Ideas – Here’s one for the Government and their mini-budget

I’ve written a bit about my scepticism regarding the recently announced IdeasCampaign here, and posted some extra speculation in the comments of that post.

I have an idea here for the Government when it comes to their mini-budget at the end of March or early April.

We all saw the ructions over the over-70s medical cards in the October Budget, and the subsequent embarassing climb down by the government.

This idea will mean that the government might get their wishes (though over a longer period of time), but they could make more cuts in one fell swoop in this way if they wanted, with not even close to the amount of opposition you’d think.

Instead of cutting benefits for everyone in one go, why not cut the benefits for anyone who doesn’t have them at the moment? Remove the entitlements to benefits for anyone may in the future who expects to get something rather than taking it from someone who has it already.

So, cut child benefit, or means test it, or whatever is being talked about, for anyone who has a child after April 2nd plus 9 months. After that, you chose to have a child in the full knowledge that you’re not automatically getting childrens allowance.

If the over-70’s medical card controversy was handled in this way, I don’t believe the uproar would have been as big. If you’re over 70, carry on. If you’re under 70, you know you’re not getting the card automatically so you make alternative plans.

Note: I’m not advocating any cuts in either of these areas – I don’t know enough about them. What I am advocating is a way for our government to think about how they go about making any decisions that they tell us they need to make.

To my mind, this is a simple way to get something accepted by the government without so much opposition, but I obviously accept that it’s a longer term thing. However, with less opposition at the time of making decisions in this way, it’s alternatively possible that they could make cuts across a wider range of areas in one go – without the piecenmeal tinkering about the edges they’ve been involved in for the past 6 months.

It would also show that they’re actually thinking properly about what their doing, and planning, rather than just reacting.

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8 Responses to Ideas – Here’s one for the Government and their mini-budget

  1. Dave March 10, 2009 at 10:15 #

    Good idea, but you know full well that the angry mob won’t see it that way

  2. Hugh Quinn March 13, 2009 at 12:30 #

    In response to the post left on March 10 2009 on this site, how dare you suggest that the government cut the child allowance. people claimig social welfare are living on the poverty line as it is, and are struggling on this money.What you suggest harps to a communist country, take China for example. Are you going to suggest to the Irish people that we only have one child? You should’nt make comments based on things you know nothing about. How about introducing a luxury tax for new cars maybe, or jewellery or fine dining? and how about lowering the cost of living like milk, bread, baby food? you see the problem is the government and shops and the well-off took full advantage of the booming economy and are finding it hard to part with their money Do people in Malahide actually need a visitor centre for a period castle costing 7.5 million when we have a third world health service?The lower classes should’nt be penalised because of the ineffective management of the current government.

  3. valueireland March 13, 2009 at 13:22 #

    @Dave – unfortunately, I think you’re right.

    @Hugh – thanks for your comment, but if you read the full comment, you’d have seen that I wasn’t advocating any cuts, merely a way for the Government to go about making whatever cuts they decide.

  4. Hugh March 15, 2009 at 23:49 #

    why suggest something your not advocating then?? thats like a car dealer telling a buyer red is the “in” colour on a particular range everyone is buying it, but don’t take my word for it. if every car dealer made a statement like that, would their business be profitable?… whatever way you offer as a means to a end the government will still make cuts in areas that need attention as opposed to others… and ultimatelty the decisions are out of our hands…utill the time comes to vote in the next goverment.

  5. valueireland March 16, 2009 at 12:17 #

    @Hugh – You’re missing my point. I don’t know what the government are planning, but my point is, if they choose to implement cuts, there are better ways of doing it rather than how they’ve done it in the past.

    It’s like this. Say you decide you want to drive from Dublin to Derry. In the past, you’ve always driven that route but via Cork. It’s what you’ve always done, because it’s what you do.
    My suggestion would be that you drive via the N2 to Derry instead.
    I don’t care where you’re driving to, but am suggesting that if you do want to get to Derry, you take an easier route than you’ve taken in the past.

  6. darren April 2, 2009 at 02:34 #

    hmm im wondering how many wealthy land owners went without during this countries potato famine ? , in much the same way as our politicians talk about cuts/struggling through as a nation ,whislt they live in big houses and drive nice cars ..kinda ironic how history repeats itself abielt on a lesser scale

  7. david April 2, 2009 at 02:52 #

    @darren .. yeah very good idea , lets see how committed the goverment is to economic reform by taking massive pay cuts – since its the goverment who squandered all this nations wealth during the celtic tiger ..or we could just reduce social payments and tax the working class even more , maybe built another few toll roads so people have to pay for the privilage for using state facilites to scape a megre wage, as stated before that if u are over 70 , and no longer working then you just a drain on the economy and shouldnt get a health card or so it seems, oh and if they cut the child benefit , i guess it will be ok since we have so many excellent schools and nurseries that are free and easily accessable by public transport that it shouldnt really be an issue

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. » Government cuts - the government still don’t get how to go about it - ValueIreland.com : Ireland's Only Truly Independent Consumer Watchdog - June 22, 2009

    […] As I suggested here previously – why not do something constructive about this, and for the longer term: Instead of cutting benefits for everyone in one go, why not cut the benefits for anyone who doesn’t have them at the moment? Remove the entitlements to benefits for anyone may in the future who expects to get something rather than taking it from someone who has it already. […]

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