Austerity Wolves

February 5, 2016

Part 1

Austerity wolves want your vote!

The plan is to cut public services to the bone, lower taxes for the rich, implement further austerity cuts masked under the cover of making services more efficient and stream lined.

5 day forecast.

5 day forecast.

Lets look at the plan?

(1)”Mr Noonan says there is up to €10bn available for extra spending in the next five years, including abolishing the USC and 10,000 extra public sector workers.

But Prof McHale warned that the resources available between 2017 and 2021 may be less than previously estimated. Due to demographic pressure and existing benefits commitments, it could be as low as €3.2bn, he said.”

Fine Gael are also going to set aside a ‘rainy day fund’ of €2.5bn.

Wow, can we rely on the Fine Gael Department of Finance figures that differ by €7bn with the Fiscal Advisory Council. FAC at least employ some economists who will stand over those figures.

The same Department of Finance who walked us into the financial meltdown?

The Fine Gael/Labour so-called recovery and stabilisation of the Irish economy has come in spite of their best efforts to thwart it. But most people attest to not experiencing this paper based recovery seeing no difference in their pay packets other than the experience of further cuts. Falling value of the euro, increased profits for multinationals and exporters, euro’s collapse has been Ireland’s gain.

Lets map some of the road of austerity and while doing so examine the record of this outgoing government.

There has been a deep erosion of standards in education during the course of this government. PhD’s, Lectures and professors have been on strike this week drawing attention to the casualisation of Labour in Regional Colleges of education, falling standards due to excessive workloads, increasing numbers of students, temporary employment with lack of full-time work, lack or no investment in R&D.

At 2nd level, this government tried to abolish the Junior Cert and reduce the role of the National Council for Curriculum Assessment by having teachers assess their students, by designing and setting their exams and correcting the exams.

New courses dismantling the classical and traditional approaches reliant on proven methods of rote learning and deep understanding of science subjects, are replaced by teacher assessment and dumbing down so-called ‘practical investigations’ in science subjects.

Get teachers to design the course and set the exams is the new mantra of this austerity driven money-saving device. Increasing workloads for staff in education and health is the new norm.

(2) With the roll out of a new project maths course failure rate in higher maths continues to decline.  “Latest figures show there are only 5,443 qualified maths teachers on the Teaching Council register, compared with 8,015 qualified English teachers and 6,628 qualified History teachers.” Having Maths in your degree is no guarantee of a job teaching maths with schools appointing who they wish to this subject qualified or not. Some like yours truly learned this the hard way having spent years adding Maths to their degree only to find on qualification no jobs advertised in maths.

Casualisation and temporary employment at 2nd and 3rd level has become the norm. There is reduction in salary levels forced on new teachers who may have luckily landed a full-time job.

To many at both 2nd and third level our educational system is crumbling at the seams.

Need I mention the Irish Water travesty of waste supported by both Fine Gael and Labour countless millions poured into a quango that grows day by day into a bigger mess with little prospect of improving our water resources.

The Fine Gael/Labour coalition have nothing to sing about.

Homelessness is growing with extortionate rent increases a severe imposition on property-owning prospects for the young hoping to start families or enter the property ladder.

Recent inquiry into the banks  went ahead though the people voted against giving politicians the powers they requested believing the inquiry should be legally mandated with legally binding powers of inquiry compelling witnesses and led by a judge. They never even looked at who got the massive bonuses on a bank by bank basis in that feeding frenzy.

They quickly broke the promise of universal healthcare rowing back to limit this to free medical care for the under sixes putting further strains on the health care system stressed through too many demands.

The crisis in the A&E’s is one of horrific proportions the only concerted and failed effort of Fine Gael/Labour being to try to force doctors and nurses to move trolleys into the wards.

Stories of elderly people left for days on trolleys in any A&E should seal the fate of any government however dictatorial it has become.

No progress on the reduction of Ireland’s level of banking debt have been achieved other than the normalizing of interest coupons down to those already achieved by Portugal and Greece embarrassingly granted to us as well.

