Mortgage Arbitration Board

Yep stocked up just before Y2K 8)

Says who? I remember the 80s & 90s, nearly everyone I grew up with left the country to find work, but despite everything, we survived then and will survive again. There will undoubtedly be pain, all I’m saying is that it should be felt by the most deserving, i.e. those who did cause the problem. And yes, I include anyone who contributed to the bubble by buying overpriced property, gave loans to kids to “get on the ladder”.

Correct. I may choose to contribute in one way or anther, but I have no “obligation” other than to uphold the laws of the society in which I choose to reside.

When the bell tolls for me I’ll answer

No the difference is whether or not you are prepared to shoulder the burden for the mistakes and bad behaviour of others. I’m not.

Can I ask a question here? Do you see it getting to a point where the public sector won’t get paid?


one would hope not…

I would like to think some sort of EU rescue will come to the fore. In the eighties we were less than two weeks from the world bank stepping in.

If it looks like the public sector not being paid the civil servannts will force the GOV to do whatever it takes, and taxes will skyrocket.

When you look at the uproar over service cuts based on the rosy eyed delusional predictions of the current Gov, we will have 18 months- 2 years of fannying about before the real knife comes out.

Instead of proper planning, realistic tax levels and fiscal prudence. we had boom fuelling tax giveaways and high spending

Well, part of the tapestry of events that led to Argentina´s wipe-out in 2002 was an IMF-inspired policy of slashing the wages of the public sector accross the board. The resulting economic implosion still fills economists with awe.

It turns out that Argentine public servants weren´t just a bunch of lazy spongers doing the bare minimum. The collapse in public service morale, contrary to right-wing theory, had serious and horrible effects. In reality, public servants tend to be working a lot harder than anyone likes to give them credit for.

Argentina will remain fecked from now on: the bond of trust between the state and its employees is gone. The public service ethos, where most of the servants routinely and silently go above and beyond the call of duty * is, as was demonstrated, real. But you only know what you´ve had when you´ve lost it.

We´ve done simply fabulously in recreating Japan´s 1980s housing megabubble, and we´re now getting psyched up to feck ourselves over by trying to turn Dublin into a cold rainy version of Buenos Aires with crappier steak (and abysmal dancing skills, and minus Bs As´ excellent local soccer teams).

  • (spongers are always in the minority, though they often love to brag to their mates about how cushy it is where they work. Any people working in the public service who you´ve heard bragging about their easy life are absolutely despised by their hardworking colleagues)

I spoke about mechanisms in place to help struggling home owners - if there is money for the public sector then a major cull is required and that money redirected.

If popular rumour is true there are many local authorities only a whisker away from exactly this problem as they flirt with bank overdraft limits that will not be extended.

Not a problem, just double refuse, water and any other charge they can think of to cover the shrotfall, it’s not like we mind paying through the nose for bloated outdated inefficient local councils.

OK, you´ve put every civil servant into a hamburger machine. We´re racking up €200m a day in EU fines for failing in our various duties to Brussels, nothing is going to get bought for the state´s use until 2011, when the private sector consultants you´ll use to do government work have finally got their head around the job (hint: it´s well-paid because it´s usually a fecking extremely complicated and non-simple job, not because everybody´s operating a personal conspiracy against you!)

So, all the housing and bank problems still exist, you haven´t saved a penny, and however happy you feel about sticking one to the civil servants, Argentina-stylee, that thrill will fade while the collapse speeds up. Oh, and all the guys who know how to fix the problems are now hamburger. Well done.

As the great con job of the last 20 years whereby cheap credit supported by ever cheaper goods from emerging countries finally unwinds it is possble that a reset of epic proportions is required in order to continue to operate social democracies, i.e. those which can provide benefits such as unemployment assistance, child benefits, free education, subsidized healthcare, extensive puvblic services and various other supports aka farm and industry subsidies etc… Many countries do not have or support providing such benefits and we could end up with a truly divided world whereby tarriffs are required AGAIN in order to balance competitiveness or lack thereof.
This is important to sidewinders points only because as a business Ireland’s fixed costs are extremely high due to the particularly large (note I am not saying bloated) public service, lack of energy resources, expanding unemployment, and unfortunate entitlement culture. Even with reasonable reductions, say 15%, the fixed costs are still high and difficult to offset. In order to do so, a vibrant economy is needed but manufacturing for export is impossible to revive at any significant level for the same cost reasons, so the country needs other forms of income. Farm subsidies whiich are significant depend in great part on the EU and are likely to come under pressure as money further tightens, tourism depends greatly on affordability which is doubly impacted by the decline in wealth worldwide and high costs at home.
Current taxation in Ireland imposes indirect tariffs through excise duties on cars, booze, cigarettes, etc. This needs to be expanded dramatically to include virtually all imports of consumer goods, i.e. an increazse to 35% in VAT with refunds for nationally produced goods. The EU might go bonkers but they will have to do the same in time or go Sweedish with taxes if they want to save their social democracies.
Once revenues are flowing to the government, they can tackle the banks, help the residential sector (further mortgage interest relief for primray residence), control inflation (inevitably high at first), and get the country truly focussed on being IRELAND, a country with a direction, a common goal, and a culture to envy and not the pumped-up, individualist, hyper capitalistic mess it has become in the past 10 years.

