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Infrastructure budget hit to help keep up wasteful welfare spending

  • 08-11-2011 7:59am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 24,291 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    So instead of spending cash on projects that generate jobs, will last for decades and give long term benefits they've decided to cut this right back in order to keep up the scandalous levels of welfare spending.

    Madness IMO, ok so cutting welfare is a bitter pill for politicians but it desperately needs to be done, the rates of so many of the handout are unsustainable.

    Another gov aiming for short term gain at the expense of the next gov and everyone else :( :mad:


    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/big-road-projects-slashed-to-spare-ministers-welfare-cuts-backlash-2928029.html
    THE Government is to slash spending on major projects including road and rail because it is easier to sell politically than cuts in social welfare rates.

    A secret memo on the capital spending programme to be announced on Thursday, and seen by the Irish Independent, shows ministers plan to cut at least €1.4bn over three years.

    Roads, broadband, flood defences and science research are likely to be the hardest hit.

    Significantly, Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin warns colleagues it would be politically risky not to cut capital spending because otherwise they would have to take tough decisions on current spending in social welfare, public sector pensions, third-level grants and medical cards.

    The memo notes that "any further concessions" on capital spending would involve "tougher decisions" on current spending, which contain a "much higher political risk". It adds that the cabinet must take this warning "on board".

    This comes less than a week after Finance Minister Michael Noonan refused to outline proposed cuts in welfare, saying some details would be announced on December 1 before the Budget five days later.

    While ruling out hikes in income tax, he admitted that carbon taxes and VAT would rise, along with the introduction of a property tax of €100.

    The memo shows that by focusing spending on schools and healthcare, the Coalition hopes voters will be forgiving at the local elections in 2014 and general election two years later.

    The memo reveals:

    ?The Government originally planned capital spending cuts of €770m. This has been reduced to €750m.

    ?There will be a move away from large-scale transport projects. Instead, the money will be spent on schools and health facilities.

    ?Cuts in social housing budgets are likely, along with a cut in funding for new water treatment plants.

    ?The huge investment in science -- almost €300m this year -- will be axed because of concerns that the State's return is "open to question".

    But it adds that this area ''may be revisited next year if tangible employment benefits on a par with the scale of the investment sought can be evidenced."

    Among the departments hardest hit will be Transport. Its allocation will fall from an expected €1.397bn to €1.221bn for 2012. Funding will fall to €900m the following year and less than €880m in 2014.

    Much of its capital budget is earmarked for projects already built. Some €200m a year is needed to maintain roads, more than €600m is needed next year to repay the cost of the motorways and local authorities typically receive about €400m to maintain and upgrade roads.

    This means there's nothing left for big-ticket items, including Metro North, the DART Underground, DART Airport link and Luas BXD -- the linking of Dublin's Luas network.

    Other department badly hit on capital project spending include Public Works (down 17pc to €100m); Defence (31pc to €9m); Foreign Affairs (down 33pc to €4m); Justice (30pc to €56m); Arts (30pc to €42m) and Children & Youth Affairs (down 27pc to €8m).

    The memo acknowledges the cuts will mean valuable engineering and construction expertise will be lost.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,030 ✭✭✭✭ Chuck Stone


    Funding of social security, infrastructure, and front line public sector services slashed to fund the failure of bankers and property speculators.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19,987 ✭✭✭✭ mikemac


    Surely you increase infrastructure spending in a recession, no?
    And save money during good times. Oh wait, our pension reserve got plundered :(

    A lot of contractors and subbies out there desperate for work, you could cut some great deals and get some necessary work done. Work that will last for decades


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,330 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    I don't think social welfare spending is wasteful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,093 ✭✭✭ hi5


    "The memo shows that by focusing spending on schools and healthcare, the Coalition hopes voters will be forgiving at the local elections in 2014 and general election two years later."

    Thats what its all about,elections!
    Cut peoples income and they crucify you at the polls,leave a few potholes unfilled and shure they'll hardly notice.
    We're back to the 80's folks,expect the economy to drag along the bottom for at least the next 20 years:mad:


  • Registered Users Posts: 819 Triangla


    Putting the party first, this is all starting to sound very familiar...


