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 Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget

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PostSubject: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:26 pm

Michael Taft, quoted by WorldbyStorm on the Cedar Lounge Revolution, brings it home how much it could mean to have even a one-off levy on the ultra-rich. He quotes of all people, Donald Trump, who came up with a suprising idea for getting rid of the National Debt.

http://notesonthefront.typepad.com/politicaleconomy/2008/10/october-27th-morning-the-recession-diaries.html#comment-136757817

This seems to me to be a good idea.

My biggest suggestion for the next budget is that the public should be offered the opportunity of voting on the estimates: alternatives should be offered, and if the public don't vote any of them through, there should be a general election.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:31 pm

Problem is the ease with which you can move capital within Europe to avoid such a tax.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:41 pm

From the Tribune last Sunday

Quote :
Recession Busters: 10 easy steps for Government to save billions

It's a truism that government resources are scarce and in Ireland they seem to be becoming scarcer by the day. There were around €3bn in cuts in current and capital spending in the recent budget, but the public furore about some of those decisions suggests the government didn't target the right places. Martin Frawley and Shane Coleman identify 10 outstanding areas the government could target for potential savings of billions of euro.

1.Taxes outstanding

€1.3bn in various taxes remains outstanding as of March this year – more than the €1.2bn Lenihan expects to collect from the 1% income levy. This outstanding tax bill actually increased by €200m over last year's bill while €400m is outstanding for over five years. It's time to collect.

2.Taxes written off

On top of uncollected debts, the Revenue wrote off €118m of debts owed to the exchequer last year, bringing the total written off over the last five years to €673m. Even the Comptroller and Auditor General has expressed "concern" at the high proportion of tax liabilities written off.

3. Decentralisation

Despite the partial freeze on the ill-fated €1bn-plus decentralisation programme, the OPW has spent over €65m acquiring sites, leases and buildings to house the migrating 10,000 public servants, most of whom refused to budge. With 41 decentralisation projects now frozen, the money spent on renting and fitting out temporary offices for the advance parties is wasted. There is not much point in a small advance party remaining decentralised when the vast bulk of staff are highly unlikely to follow.

4. Redundancy payments scheme

Under the RPS scheme, the exchequer reimburses employers 60% of the cost of providing workers with two weeks' statutory redundancy pay. When a company goes into liquidation, the exchequer pays the worker the full payment and then recovers 40% from the company. At the end of last year, €37m of these debts remained uncollected.

The whole idea of the taxpayer footing employers' costs when they sack workers has also been questioned, particularly after Irish Ferries received almost €5m from the taxpayer after it replaced its Irish workers with cheaper labour from abroad.

5. Generic drugs

One recent estimate suggested savings of 10% to 15% could be made if the general medical scheme (GMS) used a greater proportion of generic drugs, which are considerably cheaper than the brand versions. With the total drugs bill under the GMS scheme now reaching €1bn, savings of €100m are possible.

6. Consultants

The exchequer has pencilled in over €88m to be spent on bringing in 'experts' to tell the government what to do or not do – a 25% increase on the €70m it spent last year. A total ban would raise almost as much as it hoped to save on its aborted medical card move.

7. Public sector numbers

Given that well over 40% of all current spending goes on public sector wages, this is an issue that simply has to be dealt with. The growth in public sector numbers over the past decade has been phenomenal (up 30% since 2000) and some of it has been unjustifiable. But any redundancy programme will have to be targeted to make sure the wrong people do not leave.

8. Overtime in public service

The 4,000 junior doctors are the main culprits, costing around €250m a year on overtime alone, or around €65,000 each. This year, garda overtime is estimated to run to €108m or €9,000 per garda, while prison officers' 'extra attendance' will total €39m, or €13,000 per officer. A cut in overtime has been mooted by government as a means to secure the 3% payroll cut by the end of next year. A modest 15% cut in overtime among the above three groups alone would save €65m a year.

