SEAN MONCRIEFF: Post-budget is a fertile time for tactical ‘outrage’ of TDs

WHY didn’t the Government TDs, now kicking-up over the budget, do so earlier.

It’s not as if the cuts weren’t leaked in the media. Perhaps, when they dismissed the leaks as speculation, they meant it: which is almost sweetly naive. How crushing it must have been for them to discover the doom-and-gloom stories were true: that the Government intended to cut the children’s allowance and has now set its Scrooge-like face against reversing the decision.

Of course, one could be cynical and claim that what we are hearing now is no more than political noise to satisfy support bases: a way of allowing the cuts to go through, while minimising the potential electoral damage. But it would be mean to defame these political innocents.

Maybe they just need more cuddles.

The problem, perhaps, is more temporal. As in some high-concept science fiction movie, our politicians are like unwilling time travellers: unaware that well-flagged events are about to take place, but now full of inventive suggestions, even though the budget was a week ago.

Chief among these is the idea that many of the cuts might have been avoidable if the better-off paid a wee bit more tax: a proposition that again requires time-jumping powers as it’s not certain what its effect might be. As the old joke goes, gather 12 economists in a room and you’ll get 13 opinions, but many of them (at least the ones to whom the Government listens) seem to feel that this would be a tax on jobs.

What this means isn’t clear. My best guess is that people earning, say, more than €100,000 a year are not mere mortals, but a variety of Ÿbermenschen more commonly known as ‘job creators’.

Rather like the fabled goose, the ‘job creators’ can bend themselves into a squat and push out a fully formed job. It can happen at any moment: on the pavement, in the pub, at mass.

Some, however, have developed a mastery over their power and operate as battery job layers: while sitting in a booth, they push a series of newly born jobs onto a conveyor belt that leads to a lorry.

For the most part, these jobs are sent to China, but that’s why our export sector has remained so healthy.

But are these magicians already taxed too much? Many in this earnings bracket have not produced one job, and, yes, shamefully, I am one of those.

I’ve squeezed with all my might, but the best I could manage was a voluntary position in Leitrim that was no use to anyone. Even the current tax regime is affecting my fecundity.

Perhaps the Government is right: this is all the fault of the poor.

And they should pay for it.


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