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19,987 ✭✭✭✭ mikemac


    A secret memo on the capital spending programme to be announced on Thursday, and seen by the Irish Independent,

    The memo shows that by focusing spending on schools and healthcare, the Coalition hopes voters will be forgiving at the local elections in 2014 and general election two years later.

    And we will never ever see that on a press release

    The Indo claiming to have a secret memo is like an "unnamed source" in the Evening Herald. Allows you to type whatever you want

    Maybe it's true, I await the report on Thursday.

    And the election strategy definitely won't be in it


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 884 ✭✭✭ spider guardian


    What we need is a government that doesn't want to be elected next time around. Or politicians with balls.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    AngryLips wrote: »
    I don't think social welfare spending is wasteful.

    whilst I would agree that justified Social Welfare spending is not wasteful, I bet you a tenner that if you were to assign an Investigating Officer to each SWLO, the reduction in the first week of benefits paid out, would cover his salary for the year.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    Yeah, it's true if the government slashed social welfare by 50%, or better still did away with it altogether, we have jobs for everybody in the morning. You want to tackle waste and fraud, start at the top where crooks like Ray Burke and Bertie are still milking the taxpayer, instead of picking on soft targets.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    So instead of spending cash on projects that generate jobs, will last for decades and give long term benefits they've decided to cut this right back in order to keep up the scandalous levels of welfare spending.

    On that basis would you support the removal of government subsidies from public transport? Pay the real fare for each route?

    Schools and healthcare are actually two key issues that bought need to be addressed and will also get a parties elected.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    Social Welfare payments have always been the soft target of the uneducated. ( that's the educated with an ill informed chip on their shoulder.) While there is no doubt the bill is too high and the associated benefits, unsustainable, we must not forget the apparent waste that is generated by those who deem it necessary. When the ruling class speak we are supposed to listen. However, if the ruling class did more "ruling" then half the problems wouldn't exist. The "ruling class" spend more than the social welfare bill, yet use it as a simple vote/popularity contest.

    At the end of the day its up to the Irish Public to identify this. I have and thats why I'm bailing out of this ****hole.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,291 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    BrianD wrote: »
    On that basis would you support the removal of government subsidies from public transport? Pay the real fare for each route?
    That's happening anyway, with reducing subsidies.

    But unlike welfare the level of subsidy are not so through the roof to actually be akin to actually paying people to use the bus...


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,654 ✭✭✭ trellheim


    Schools and healthcare are actually two key issues that bought need to be addressed

    they always need to be addressed,certainly our booming populatiuon will need them. But without long term investment in infra that'll attract FDI and create jobs, we can't afford those schools . debt to GDP is 120/% isn't it ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,330 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    trellheim wrote: »
    But without long term investment in infra that'll attract FDI and create jobs, we can't afford those schools .

    I would say the Government are right to prioritise education over infrastructure in trying to attract FDI. Even if it's at the expense of infrastructure (given our current difficulty). The below news source today would support that, listing as it does, "skills availability" as one of the reasons the country has come out on top. Infrastructure is not mentioned.

    http://www.siliconrepublic.com/business/item/24438-ireland-top-location-in/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    That's happening anyway, with reducing subsidies.

    But unlike welfare the level of subsidy are not so through the roof to actually be akin to actually paying people to use the bus...

    Subsidy for the middle classes. Don't forget the biggest beneficiaries of the SW system are the middle classes - childrens allowance, grants etc. Means test it all and there should be some interesting results.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,688 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3


    What about wasteful corporate welfare?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 10,087 Dan_Solo


    If the economy is tanking we can do without the infrastructure (i.e. construction work) spending. Look at it this way, no new prisons or schools is most likely to mean no new prison guards (or prisoners) or teachers (and therefore pupils) if that's your thing.
    Funny how the people who are most desperate for the Irish public to have all this infrastructure malarkey are the guys who are set to mint it through it's construction.


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