9. Government subsidised regional air routes

Every year, the government forks out €15m to subsidise generally better-off travellers to fly between Dublin airport and six regional airports, Galway, Derry, Sligo, Kerry, Donegal and Knock. How is this justifiable given the huge emissions from aircraft and in such a small country where the time-saving argument is tenuous to say the least? At that level of subsidy, it would nearly be cheaper to transport people by taxi from some of the regional airports.

10. The Western Rail Corridor and the Metro

Two projects at opposite ends of the country look unaffordable in the current climate. Despite a strong campaign from the West on Track, the numbers living
along the line simply do not make it viable. There are obviously higher densities
along the Dublin Metro line but the price tag will run to billions and on a cost-benefit analysis that does not look like value for money particularly during an economic slowdown. Tribune


cactus flower wrote:
My biggest suggestion for the next budget is that the public should be offered the opportunity of voting on the estimates: alternatives should be offered, and if the public don't vote any of them through, there should be a general election.
It'd be interesting to tease out the implications of this - could people go and march to Leinster house for this ? Would there be civil war among different groups ?
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:56 pm

johnfαs wrote:
Problem is the ease with which you can move capital within Europe to avoid such a tax.

from that article in the first post
Quote :
Most wealthy people do not act like tax tourists - they live in their home; and if they want to change the tax code to make it more favourable for them they just contribute to Fianna Fail or Fine Gael.
How difficult would it be legally to keep people who earn so much to pay tax here instead of in tax havens ? It seems if you make money from people here then you should pay, if you don't want to pay, f* off.

If you bribe FG or FF you can go to hell, or jail.

The public accounts and tax collection as well as the richest incomes and tax payments need to be made very very public if the public are going to vote on it in the near future. The figures could be twisted and doctored I suppose though unless their veracity and accuracy was enforced by Law.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:58 pm

[quote="Auditor #9"]From the Tribune last Sunday

Recession Busters: 10 easy steps for Government to save billions

Quote :
It's a truism that government resources are scarce and in Ireland they seem to be becoming scarcer by the day. There were around €3bn in cuts in current and capital spending in the recent budget, but the public furore about some of those decisions suggests the government didn't target the right places. Martin Frawley and Shane Coleman identify 10 outstanding areas the government could target for potential savings of billions of euro.

1.Taxes outstanding

€1.3bn in various taxes remains outstanding as of March this year – more than the €1.2bn Lenihan expects to collect from the 1% income levy. This outstanding tax bill actually increased by €200m over last year's bill while €400m is outstanding for over five years. It's time to collect.

2.Taxes written off

On top of uncollected debts, the Revenue wrote off €118m of debts owed to the exchequer last year, bringing the total written off over the last five years to €673m. Even the Comptroller and Auditor General has expressed "concern" at the high proportion of tax liabilities written off.
Are these taxes owed by bankrupted or near bankrupt companies? A sudden contraction leaves firms with a big tax bill from 2007, with low 2008 earnings. People should be given time to pay this off. Driving them into bankruptcy would be a very short term gain.

Quote :
3. Decentralisation

Despite the partial freeze on the ill-fated €1bn-plus decentralisation programme, the OPW has spent over €65m acquiring sites, leases and buildings to house the migrating 10,000 public servants, most of whom refused to budge. With 41 decentralisation projects now frozen, the money spent on renting and fitting out temporary offices for the advance parties is wasted. There is not much point in a small advance party remaining decentralised when the vast bulk of staff are highly unlikely to follow.

Decentralisation needs a quick expert reassessment: losses should be cut and we should move on.

Quote :
4. Redundancy payments scheme

Under the RPS scheme, the exchequer reimburses employers 60% of the cost of providing workers with two weeks' statutory redundancy pay. When a company goes into liquidation, the exchequer pays the worker the full payment and then recovers 40% from the company. At the end of last year, €37m of these debts remained uncollected.

The whole idea of the taxpayer footing employers' costs when they sack workers has also been questioned, particularly after Irish Ferries received almost €5m from the taxpayer after it replaced its Irish workers with cheaper labour from abroad.

Companies make workers redundant when they are out of money. Making people redundant is not "sacking workers". An assessment should be made of the profitability of the company and ability to pay: their contribution should be on a sliding scale accordingly. If they replace different workers within three months they should have to repay.

