The original unexpurgated version of Brian Cowan,s budget speech.
"Good morning suckers-er voters, it is my duty to say a few words,by way of preamble,to my very special 2005 budget.
You may be aware that since the last election we have surreptitiously,slyly and stealthily increased the cost of living enormously with a raft of new charges and price hikes-no fewer than 27 in all-and I bet you hardly noticed!
The total cost of these charges,since the last two budgets, to each family in the land is estimated to be in the region of 2000 Euros per annum.
These price hikes are too numerous-and boring- to outline in detail,but they include;
VAT up 8%
MOTOR TAX up 12%
HOSPITAL CHARGES up 26%
VHI CHARGES up 18%,and climbing(40% of the population pay VHI!-a special form of "double taxation"
FAGS AND BOOZE up 20%
BIN TAXES have DOUBLED,and are set to DOUBLE again in 2005
The highest paid workers in the state(ESB) bills up 13% (set to rise again next year,and every year!)
NATURAL GAS HEATING; Boy have we a surprise for YOU !
COLLEGE FEES ; (disguised as "registration charges") up from zero to 750 Euros
Parking charges citywide (and now extending into suburbia) up 25%
TV LICENCE up 40%
THE DISGRACEFUL SHAMBLES,called a "health service" which only caters for 60% of the population,up 15% for double whammy VHI members who cannot afford a fully private hospital.
Change your maiden name on a passport,or get a new one;-up 33%!
Business premises rates are increasing countrywide at a rate of 20%,all of which will be passed down the line to consumers,
DEVELOPMENT LEVIES,ranging from 6000euros to 30,000 euros countrywide, on all new houses, are sending already spiraling prices,through the roof.
Dear sucke..I mean citizens,I ask for your patience,as these unfortunate charges,are an unhappy necessity.
How else would we finance our generous benchmarking increases for the many thousands of uncivil servants,and public sector local government employees,who are in possession of secure and pensionable jobs.?
They also benefit from a private health care system which means they will never have to queue in draughty hospital corridors or wait 18 months for a specialist appointment -while they are, maybe, dying from a "stealthy" malignant tumour.
How else can our farmers be paid huge annual income subsidies for feeding ducks and drakes in their happy habitat,
for minding butterflies in their bogs,for growing alien species of softwoodpine plantations which will never be even profitable to develop,after the twenty year span of these cosy "pension for life" schemes concocted ,on the back of a cigarette packet ,by some mad Brussels based political has been,like Charly McCreevy?
Take note that we are already in serious financial crisis.Many senior Civil Servants lie awake at night wondering who they will screw for the huge index linked pensions,they and their teacher,and E.S.B worker,companions will expect to receive into a very ripe old age.
We are therefore,increasing the old age pension by a very generous 20cents.
(calculated after the reduced buying power of your money is taken into account,in the supermarkets and services sector of rip off Ireland.)
We are removing the poorest of the poor from the tax system altogether,with a token shift in the bands we have craftily neglected to index for many years.
To discourage our americans benefactors from striking camp and sailed off to China (like "3-com" did in Blanchardstown,Dublin, 2 years ago overnight leaving hundreds looking for work.!) ,we are providing tax reliefs for wealthy hoteliers to build more golf courses in order to facilitate their hobby.
We are providing tax relief for those who build high rise car parks,and paying clampers millions of Euros yearly to herd the suffering motorists into their arms.
What would happen if all our richest speculators,were forced to become tax exiles,like Dermot Desmond ( a C.J.H. best pal,) whose investment companies operate from offshore tax havens; Many of the "golden circle' have left our shores for residence in foreign parts like Monaco. 'The stroker 'Dennis O'Brien moved to Portugal just to avoid a paltry 20% capital gains tax on the 300 million he made in Ireland when his pals in C.I.E. laid a few fibre optic cables along the railway line (public ,taxpayers property)? We must not treat these parasit-I mean entrepreneurs too harshly.The Galway races,Fianna Fail tent would be empty.! A prospect too horrible to contemplate
Therefore our beloved horsebreeders etc will not be molested in any serious way.
( Note;We had better issue a press release though, to the effect that we are 'clamping down' on wealthy speculators etc-a little propaganda and cosmetic surgery in the right place appeases an angry mob!)
The rising cost of property(instigated by our manipulation of the urban housing market)has brought in massive stamp duty and capital gains taxes.
Mary,my comely companion,now in Health, has pursuing the less nimble tax dodgers relentlessly and we are awash with money .
This has disguised our extravagance;our wasteful spending;our incompetence;and a bit of old fashioned corruption thrown in for good measure.
I therefore propose to leave unchanged the legal tax dodging schemes,for the filthy rich,-such as high rise car parks;horse breeding/pedigree mare insemination; and of course our newest innovation;-private hospitals,which will soon be catering for 90% of the sick and needy in the State.
Larry Goodman and friends are ploughing billions into a new and efficient private health sector.This trend must be encouraged.
I am setting aside 9 billion Euros to early pension off the entire ,ineffectual, public hospital administration.
This scheme is mirrored on that of the Farmers early retirement fund,whereby those that hand over their assets to their family not only pay no death duties,but receive a generous pension for life(taxpayer funded)
By the way,all you city slickers and salaried workers, I am happy also to announce that;
THOUSANDS of farmers have been given the go-ahead in 2004 to apply to a "reserve fund"? set up by my party,Fianna Fail ,for those in danger of losing their share of the €1.322 billion per year of EU subsidies which will be converted to a Single Farm Payment system in the New Year. !!
