Department of Finance Briefings for Minister propose renewed attacks on the vulnerable in 2012 Budget

Posted on Friday, 8 April 2011

The Department of Finance's briefing documents prepared for the incoming Minister for Finance continue to focus on attacking the vuilnerable in forthcoming budgets. 

The core briefing document is 253 pages long and provides a comprehensive overview of the how the Department sees the current situation and spells out the Department's proposals for the future. 

They are a sad reflection on a Department that failed dramatically to provide Government with the accurate and informed advice it required in making key decisions over the past three years.

The proposals made in the Deptarment's main briefing document once again fail to appreciate the need for an integrated approach to addressing Ireland's current series of crises (banking, economic, fiscal, social and repuitational).  Such an integrated approach would require action across a range of areas simultaneously.

Social Justice Ireland has proposed a seven-point plan that would lead to recovery.  Details of each of these points have been spelt out in Social Justice Ireland's publications over the past two years and are available on this website.  We recommend them to the incoming Government.  The seven point plan would see Government:

  1. Renegotiating the EU/IMF agreement to remove injustices at its core and to make Ireland’s recovery possible.
  2. Developing and maintaining a fiscally responsible approach to the country’s annual Budget which should be brought into balance within a reasonable time-frame.
  3. Increasing the tax take while keeping Ireland a low tax country (through broadening and deepening the tax base and addressing tax-breaks as recommended by the Commission on Taxation).
  4. Securing better value for money in the delivery of our public services.
  5. Reforming the public sector.
  6. Targeting expenditure cuts where required but ensuring that vulnerable people are protected. A good starting point would be the elimination of waste identified in the Comptroller and Auditor General’s reports.
  7. Focusing expenditure on the common good to ensure balanced development of economic and social infrastructure and public services while protecting the environment.

Document can be accessed here