Quote :
5. Generic drugs

One recent estimate suggested savings of 10% to 15% could be made if the general medical scheme (GMS) used a greater proportion of generic drugs, which are considerably cheaper than the brand versions. With the total drugs bill under the GMS scheme now reaching €1bn, savings of €100m are possible.

There is a scandal there in the amount we pay for both non generic and generic pharmaceutical drugs. Someone needs to crack this and a real saving could be made.

Quote :
6. Consultants

The exchequer has pencilled in over €88m to be spent on bringing in 'experts' to tell the government what to do or not do – a 25% increase on the €70m it spent last year. A total ban would raise almost as much as it hoped to save on its aborted medical card move.
I would get rid of half of the "experts" and half of the politicians. Also employ a couple of better economists than whoever they are listening to at the moment ( Morgan and Cael?)

Quote :
7. Public sector numbers

Given that well over 40% of all current spending goes on public sector wages, this is an issue that simply has to be dealt with. The growth in public sector numbers over the past decade has been phenomenal (up 30% since 2000) and some of it has been unjustifiable. But any redundancy programme will have to be targeted to make sure the wrong people do not leave.

Careful here. They will go straight on the dole, taking a pay off with them. Probably cheaper to keep them and redeploy underemployed public servants into useful work. A wage cut for the higher grades and a freeze for the lower - yes.

Quote :
8. Overtime in public service

The 4,000 junior doctors are the main culprits, costing around €250m a year on overtime alone, or around €65,000 each. This year, garda overtime is estimated to run to €108m or €9,000 per garda, while prison officers' 'extra attendance' will total €39m, or €13,000 per officer. A cut in overtime has been mooted by government as a means to secure the 3% payroll cut by the end of next year. A modest 15% cut in overtime among the above three groups alone would save €65m a year.

It is likely that cutting this overtime would mean employing more people, or leaving essential services uncovered. A proper organisational review img would sort out 10-15%

Quote :
9. Government subsidised regional air routes

Every year, the government forks out €15m to subsidise generally better-off travellers to fly between Dublin airport and six regional airports, Galway, Derry, Sligo, Kerry, Donegal and Knock. How is this justifiable given the huge emissions from aircraft and in such a small country where the time-saving argument is tenuous to say the least? At that level of subsidy, it would nearly be cheaper to transport people by taxi from some of the regional airports.

Agreed. Let people use the €1,000 euro bikes on the empty motorways.

10. The Western Rail Corridor and the Metro

Quote :
Two projects at opposite ends of the country look unaffordable in the current climate. Despite a strong campaign from the West on Track, the numbers living
along the line simply do not make it viable. There are obviously higher densities along the Dublin Metro line but the price tag will run to billions and on a cost-benefit analysis that does not look like value for money particularly during an economic slowdown. Tribune

Western Corridor yes, with top up developmental aid to fill in any extra developmental needs to make the concept work. Metro North no: it was always nonsense as hardly anyone lives on the route. A direct non-stop Stephens Green to Airport express bus route would cost a tiny fraction.

cactus flower wrote:
My biggest suggestion for the next budget is that the public should be offered the opportunity of voting on the estimates: alternatives should be offered, and if the public don't vote any of them through, there should be a general election.
Quote :
It'd be interesting to tease out the implications of this - could people go and march to Leinster house for this ? Would there be civil war among different groups ?

Get out the Evotingmachines!
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:05 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
johnfαs wrote:
Problem is the ease with which you can move capital within Europe to avoid such a tax.

from that article in the first post
Quote :
Most wealthy people do not act like tax tourists - they live in their home; and if they want to change the tax code to make it more favourable for them they just contribute to Fianna Fail or Fine Gael.
How difficult would it be legally to keep people who earn so much to pay tax here instead of in tax havens ? It seems if you make money from people here then you should pay, if you don't want to pay, f* off.

If you bribe FG or FF you can go to hell, or jail.

The public accounts and tax collection as well as the richest incomes and tax payments need to be made very very public if the public are going to vote on it in the near future. The figures could be twisted and doctored I suppose though unless their veracity and accuracy was enforced by Law.

