Budget 2012 was developed with a microscope when a telescope was required. While it paid great attention to a wide range of issues it has insufficient focus on the longer term or the wider issues that urgently require attention. These range from declining domestic demand to persistent long-term unemployment, from public debt sustainability to growing poverty and inequality.
The full document containing details of Ireland's Budget for 2012 which were leaked by the Gernamn Parliament may now be read here. These documents were provided by the Irish Government to the EU Commission on a confidential basis. Of particular interest is the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies contained in this document.
Social Justice Ireland believes a fairer future is possible and deliverable. It is crucial however that Government’s decisions and the terms of the bailout agreement with the IMF/ECB/EC should be focused on delivering such an outcome. These were key fundamentals for Budget 2012 presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform by Social Justice Ireland on November 2, 2011.
The Community & Voluntary Pillar has said that the fiscal adjustment in 2012 and beyond should be achieved in a 2:1 ratio between tax increases and expenditure cuts. The Pillar made its comments at a briefing for media and members of the Oireachtas on their latest document, Choosing a Viable Future in Precarious Times.
Social Justice Ireland is proposing that Government should increase the total tax-take (but not income tax) by €2 for every €1 cut from public services in Budget 2012.
In a Policy Briefing oulining ‘Budget Choices’ Social Justice Ireland presented a fully-costed Budget which shows how Government could reduce borrowing by €3.6bn in the coming year without damaging poor and vulnerable people further.
The Report of the Review Group on State Assets and Liabilities was published by Government on April 20, 2011. The full list of recommendations contained in the report was published also in the Department of Finance's 8-page note on the Report. Full text of both documents available below.
The Government has revised its macroeconomic and fiscal projections. The updated Stability and Growth Programme (published April 29, 2011) forecasts growth in GDP (gross domestic product) to be 0.75% compared to the forecast published with the Budget last December.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Report published Monday, April 11, 2011, shows Ireland as having the fastest-growing economy, as measured in nominal GDP terms, among the European periphery countries (Greece, Portuga