying this principle to our recovery and shaping our efforts to apply best practices to deal with the climate and biodiversity crises?

  8. Otis Blue

    In what fupping universe can Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil credibly claim to represent fiscal responsibility?

    1. V'ness

      Their own Universe Oh’T
      You don’t see any one of them not tucking into their pay rises earlier this year
      Or acting in Solidarity with the country and stepping down to the Covid Payment
      Or promising to refuse their increments

      not a bit of it

      Their fiscal responsibilities start and stop with their own pockets

    1. Cian

      Austerity is defined as a set of economic policies a government implements to control public sector debt. Sounds like a good thing to me.

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