They could call it the “Smoot-Hawley tariff mark II” in recognition of the phenomenal success of the previous round of protectionist tariffs introduced in the mid 1930s.

jabaar said

The first thing to happen if this were implemented would be to increase the amount of people crossing the border to do their shopping from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands each week which lets face it will have a serious impact on an already failing economy.
Why not reduce taxes and encourage people to come the other way thus keeping money in the state and bringing in new money from the north and even the UK mainland if possible, pile em high an sell em cheap big companies have been doing it for years and it works.

It is either generate more revenue to support the social democratic benefits or cut the benefits, sure there is excess in spending and areas for improvement but Ireland Inc. still need more revenues to cover the increasing demand for benefits. I see where VAT increases would drive everyone north of the border, perhaps not my best thought out plan and good reason for me to steer clear of suggesting any. So what are the options for increased revenue for ireland Inc.?
PAYE tax increases
Property tax
Increases in Capital Gains Taxes (not sure that owuld bring in much!)
Increase corporate tax
Add or increase services taxes

It’s taxers all the way no matter how I look at it

Hey, why don’t we increase taxes to 90% and while we’re at it we could force all those nasty foreign multinationals to leave. Yeah!! Defend Irish made goods and down with that nasty World Trade Organization. Of course I wonder what we’re supposed to eat - except turnips and potatoes - after the other countries retaliate against these proposed new and illegal tariffs. Once we can’t export or import anything we’ll be in a right socialist paradise, won’t we…

Instead we could cut the Dail to 1/3 of its current size. Fire all hospital doctors then offer them their jobs back at 1/2 salary. Reduce all public sector pay by 15-25% (and no, I don’t blame the public sector for the current crisis…it’s just that they have to be paid out of tax revenue and there isn’t enough), reintroduce domestic rates, sell off or close Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, etc, close 75% of all the quangos, and try - if it’s not too late - to return to the only hope that an island economy has…which is to be a hyper-efficient, high value, trading economy.

Unfortunately it may be too late to avoid huge pain.


The money isn’t going on “increased benefits”, about 2/3 of it is going on sheer bloody waste. And hiking taxes to pay for waste in a recession is just clueless, frankly.

Slash and burn through the vast amounts of pointless pork, and cut taxes, especially on consumption and small businesses. We have no indigenous wealth-generating economy because

a) the cost of doing business is ridiculously high, and the reason why it is so high comes down to i) the property bubble, ii) excessive Government indirect taxation and iii) restrictive practices, croney capitalism, rigged markets and cartels in every sector of the economy. One is correcting itself, so fix the other two, which are both entirely down to political will. And

b) which again is linked to the property bubble, but has been an issue for generations, the Irish financial system (including pension & investment funds) has no interest whatsoever in extending credit, investment and support to actual real productive industry.

Get stuck in to the (artificially high) cost base, hurry along the collapse in the property bubble (also in the long run a cost-cutting measure), cut down on bling waste in the public sector, improve frontline social services, create and support future revenue streams even if that means slashing tired old inefficient and frankly counter-productive revenue streams.

That’s how it works in the Really Real World.

Doubtless everyone would rather spend another 3 or 4 years running round like headless chickens and grasping at ever-more-insane gombeen strokes and scams to Save The Day rather than just rolling up the sleeves and getting on with it though.

But increasing taxes isn’t going to increase revenue in the middle of a recession, it’ll just drive what little money remains right out of the country.

Why is it that the response from our pathetic media/political class to the question “we need more revenue” always “raise taxes!!”

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Cut wasteful public spending costs, cut the cost of living and doing business in the country at large, and get really, really, really serious about developing future revenue streams from sustainable productive wealth-generating indigenous industry.

This is the only practical, workable, remotely serious solution.

Is it time to consider nationalising the banking industry in tandem with much of the above?

While we can attempt to cut back on expenditure, on the cost base and can debate the merits of a mortgage arbitration board etc it seems that the only way for enterprise to be in a position to take advantage of such measures (if implemented) would be for some degree of access to credit to exist. If the bankers, as now seems to be the case, are merely interested in saving their own skins, is there an argument that says the State should nationalise the banking system and bring in people who actually know what theyre at to run it on their behalf? Im thinking of people who have a track record of not having bought into the bubble. These people would then extend credit to enterprises which they believe to be viable based on genuine risk management as opposed to the bankers’ failed boom time techniques?

Are there any other options?

Stupid in pure economic terms I agree, but how else to avert balooning defecits and avoid the IMF option, if they even are an option by that time.
Cut, cut cut is great but how??? Put another 30,000 on the dole from the civil service because that is what it would take to streamline it, pay them to do something or pay them to do nothing??
Cut wasteful spending I agree but I think your 2/3rds figure while possibly close to the mark is impossible to cut drastically in the short term, like it or not the wasteful spending will take time and consensus to tackle.
Revenue is needed urgently and there are very limited options.

There in lies the problem

we cannot afford to slash and burn the civil service in numbers of jobs as we will be exacerbating the problem,

we need pay cuts at the top, higher taxes for the rich and an taxes like the states on property and also on expats as well as a limit on the cumalative % of ones income that can be written off in tax breaks.

If we don’t “slash and burn”, layoff huge numbers in the public sector (rather than just the civil service which is not as overstaffed as some might think), then we have learned nothing from the eighties.

If we cannot push through public sector reform during the greatest economic crisis the country has ever faced then we never can. Contrary to the beliefs of most union leaders, it is not possible to “reform” without layoffs.

Not every public sector who is let go will end up on the dole and it will be cheaper for the state to pay them benefits than wages in any case.

I’d be inclined to eliminate the top two layers of management across every section and department and see how we fare.