Budget 2014 – No Country For Old Men

Brendan-MichaelNo Country for Old Men” or Women and indeed youth for that matter, and I am not referring to the 2007 American neo-Western thriller based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name.

I am referring to the Coalition Government’s politically safe budget announced today, which purports to frame the future of Ireland for future Irish people.

Youth Unemployment

The first insults, for young adults attempting to seek employment, came from Labour Ministers for Education and Social Protection, Ruairí Quinn and Joan Burton. “No young person should be able to say at age 19, ‘I’m better off on the dole than going training‘,” Quinn stated. The Minister for Social Protection also defended her cutting of her departments ‘Jobseeker’s Allowance,’ for these same young adults stated “Signing on for Jobseeker’s Allowance on a person’s 18th birthday it’s not the start to adult life that any parent would want for their child. We really have to be more ambitious for our young people.”

Ruairí and Joan obviously believe it is the aim of every young person with a four year University Degree to want to live on €144 a week. If so why have so many emigrated?

Dole payments to young people are now to be slashed by nearly a third, with all those aged 25 years and under and who sign on from January next then to receive  just  €100 a week, down from €144, while the 25 year old unemployed can claim €144, reduced from €188. All hope of current employment for rural dwellers is Dublin based and the current cost of a rail ticket to attend an interview, averages €50 each return trip.

Noonan and Howlin Set To Risk ‘Grey Brigade Revolt’

Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) on all savings is to rise to 41%, up 7% from 33%, which is estimated to bring in about €95m. (Forget the elderly here,  what about those saving in an attempt to get a step on the property ladder.)
The death grant of €850 to help families with funeral costs is to be abolished.
Over 30,000 pensioners over 70 may lose full medical cards and be placed on GP only cards.
Telephone allowance to Pensioners in the household benefit package to be discontinued from January 1st 2014.
Income threshold for medical cards for over-70s are to be lowered.
Excise duty on beer, spirits and tobacco be increased by a 10 cents rise, with wine up 50 cents.
This move is directly targeting older people sitting on cash savings at a time when this Government wants more spending.

Free GP Care To All Under Five Years To Benefit Wealthy

This same Government look now as if they are about to deliver health care reform by extending medical cards to every child under five years, regardless of family income, while at the same time it is rationing discretionary medical cards for many of this country’s deserving patients. In last year’s budget, free GP care was promised to those on long-term illness which then failed to materialise. It is also unbelievable that this Government should again announce extension to free Doctor Care, without any discussion with the same medical personnel expected to deliver on this service.

Not mentioned in “Budget 2014,” was the proposal that the House of the Oireachtas should develop its own house wine with its own “House of the Oireachtas” wine label and that bottles of same could be used for personal use and gifts by politicians. Perhaps this is also why there was  no mention of  reducing expenses paid to politicians, latter who were paid more than €500,000 during the month of August 2013, a month during which the Dáil did not sit, even once.

TV 3 can now cancel “The Great Irish Bake Off “; sure who will be able to afford French Chocolate Roulade, (a crumble and a bread-based dessert), those Sweet and Savoury Tarts or those Irish tea breads, our elderly have become so used to digesting on a daily basis.


1 comment to Budget 2014 – No Country For Old Men

  • Michael

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