Interesting to see that attempts by the Irish government to agree budgetary cutbacks with the -called “Social Partners” have collapsed, forcing the Irish PM Brian “Biffo” Cowen into announcing unilateral cuts in the Irish budget.
“In the Dáil this afternoon, Mr Cowen resisted Opposition demands for a full debate on the Government’s expected €2 billion cutbacks,saying that a full debate tomorrow would instead allow everyone time to consider the details of the package. However, the Opposition said the 10 minutes set aside for Mr Cowen’s speech, plus 10 minutes for each of the other party leaders was inadequate and demanded that a full debate take place from 3pm until10pm tonight. Cabinet sources have told The Irish Times that the Government is to push ahead with its cutbacks plan, including extra pension contributions from State employees, along with cutbacks in expenditure on a number of State services, including childcare, along with cuts in the National Development Plan. Tense talks between the Government and trade unions on a new national economic recovery programme broke down just before 4am.”
I have to say I am surprised that these talks broke down. I expected the usual 11th hour deal, but not this time. In a way this is a good thing – government should LEAD and the vested interest groups that the “social partners” represent should not be allowed to stop the correct economic decisions being taken. However I think this might lead to a lot if industrial unrest? Wonder what Irish readers reckon to all of this? And is €2bn enough?