Most wealthy people aren't super rich. The vast majority of those who will pay the 2% levy will come nowhere near enough to pay the 3% levy and likewise any future envisaged 4% levy. That said, the superich are quite capable of moving their money overseas, as I would imagine plenty of those on the Times Richlist do. That said, I do agree with you as I know a couple of people on that list and except one they are all tax resident in Ireland and that one that isn't is particularly high profile so I won't name him here.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:08 am

johnfαs wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
johnfαs wrote:
Problem is the ease with which you can move capital within Europe to avoid such a tax.

from that article in the first post
Quote :
Most wealthy people do not act like tax tourists - they live in their home; and if they want to change the tax code to make it more favourable for them they just contribute to Fianna Fail or Fine Gael.
How difficult would it be legally to keep people who earn so much to pay tax here instead of in tax havens ? It seems if you make money from people here then you should pay, if you don't want to pay, f* off.

If you bribe FG or FF you can go to hell, or jail.

The public accounts and tax collection as well as the richest incomes and tax payments need to be made very very public if the public are going to vote on it in the near future. The figures could be twisted and doctored I suppose though unless their veracity and accuracy was enforced by Law.

Most wealthy people aren't super rich. The vast majority of those who will pay the 2% levy will come nowhere near enough to pay the 3% levy and likewise any future envisaged 4% levy. That said, the superich are quite capable of moving their money overseas, as I would imagine plenty of those on the Times Richlist do. That said, I do agree with you as I know a couple of people on that list and except one they are all tax resident in Ireland and that one that isn't is particularly high profile so I won't name him here.

That is why in general budget measures are kept under wraps until the budget. Suspect The levy should be based on income liable to taxation in Ireland on the day of the budget.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:41 pm

I strongly recommend reading this short article by Michael Hennigan, on what needs to be done.

http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1015083.shtml
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:59 pm

I just read most of that eh short article and it's quite shocking that the Opposition aren't privy to the national money figures the way the govt is. That's not right is it ? That's not really democratic at all now is it ?
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:11 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
I just read most of that eh short article and it's quite shocking that the Opposition aren't privy to the national money figures the way the govt is. That's not right is it ? That's not really democratic at all now is it ?

Your damm right it aint.
I want FF out. Then I want FG and who ever get in to institute a program of democratic change to ensure that the government is not so all powerful.
We are "lions led by donkeys", but if we dont impress upon the opposition the importance of reform then its us who are the donkeys.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:23 pm

Respvblica wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
I just read most of that eh short article and it's quite shocking that the Opposition aren't privy to the national money figures the way the govt is. That's not right is it ? That's not really democratic at all now is it ?

Your damm right it aint.
I want FF out. Then I want FG and who ever get in to institute a program of democratic change to ensure that the government is not so all powerful.
We are "lions led by donkeys", but if we dont impress upon the opposition the importance of reform then its us who are the donkeys.

Perhaps a thorough exploration of a credible Rainbow Opposition is in order now with FG at the centre of it because they are the ones who could possibly deliver it. The public gets only high-level figures in those Estimates while Quangos are not included and we saw how Michael Hennigan in that article describes how there is the National Consumer Agency whose head gets paid 180k per year yet the quango does nothing useful for the consumer. Mother of Jesus. Then there are 12 handbaggers hanging around in this organisation too one of whom is Celia Larkin of the €3000 Bertie buddy handbag fame and these people get paid the equivalent of a young teacher to do fsck all only attend some meetings per year with their BT gear. Plus they have a budget to spend Shocked

"And the Oxen wouldn't pass La Place de la Concorde for the stench of human blood that rose there after the guillotinings
..."


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:29 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Respvblica wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
I just read most of that eh short article and it's quite shocking that the Opposition aren't privy to the national money figures the way the govt is. That's not right is it ? That's not really democratic at all now is it ?

Your damm right it aint.
I want FF out. Then I want FG and who ever get in to institute a program of democratic change to ensure that the government is not so all powerful.
We are "lions led by donkeys", but if we dont impress upon the opposition the importance of reform then its us who are the donkeys.