Pinocchio Government

Minister Noonan refused to burn bondholders to the tune of alleged €9bn under threat from Trichet. Compliance, subservience and obedience can often mask incompetence and the evidence for incompetence is compelling. Anglo €30bn + was rolled into long-term external debt obligations legally binding that the Fine Gael/Labour coalition could have refused to pay.190px-AdvPinocchio

But you are likely to hear the economically illiterate preach Fine Gael and Labour have had great success in managing our debt. No doubt everyday Jean-Claude Trichet and currently Mario Draghi ring Enda and Joan telling them what a wonderful example they are to the rest of Europe.

Minister Noonan’s record as minister for Finance has been one of singular obedience and compliance to the dictats of the ECB that shafted Irish people with the debt of German banks and bondholders.

Instead an Economic Management committee was established to ensure Ireland’s bailout of €67bn would be paid in full costing the toll of massive education emigration for the young, a broken property market, dodgy banks, suffocation of education, health care,  austerity for the poor with the rich protected from its ill effects.

Irish society has widened the gap between rich and poor and is already  on the road to Latin American style banana republic.

Stealth taxes such as USC/property charges and the much loathed Irish Water fiasco have further eroded their credibility.

FG/Labour have benefitted through the falling euro dollar ratio leading to profit for exporters and multinationals but this cannot last forever.

Evidence for a perfect storm masked by false projections on the available fiscal space show clouds gathering in the global economy.

It’s hard to know who to vote for.

Many politicians seem to be economically illiterate. Sinn Fein’s economic policy including the promise of universal health care seems shambolic,  unrealistic and unachievable. A better economic policy and they would get my vote.

I’m verging towards Fianna Fail and the independents at the moment hoping FF have learned lessons from the past and that independents will hold them to account.

I’ll vote for Anti Austerity Alliance and Independents first with maybe a vote for FF hoping they’ve learned the lesson on how to stand up to the banks and financial sector and represent the people democracy has put them there to vindicate the rights of.

But I’m not hopeful that the future has anything but gradual decline for the Irish economy until wider, global economic ramifications and problems  above get addressed (see last blog)

Part 11

Gresham’s law is an economic principle that states: “When a government overvalues one type of money and undervalues another, the undervalued money will leave the country or disappear from circulation into hoards, while the overvalued money will flood into circulation.”

So trillions have been magically created out of nothing and dropped as QE onto the banks. The banks looked at investing that money in manufacturing/engineering local business figured out immediately that a better return could be had by investing in the stock market pyramid.

The paper money required to develop local economies around the world instead is siphoned away onto the casino of stocks, shares and paper derivatives.

The more QE money poured in, the higher the share values went. With early investors paid off now returns are dropping off. Share values have reached a pinnacle and it will take little to collapse them. Bad news on the Chinese or American economy, threatened raising of interest rates, geopolitical conflict levels rising in the middle east.

Now the world economy is global we could be in store for an earthquake driven tsunami at any time. Meanwhile Ireland is facing an election and those incumbents for the past 5 years fill the air with populist growth forecasts for the economy with tax reductions for everyone.

Brexit referendum should focus the minds of the incoming government on economic and trade alternatives to the dissolving european monetary union which ahead seems only to promise further decline, deflation if not economic collapse riven apart by the refugee crisis or other monetary forces in the global economy.

Noonan is on News at One talking about fiscal space Department of Finance figures based on projections of inflation and growth over the next 5 years.

John McHale of the Fiscal Advisory Council says Dept of Finance is under estimating increases in social welfare payments and the cost of public health services. According to Noonan, he’s not saying fiscal advisory council are wrong only that they have a different set of assumptions.

So figures out by €7bn are not wrong is the new MATH!

I will not be buying a used car from Enda Kenny if he goes into that business when at last he gives up politics.

I won’t have to as they may offer him chair of Irish Water in the unlikely event it will still exist at that point.

Goodbye and good riddance Labour and Fine Gael.


The ‘rainy day’ fund is a wise countercyclical measure to save when the going is good, spend when the going is bad. However, if the value of your euros is falling and the hospital you are building will cost twice as much next year, spend your money now!

This is just one other reason we need to return to a stable gold standard and bring this global financial paper derivative casino regressive currency system to its inevitable close.



till again






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