Categorized | Economics, Wicklow

Bias in "The Big Opinion"

Letter to Wicklow People regarding their new “The Big Opinion” section:

I welcome your new “The Big Opinion” section, however was disappointed to see that your usual high standards of objective reporting were absent, in that the vast majority of it was anti Government, populist nonsense!

The “HSE Cuts” column throws out the usual cliches, yet completely fails to mention that the recession is a world wide phenomenon, caused by a combination of both national and international factors.  There is also no mention, by your secret author, that the successive Fianna Fáil Governments he criticises were democratically elected by the people and have a legitimate mandate to govern, in good times as well as bad.

Most importantly there is no mention that the HSE was forced to create a €200 million fund to offset budget over-runs as a direct result of the refusal of IMPACT members to do their jobs, this despite the union’s claim that its actions had not had any effect on the provision of health care.  These people are acting not as Public Servants, but as Public Saboteurs.

The simple economic reality is that unless the deficit is dealt with, there will be no economic recovery, and hence no jobs and therefore no taxes for pay for welfare and social services such as health care.

To say that the ‘burden’ isn’t being shared equally is again total nonsense, as the reality is that a mere 4% of people contribute nearly 50% of income tax, plus nearly 50% of workers pay no income tax what so ever.

David Tucker complains about the amount of tax on fuel, yet fails to suggest an alternative.  He ignores that fact that €400m a week is being borrowed to run the country, therefore any reductions in taxes on fuel would mean more borrowing and therefore less money to pay for teachers, nurses, welfare etc.

Its Ivan Yates facts that “don’t match the rhetoric”.  As a successful businessman, and a former Government Minister, he is well aware that the technical reclassification of the national accounts did not increase by a single cent our national debt, to suggest otherwise is merely mischief making and beneath him.

He leaves out the crucial fact that Ireland’s national debt as a percent of GDP is actually half that of Greece’s and is actually below the EU average.

Danny McCoy (Director General of IBEC) correctly stated, in the Irish Times last month, that the cost of the banking crisis is manageable with the debt servicing cost being €1.5 billion annually.  To put this figure into context, RTE’s Prime Time earlier this year put the cost of welfare fraud at between €2 and €3 billion annually. This is the money that is really being “flushed down the toilet” .

Finally your comments about Minister Coughlan wouldn’t been seen in the worst tabloid paper and represents a terrible dumbing down for your paper.  The true ‘Calamity’ in the Dáil recently has been Enda Kenny who told the nation that Irish banks held €7 billion of Greek Bonds, when the real figure was a mere €40 million.  Kenny’s statement, if true, would have had serious consequences for the tier one capital requirements for the Irish banks as well as for the nation’s ability to borrow on the international markets.  Kenny claims he can be Taoiseach, yet this is a further example of his inability to do run a corner shop, let alone our nation.

Stephen Kearon

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