Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Budget Day

Ah Budget Day. The wonderful time of year when the government takes from the private to give to the public. My wild guesses are
  1. Adjustments to stamp duty to encourage people to buy and kick start the property developers. The government is addicted to the property market and hopes one day in the future to be able to restore it's lost income from stamp duty.
  2. A tax on second property, but nothing too high. Enough that landlords wont absorb the tax but will be able to pass it on to renters spread over 12 months, see 1 about encouraging people to buy property again. The ideal for the government would be to encourage renters to buy but not force landlords to sell yet. Clear out new property stockpiles before ex-rental properties flood the market.
  3. A ban on below cost alcohol selling with no real increases in alcohol of cigarette duty, that will help the publicans.
  4. Some car scrappage scheme to encourage people to buy new cars and dig out the car dealers
  5. A toxic bank to rescue the bankers. Split everything down the middle, they get the profit and we get the loss. Plus this hands the bad debts of the property developers to the State where it will be managed by a government that has worshiped at the altar of those same property developers for years.
  6. An increase in DIRT tax to encourage people to spend instead of save.
  7. Raising or scrapping the PRSI ceiling.
  8. The recent government levies to double or an extra percentage grade added on for even higher earners.
  9. The abolishment of tax reliefs large and small including the rental relief, see 1 about encouraging people to buy property.
  10. A change in the pension levy to remove people from the levy who are not entitled to a public service pension.
  11. Possibly a drop in VAT possibly to 20%. A small enough drop that shops will be able to get away with not passing it on the the public while not impacting too much on the government.
  12. A pay cap on some senior grades of the public sector with some changes in government departments and committees to save token amounts.
  13. Some task force or government body to boost job creation and inward investment.
  14. Token measures to encourage the knowledge economy, improvements in broadband and IT infrastructure. It will sound good but it'll be vague enough to allow the government to continue to class 3G mobile phones as broadband.
  15. A couple of woolly green measures, create some "green jobs" and keep the Green Party happy.

I'd also guess that after this budget there wont be the same number of protests that there was after the last one. Everyone is going to be hit but Fianna Fail will have learned their lesson and wont target any one clear group like the elderly again. Either everyone will be out on the streets or just the die hards who wont have much sympathy from the public since we will all be suffering.

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