Agriculture and Food Minister Mary Coughlan announced four categories of farmers automatically entitled to make an application to the National Reserve.(otherwise known as the Irish taxpayer)
They are the families of farmers who joined the Early Retirement Scheme before or during the 2000 to 2002 period and who leased out their land to a third party; farmers who invested in extra production capacity or land, or sold to the milk quota restructuring scheme and changed their farming system, in the 45 months to October, 2003; and active dairy farmers unable to supply milk this year.
There will also be National Reserve aid for those who commenced farming after 2002 or who did not receive any direct payments if they farmed in 2002.
If you mind the butterflies on your bog you will receive an annual payment.
If you let tourists walk in the bog you will receive a seperate payment.
If you plant conifers in the bog you will get an annual grant for twenty years.
If you do all three,you will never have to do another days work for the rest of your life.
In fact anyone who can get his hands on a piece of Irish bogland will qualify(if you can afford to buy it , now that the whole country is one vast building site.!)
(Question is can the rest of the long suffering citizens of Ireland join in, in this ridiculous farce as well!-or will they be presented with the bill -after the next election of course-in the usual way!)
Finally,I am pleased to be able to tell you that we have by incredibly astute tricker-I mean to say good management, and bookeeping-been able to contain the official annual inflation rate to a very reasonable 2.9%.!
Unbelievable you say! Incredible! how was this accomplished!
Well,this smoke and mirrors exercise is perhaps our finest achievement,and ,if ye believe it ye are bigger fools than we thought ye were after the last election.!
At any rate,I am happy to say to you in closing that the economy is in good hands with The Soldiers of Destiny crew,and our gallant socialist leader Bertie Ahern,at the helm.
You know know in your heart of hearts that we,in Fianna Fail, are the only party with the interests of poor farmers and workers as our core philosophy."
Yours affectionately,Brian Cowan.
Minister for Unprecedented Generousity and Prosperity.
Leinster House,Dublin(soon to be decentralised to the Bog of Allen)
Re Norwegian budgets:
In Norway, the money is used for the benefit of the country. Whatever problems Norway may have, Norwegian infrastructure put's Ireland's to shame. It's a clean and well run country - a place where something other than ignorance and greed are driving the politicians who run it. It's childcare facilities are excellent as are its parental leave policies. Its hospitals are modern and efficient. Norwegian social welfare policies reflect a civilised approach to care for the elderly. In Ireland elderly people are still living and dying in horrific states of neglect . The Norwwegians are careful about their environment while in Ireland we dont even have waste collection facilities for much of the country - let alone proper recycling facilities. Instead, we invite Belgian and other companies over here to import and burn toxic filth ('thermal treatment' is the delicate expression for it) and to pollute our air and countryside - and who cares if people die each year because of it. A few guys get to make a lot of money out of it, businesses save money, so its worth the price that the rest of us (the majority) have to pay. We slap up cheaply constructed housing estates where people are crammed on top of each other without adequate amenities or recreational facilities for children - the only consideration being how much money the developers can screw out of as little land as possible. And then we are invited to put the whole of our lives in hock to the banks and insurance companies in order to live in one of those depressing, inhumane estates. We have even legislated to protect the neglect of people with disability. We have a pathetic and dangerous road system - and we dont even bother to sign post it properly. A simple matter to rectify and yet a blinding advertisement for the same incompetence and lazy indifference that characterises almost all of our public administration. And we can also boast about endemic corruption in a country where even our Taoiseach accepts undeclared and unrepayed 'loans' and is eulogised by fawning newspaper columnists for it - some of whom are also on the gravy train themselves, of course. A Minister for Finance with no bank account???? Really?????? (Incidentally, anyone following that last Bertie speech on the subject should listen carefully to the text again. He doesnt say that he was charged full market rate for the house at all. He refers a lot to 'full market rate' but does NOT confirm that he paid it. Its a bit like the way disability legislation is full of the word 'rights' without establishing a single right. The warm glow radiating from the term is projected onto what is said so as to tell you what you should infer. When will people ever get it about this guy!)
Ireland isnt a country anymore. It's merely a property resrouce whose management is weighted massively in favour of wealthy people - to the tune of billions of euro out of our taxes every year with negligible improvements to our community life. Dilapidated schools and hospitals everywhere. Delays, delays and more delays at every point of interface between state and community. The worst telephone service in Europe - staffed by people who have clearly been told that the first order of business is to avoid, at all costs, assisting customers with their difficulties and certainly not to have any direct conversation with them. Just give us your money and get lost seems to be their customer service ethos.
The only thing that has been achieved is the creation of a small corporate aristocracy, so arrogant and ruthless they are bragging about how other people are less important and should have less of a say in the way the country is run. And they are fixing the law to ensure that exact outcome. We exist only to service their greed and are now being physically attacked by the state where we peacefully oppose incursions onto our communities and environments. The icy wind of fascism is blowing hard in Ireland, heralded and trumpeted by the likes of the ever complacent and smug Mr John above - standing to attention and saluting its arrival with a starry-eyed gaze. Let us know if it eats you up and spits you out, too, John. You'll find some friends here if you ever come to your senses.