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Doubts about Coalition deal

Opposition is emerging from some Labour and FG TDs, Labour councillors to the prospect of a FG-Labour Coalition. Dublin MEP Proinsias de Rossa has said the party ‘should be prepared to go into Opposition’ if FG refuses to implement elements of Labour’s “Social Democratic Programme”. Former Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Energy and Natural Resources [...]

Merrionstreet.ie is hosting political content

From the start, there have been questions about the government’s number10.gov.uk style website,  merrionstreet.ie.   Despite the presence of special advisers, media affairs units, and handlers in government offices, there’s supposed to be a clear line between political boosterism and the provision of taxpayer-financed official information.  Yet within an hour of the Taoiseach’s unscheduled Thursday statement [...]

The cabinet is bare

Resignations from Mary Harney, followed by Noel Dempsey, Dermot Ahern, and Tony Killeen.  As Brian Cowen appears to have been sitting on at least one of these letters for over a week, we don’t know the timing.  But Mary Harney correctly pointed to the problem with TDs intending to retire from politics — and thus [...]

Dail Eireann: Use only in emergencies

It didn’t seem possible that the Irish political system could look more busted today than it did yesterday but that’s where the version of Lanigan’s Ball from the Greens leaves it.   Michael Lowry — having had the leverage of his side-deal with the Coalition for nearly 3 years in return for his vote, runs to [...]

Croke Park = National ID cards?

Of a Friday afternoon, the Department of Finance has published the first action plan for efficiency improvements under the Croke Park Agreement.  No word on whether the Hungarian man with the specs had to clear this before it could be published.  It does its best to list some specific actions, and doubtless there will be [...]

First get the history right

As ratings agencies, pundits, and the occasional minister demand that Fine Gael provide political cover for the next 4 budgets — with 3 years of disastrous decions to be taken as water under the bridge — Edward Walsh steps up to the plate in the Irish Times to make the case in stirring historical terms: [...]

Recycling

Brian Cowen, today presenting the awards for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence in the Public Service – It will be a challenge, and equally an opportunity – an opportunity to dramatically accelerate the pace of change in the Public Service, to the benefit of all stakeholders. And an opportunity to ensure that the [...]

By the numbers; 30th Dáil in 2010

Trying to cut some numbers to take account of the myriad comings and goings experienced in the current Dáil. Anyone want to poke holes? Sure am missing something. First draft looks like this:

Same as it ever was

There’s the old line about the Bourbons when they got back in power after Napoleon that “they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing”.  Then there’s Fianna Fail.  The Willie O’Dea confidence motion debate today was mercifully short because it showed a government that, after years of scandals and concerns about conduct in public office, has [...]

Minister Gormley’s inbox is full

The Taoiseach’s department has released the text of the Cabinet statement in support of John Gormley which was distributed to the pol corrs last night.  Full text below the fold.  One thing to note – The Government has already decided to impose a levy on incineration. The legislation to allow for this is being drafted [...]

All politics are local (but some are more local than others)

This post stems from a discussion in the comments section under ‘All politics is local‘. We were comparing and contrasting the UK and Irish systems in terms of how rooted politicians must be within their local constituencies. I think there is significant difference between the two jurisdictions, to some degree due to FPTP (First Past [...]

A Smart Budget for a Smart Economy?

[Cross-posted on TheStory - please appreciate I wrote this at 1.30am after a day spent reading official documents. Mistakes are a possibility, I'm open to discussion in comments section] It’s about a year since An Taoiseach announced plans to develop ‘The Smart Economy’ (the successor to ‘The Knowledge Economy’, remember that?). In those twelve months [...]

What’s on the horizon? Talking Crime and Justice

What exactly are the Government expecting in their Department of Justice budgeting:

A “career average” pension scheme?

The way Cowen, Gormley, Lenihan and Harney have set to restructure civil service pensions in today’s Budget is strange. They’ve danced around the details using a fudgey term – “career average”, I’m trying to figure out exactly what they mean… It appears the Government will restructure the way civil servant pensions are paid from its [...]

Share the Pain

From the Independent TAOISEACH Brian Cowen is set to take a 14pc cut to his overall salary in Wednesday’s Budget in an attempt to show that politicians are also willing “to take pain”. The cut means his salary will have dropped from €285,583 to €228,466. I am not against high salaries. If you want to best [...]

Pre-Budget Exchequer Figures – €22bn Exchequer Deficit

The figures are out the deficit is €22bn going into December 9th budget. The figures suggests a levelling out of the deficit at the €22bn mark in advance of the budget but tax figures are a major hammering.

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