The ‘Budgie’ is an ‘ex-parrot’.

First thoughts are twofold and as a Govt. supporter I am very sad to have them.

In a recession, the best practice is to cut spending to match revenues and it seems we are raising taxes to match spending plans. Also, the numbers quoted re deficits for this year and the next few seem optimistic. It is not mature politics to be blaming outside forces for the scale of our problems and then, in the next breath, to be planning on having them come to our rescue.

Secondly, the annoucement of a ‘toxic asset fund’, a la Sweden, for sums way in excess of the actual Budget (or indeed several years worth of same) in a cursory manner is cavalier at a time when bone-numbing rigor and attention to detail are required. It has all the hallmarks of the ‘Civil Service relocation’ scheme that was similarly announced by Mr. McCreevy. I fear it will be as big a disaster.

Throwing in a few casual remarks about another major issue facing us, the second version of the Lisbon treaty, gives a distinct impression of a Government so panicked that it is unable to focus on any one thing to the degree necessary to do it well.

This is a train-wreck in slow motion and it is our second bite at the cherry. No lessons have been learned, no dilemmas tackled and no confidence will have been instilled.

I am not sure that this is the last Budget of ’09. Nor that this will be the only Govt. of ’09.

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