Perhaps a thorough exploration of a credible Rainbow Opposition is in order now with FG at the centre of it because they are the ones who could possibly deliver it. The public gets only high-level figures in those Estimates while Quangos are not included and we saw how Michael Hennigan in that article describes how there is the National Consumer Agency whose head gets paid 180k per year yet the quango does nothing useful for the consumer. Mother of Jesus. Then there are 12 handbaggers hanging around in this organisation too one of whom is Celia Larkin of the €3000 Bertie buddy handbag fame and these people get paid the equivalent of a young teacher to do fsck all only attend some meetings per year with their BT gear. Plus they have a budget to spend Shocked

"And the Oxen wouldn't pass La Place de la Concorde for the stench of human blood that rose there after the guillotinings
..."
king = pig
Its getting to that stage is it? The people are angry but they should be baying for vengence as well. Our money has been misused to line the pockets of Celia Larkin and co. We should investigate some kind of treason crime which we can throw on these people and lock them up for a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:48 pm

Will Hutton was on RTE lunchtime, saying a few arrests would be in order...

It would feel good, but would not solve everything.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:59 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Will Hutton was on RTE lunchtime, saying a few arrests would be in order...

It would feel good, but would not solve everything.

While it certainly wouldnt solve everything and it certainly feel good, I think it would be of help.
My former boss Bernie Ebbers sits in gaol for fraud. The earliest date for parole is 2028. The americans are right in this.

I believe that it is very important that those in positions of very high responsiblity are given far stiffer sentances than those from the "lower orders". There has to be some kind of link between the damage one can inflict and their sentance. The actions of Ahern, Ebbers and others has caused misery on a very very large scale.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:02 pm

Respvblica wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Will Hutton was on RTE lunchtime, saying a few arrests would be in order...

It would feel good, but would not solve everything.

While it certainly wouldnt solve everything and it certainly feel good, I think it would be of help.
My former boss Bernie Ebbers sits in gaol for fraud. The earliest date for parole is 2028. The americans are right in this.

I believe that it is very important that those in positions of very high responsiblity are given far stiffer sentances than those from the "lower orders". There has to be some kind of link between the damage one can inflict and their sentance. The actions of Ahern, Ebbers and others has caused misery on a very very large scale.

So we should be budgetting for stocks and chains ?
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:05 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Respvblica wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Will Hutton was on RTE lunchtime, saying a few arrests would be in order...

It would feel good, but would not solve everything.

While it certainly wouldnt solve everything and it certainly feel good, I think it would be of help.
My former boss Bernie Ebbers sits in gaol for fraud. The earliest date for parole is 2028. The americans are right in this.

I believe that it is very important that those in positions of very high responsiblity are given far stiffer sentances than those from the "lower orders". There has to be some kind of link between the damage one can inflict and their sentance. The actions of Ahern, Ebbers and others has caused misery on a very very large scale.

So we should be budgetting for stocks and chains ?

Well I was thinking about the idea with lions, and then there was the guillotine, but probably some clunks of metal will be enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Ideas for the Next Emergency Budget   Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:05 pm

Respvblica wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Will Hutton was on RTE lunchtime, saying a few arrests would be in order...

It would feel good, but would not solve everything.

While it certainly wouldnt solve everything and it certainly feel good, I think it would be of help.
My former boss Bernie Ebbers sits in gaol for fraud. The earliest date for parole is 2028. The americans are right in this.

I believe that it is very important that those in positions of very high responsiblity are given far stiffer sentances than those from the "lower orders". There has to be some kind of link between the damage one can inflict and their sentance. The actions of Ahern, Ebbers and others has caused misery on a very very large scale.

Hear hear. But look what happened - a ton of bank CEOs among others get rewarded by keeping their jobs, pensions, salaries instead of eating porridge .. the Regulator for example. And not only that, these fuckers are invited back in behind closed doors to sort out the mess they stacked up beside the fan in the first instance.

Where's the hand slaps the forehead 'duh' smiley?
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