Time for a new Social Contract

Posted: September 29, 2014 in Economy, Government

The era of austerity is not yet over but its high watermark has now passed. From here on in budgets will be less painful and less contentious.

That does not mean that there will be no more hardship. The deficit may be on track to meet its EU targets but the debt-to-GDP ratio is still way off course. Debt servicing will continue to absorb what little excess revenue the state has for some time to come.

But the Governments narrative is changing. The hard decisions are now behind us. Fiscal restraint has had the desired effect. Growth –job and GDP- is returning to the economy. We have finally turned the corner.

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There is a lot of talk of Sinn Féin in government these days. Gerry is telling us to get ready. Micheál and Enda are saying no way. The Indo are in panic mode. Things seem to be getting serious.

There is no doubt that Sinn Féin wants to be in Government in the South. But big questions remain, one of which is are we ready?

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After the election

Posted: July 1, 2014 in Elections, Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin had a good election. We consolidated our position in the North and significantly increased our strength in the South.

We are now well placed to make significant gains in the next Dáil election.

As we face into that electoral contest two questions will loom large.

Voters and the media will want to know who we would enter government with and what economic policies will form the core of our campaign.

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What do you do when you are loosing an argument? Do you admit you are wrong? Do you concede the point? Not if you are in Fianna Fail, Fine Gael or Labour you don’t.

When confronted with the litany of broken promises and bad decisions the stock response of Government TDs and their Fianna Fail predecessors is to try and change the subject.

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Eamon Gilmore’s address to the Labour party conference last month was strong on rhetoric but short on specifics.

With the local and European elections only months away the Labour leader seemed reluctant to make any big commitments.

But old habits die hard and Gilmore just had to promise something.

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There is a recovery of sorts, beginning to take shape.

The state has exited the Troika bailout. The government has re-entered the bond markets. And the number of jobs in the economy is starting to grow, albeit at a very slow pace.

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Govt not delivering on jobs

Posted: August 8, 2013 in Jobs

The government is claiming that they are making progress in tackling the unemployment crisis. Jobs are being created. The live register is falling. The number of people in employment is increasing.

Surely this is good news? Should we not be commending Fine Gael and Labour for their efforts?
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